Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Reformed Morning Person

I have never been a morning person. I have always valued my sleep. I used to be an 8-10 hour girl, easy. I worked 2nd and 3rd shift. I wasn't a fan of 3rd, but I liked 2nd. No rushed mornings. Time to relax and drink my coffee in my pajamas. Lounge around and be. Once upon a time, I was able to just BE. I don't like to be rushed. Ironically, I always feel like I am rushed. I frequently feel like the ball in a pinball machine. Bouncing from one thing to another. I have a friend who used to ask me frequently where I was running. Even when I really have no place to go, I walk fast. As if I am on some sort of mission. I have to be reminded to slow down.

Since having children, I have seen more sunrises than ever. I remember when I found out I was pregnant, my biggest fear was how I would survive with little sleep. I remember waiting for the elevator at work one morning completely sleep deprived. Between a newborn, a teething one year old, and on call, I was awakened every hour. While standing there in my dreary haze, it dawned on just do it. There is no rhyme or reason. There is no secret. You don't get sleep when you have children and you just manage to function. 

Here recently, I have started to learn the beauty of sunrise. Every once in awhile I get the opportunity to just get lost in it. I used to meet my friend for early morning hikes on the weekends I didn't have my boys. I was able to slow down and just be. As difficult as it might be to drag my ass out of bed, the reward is awesome. Especially when the weather starts to turn and it gets cold in the morning. I love the cold and sun. I love to see the sun reflect off the frost. Millions of tiny crystals covering everything and reflecting  the light. I could literally stay out there for hours and just take pictures. Completely mesmerized by the beauty of nature.

I used to write a lot. It was my way of communicating. Even in tough situations, I still prefer the written word. I express myself so much better. When I try to speak it, the words get all mixed up in my mind. I develop a stutter out of nowhere and I can't put all my words together to form  a constructive thought. However when I write, I feel free. I am able to see my words before they are communicated to the other person. I can't seem to see them as clearly in my mind, but on paper I am able to examine them fully. Over the past several years, I have written less and less. I have stuffed and turned inward. I think there is a part of me that is so overwhelmed, I don't know I could ever express my feelings appropriately. There's another part of me that feels I wouldn't know where to start. Another reason is the fact that I don't take the time. When push comes to shove, my time is the first to go. I have gotten so off track writing about my feelings, I feel mute. So, I have turned to more visual forms of expression.

A couple of weeks ago, I  had the opportunity to borrow my sister's amazing camera. Luckily, she now trusts me to borrow it. Maybe since my children are still alive, I am more trustworthy with an expensive piece of equipment. I was up very early and it was very cold outside. I walked outside and straight in front of me was this beautiful sunrise. I turned around and noticed the moon still hanging on. I found it to be quite amazing. The sun rising and the moon slowly making its descent. Like yin and yang in a face off.  

What I loved the most was the contrast in colors. In front of me was the bright oranges and yellows. Signs of a bright, brand new day. Behind me was the darker pinks, purples, and blues. Darkness descending. Marking the end of another day. In this quest, mission, journey...I still don't know where to start most days. Maybe I should say I know where to start and I am just procrastinating. I don't know that I am up for the work, to be quite honest. I have such a difficult time getting my bearings in all other areas of my life. I am not sure I am ready to open Pandora's box. 
I have my moments of martyrdom, self-loathing, and self-depreciation. However, in all the mayhem, I have started to make a conscious effort to thank God every day for this day. My 5 year plan may have fallen by the wayside. I may not be where I want to be right now. I can tell you I am the most uncomfortable I've been in a long time. But, no matter how shitty it seems, I can always find something to be thankful for. I have a job. I have two healthy boys. I woke up today and therefore get to have one more with them crammed into one bedroom at my parents house. As uncomfortable as that seems, the reality is I am not visiting them in the oncology ward at Children's Hospital. They may drive me crazy sometimes, but at least they get the opportunity. I am starting to be more grateful in my life. Sadly, some might say I still complain too much. Truth is, I probably do. I continue to be a work in progress. I have been bouncing around for years. I have recently realized, I like to get lost in nature. I like the calm; the peace. I like the sounds of trees creaking in the breeze; leaves crunching underfoot. I like to be stopped in my tracks and staring at a deer or seeing them bedded down in the leaves. I am still in awe of how nature works. I am not sure how anyone can look around them and not realize there is a God. A Being much more powerful than us. It seems every day is a miracle. So, as the sun sets and the moon rises, I feel blessed to have another day. As this cycle continues, I will continue to be amazed at the beauty of the Earth and the intricate design of Mother Nature. I hope I am continuously afforded the opportunity to get lost in it. Most of all, I hope I am afforded the opportunity to share it with my children. And as long as I am afforded the opportunity, I hope to have a camera in hand. I don't know I have learned how to capture the majesty of Mother Nature yet, but I'm just getting started. Even if I am not the next Ansel Adams, I have found another therapy. Another way to BE...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

When all else fails...

At the end of the day, when your heart is seized by so much pain that your chest literally hurts; when you feel like your heart is so heavy, the bottom will drop out and you are tired of crying yourself to sleep, you can always rely on Ani Difranco to help turn that pain into resentment and anger, getting you through another lonely night. When all else fails and you're tired of hurting, listen to this song and take a moment to feel jaded and bitter. As much as I don't like to get stuck in this mode long, sometimes it feels better than feeling like a sorry sack who was duped again. So, because I don't think I could say it any better, I am going to post the lyrics to one of my favorite songs by Ani Difranco. A pick me up, so to speak. Hope you enjoy...

"Untouchable Face"
by: Ani Difranco
Think I'm going for a walk now
I feel a little unsteady
I don't want nobody to follow me
'cept maybe you
I could make you happy you know
If you weren't already
I could do a lot of things
and I do

Tell you the truth I prefer
the worst of you
Too bad you had to have a better half
She's not really my type
but I think you two are forever
and I hate to say it but
you're perfect together

So fuck you
and your untouchable face
And fuck you
for existing in the first place
And who am I?
That I should be vying for your touch?
and who am I?
I bet you can't even tell me that much

Two-thirty in the morning
and my gas tank will be empty soon
Neon sign on the horizon
Rubbing elbows with the moon
A safe haven of sleepless
Where the deep fryer's always on
Radio is counting down
the top 20 country songs
And out on the porch the fly strip is
waving like a flag in the wind
Y'know, I don't look forward
to seeing you again soon
You'll look like a photograph of yourself
taken from far far away
And I won't know what to do
And I won't know what to say

Except fuck you...

I see you and I'm so perplexed
What was I thinking?
What will I think of next?
Where can I hide?
In the back room there's a lamp
that hangs over the pool table
And when the fan is on it swings
gently side to side
There's a changing constellation
of balls as we are playing
I see orion and say nothing
The only thing i can think of saying

Is fuck you...

Need I say more??
Oh yeah, Happy Fucking Holidays!!
And peace be with you...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Please tell me I was wrong...

The end of the day is the hardest. Typically on my way home, the reality sets in. I don't have a home. I share a room with my two toddlers. I sleep in a California King bed alone. Vast space surrounding me as I curl up on one side. Yearning to walk through the door and into someones arms. Desperately trying to understand how I ended up here. Parts of me deeply regretting the red flags. Other parts of me realizing some really amazing things have happened regardless. Then there is a part of me which is grateful for this incredibly humbling experience. I try to thank God every day for the many blessings in my life. Even though it seems I have pain in epic proportions, I am so dearly blessed. There are so many out there far worse off than me. In fact, when I really think about it, I have no reason for complaint. However, the reality of my situation still hurts like hell. I waited to get married and have children in hopes to avoid a situation like my current one. However, by the time my 3rd anniversary rolled around, I had two children and was separated. In the past 6 months, my life has changed dramatically. I stand in awe of the situation frequently. One of the catalysts over the past 6 months was someone who I thought of as a dear friend. My support. My cheerleader. Feelings developed on both sides outside of the realm of friendship. A reality we both tried to ignore and then flat out deny. We spoke of a connection like no other we had experienced. Even with our spouses. I really thought I found my soul mate; kindred spirit; best friend; partner; you get the point. I finally found a person who's goal was to help me become better. In the short years of my marriage, we endured counseling, retreats, etc. The one thing I remember hearing time and time again was to wake every morning asking yourself what you could do to make your spouse's life better. I rarely (if ever) got the impression that my ex-husband had that thought. But, with this new man, I did. I was flabbergasted. Completely smitten. Someone actually cared about ME and wanted to take care of ME! Instead of me neglecting myself to care for others (enter martyrdom). As the months unfolded, a picture was painted of this life together. A future. The future I had always dreamed of. Having a partner; a REAL partner. Working beside me in tandem. Someone who loved me as much as I loved him. Someone who, when they said they had my back, did in fact have my back. Someone I could rely on. When he looked at me as I was filled with fear and doubt and said, "it's you and me", I believed him. I felt safe. I thought, even if I had nothing else, I would always have him. Finally, someone who would be a constant in my life. A given. However, somewhere along the line, it all crumbled. We changed. Boundaries blurred. Confusion, anger, fear, resentment, and tortuous pain set in. I thought I had stepped off the roller coaster when I divorced my alcoholic ex-husband, only to board another one. I got sucked back into the "back and forth". Saying things without really saying things. Questioning. Uncertainty. Feeling like I have to read between the lines b/c nothing is ever said for sure. At the end of the day, I have been crushed. Again. When my marriage was over, I grieved the loss of an ideal. Now, I grieve the loss of something I really did have in my grasp. However, like sand squeezed tightly in my fist, it slowly drained out until there was very little left. Only remnants. Not enough to really see, but you can definitely feel the grains in your palm. Much like my relationship with this man. You can't really see it, but sometimes I feel the minuscule grains. Grains of hope. Crushed by reality. I have told myself many things to be OK with this situation; to make it less painful. I have turned my pain into anger. I have told myself it was all bullshit. I have told myself he never really loved me. I have told myself he is not the one for me; in addition to the "ageless symmetry" we had, there was too many discrepancies. But, at the end of the day. When it's all said and done. I just can't believe that the connection was a fake. I want for him to just tell me it was all a mistake. A mirage. Tell me it's not real. Please tell me I was completely mistaken. It seems so much easier than not knowing. It seems so much easier than thinking I actually did have the dream within my grasp only to have it trickle through my fingers, regardless of how hard I squeezed.
I want to know I was wrong.
It seems far less painful than it all being real and now all being lost.