I have about $34 to my name currently. I also have a $20 bill nestled safely and sweetly in my wallet. It has lived there for the past 3 weeks. On top of the $34 and the $20 I have about $1000+ I will spend in the next few days for a baseball trip–of which I currently do not have. Go figure. The only reason why I have not drowned my sorrows in cake and ice cream just yet is because I have faith that He will make everything okay. But you know what they say…faith without work is dead. So, I decided to put in a little bit of work.
I hate asking for help. I would sit in the dark with only candles for light before I opened my mouth to ask for help. It is unfortunate, but it is who I am. I am learning, however, that that is what family and friends are for. So I put a little bit of my head on their shoulders when my back is crushing the wall. This week (please reference the $1000+ above) my spine is cracking the drywall. I asked for help.
My aunt and uncle were one of the first to answer the call. When my uncle answered the call, he reminded me to tithe. It was a funny thing he had mentioned it because it was nothing more than confirmation. Just a week prior I had prayed about my situation (as a whole) and what I should do and the only thing that came back was that. It stayed on my mind for days afterward–you know that nagging pull and tug? Yes, that was it. Okay God, I understand. I have a plan. Starting July 1 I would have it all in place. So–yea–the thing about God and plans….
Remember the mention of that sweet little $20 bill I have tucked away? It is no longer tucked–in my wallet anyway. YG came into the office looking for food to feed his face. He also mentioned that he was trying to drum up cab fare for a lady who had been sitting in the lobby trying to figure out how she would get to where she needed to go. Angel tap, mental nod, bye bye $20. He took a $20 bill out of his wallet ready to hand it to her and I slipped my $20 out too. “You sure?” He said. “Yup.” I said. “Ok, I will try to get you your money back.” I shook my head. “No need. I don’t want it back.” And truthfully, I didn’t.
Someone sewed a seed for me in my time of need and it seemed only fitting that I did the same. The Angel tap didn’t hurt either. I have learned not to argue with God or to hem and haw at His instruction. We have no idea what His plan is. It feels good to be helpful when I am in need of help. To be able to give openly knowing it is His will and for His good and not my own, feels right. I like feeling good and right. It also feels kinda cool to get my sweet little $20 back…she didn’t need quite so much after all 🙂
Whelp…we made it. We made it through The Split, The Boy’s and The Girl’s antics. We made it through the confusion of Life and the possibility of New Love. We moved out of our old home and tipped our hats to good times. We had discussions about sweaty armpits and naked vaginas. We grew a little stronger as time passed. We learned that thinking too much is definitely not a good thing. It has been a fun, full ride. We made it.
A lot can happen in a year. It is safe to say not only did I manage to pack away a marriage, but I also opened myself up to love again. I managed to grow up a little and be okay with who I grew into. A lot can happen in 365 days.
Kay, a good running buddy of mine, suggested (well…pushed is more like it) I write in this arena. I am so glad she did. She said it would do me some good to get it all out. I can’t say she was wrong. I am pretty sure you don’t always want to hear about what goes on in my life. There are real life tragedies happening out there everyday. Reading about random things like what to wear on a first date or wearing The Boy’s deodorant is not exactly life changing. But just knowing that you stuck around to take a peek anyway means the world.
So, cheers to us because we made it! Here’s to another 365. Who knows what will happen next 😉
No. Not me. I am not getting married, but a friend of mine (Big Show) is and I voluntarily immersed myself in the sea of wedding stuff. It has been a conversation between Big Show and I for the past month and it has me thinking….is marriage all that bad?
Truth be told, my parents have been together for about 40 years and they are both relatively young (in an old person young kinda way), so they might have another 40 years to go. That’s 80 years with the same person….day in….day out. Their mud butts, their farts, their snores, their laughs, their illnesses, their boogers….80 years. The thought of that makes me sweat and break out into hives.
But the flip side is (and yes, I am officially acknowledging the actual flip side to marriage–ugh) love. My parents love one another. The two recent couples I witnessed jumping the broom clearly love one another. Marriage is complicated, no doubt about that, but if the bond is love….isn’t that enough?
Sifting through all of this wedding crap is fun in a girly kinda way, but in the end when everything is stripped away and it is just the bride and her groom that is where the fun begins. Thinking of it that way doesn’t make it so scary. Could I actually consider marriage again? Mmmmmmm……idunno. That 80 year thing kinda has me spooked. For now, though, I will leave the fluffy dresses and flowers to Big Show. I’ll giggle and sift through a bajillion bridal mags all the while pretending not to be breaking out into hives 😛
Right now I am sitting in a nail salon, in a pedicure chair trying to ignore the petite Asian lady with the sparkly pants pick at my toes. I’m watching the girl about ten feet from me getting her nails filed and painted. We decided that while her brother was at practice, we would do girly things. But this girly thing is giving me a heart attack…slowly and quietly.
My mother is the best. She has a straight line to God’s heart and His ear. She often knows just the right prayer to pray and at just the right time without a word from the person she’s praying for. She often sends cards and small amounts of money for us to just spend on things other than regular life. For the kids it’s often candy and for me it’s usually gas, even though her instructions are to use it on myself. Last month, I opened up the mailbox to find an unexpected card with an unexpected blessing in it. How did she know I needed it? I immediately put it up in a safe place and managed to make it to pay day without spending it.
It has been my goal to save it and keep it until I find something worthy to spend it on like a broken pinky toe cast…light bill…bail (just saying), but this afternoon I decided to spend it on me.
So here I sit, getting my toe nails painted practically having a stroke because this seems frivolous and irresponsible. Sure, the rent is paid and yes the power bill is finally caught up. The Boy’s extra curricular activities have a 0 balance and I even managed to get an oil change. But getting your toes and nails painted doesn’t help with putting food on the table or gas in the car (unless you are a porn star). I should have run like the wind when she patted the chair. I should have thrown up the cross and backed out of the door when she told me to pick out a color. I should have been more responsible.
The saving grace…the only thing keeping me from keeling over in this stupid, vibrating chair…is seeing the girl flash me her nails and smile. The anguish, the self-imposed guilt, and the continual running list of better things to do with $30 sorta fade away seeing her pampered and happy. Maybe she’ll remember this moment one day. Maybe she finally feels the boy’s shadow moving out of her sunshine, just a little. Maybe she just feels good about feeling good. It is tough being good to yourself, but sometimes it’s ok to be good to you even if it feels heart attacky in the beginning.
I am not one for a bunch of emotion. I think these past two years have been the most outwardly emotional I have been in quite some time (or maybe ever). I know what those look/feel like. I know what fear looks like; I know what joy feels like; I know what anger says….but as of late I am a walking cesspool of butterflies and smiles. WTF is that???
I caught myself smiling at the ceiling at work one morning–lost in thought. I found myself battling butterflies and squishy insides one afternoon. I called Brooklyn yesterday and literally screamed in her ear for no reason other than just to get whatever this crap is out. What is happening to me?
I left my car keys hanging in the car door. I left my office keys hanging in my desk drawer. I can barely string together a sentence or comprehend what people are saying because my brain is like scrambled eggs (gosh that sounds good right now…I’m starving…see what I mean…lost focus). My heart skips beats and I swear I blush about 50 times a day. I am a walking, barely talking skin bag full of squishiness and fog.
Even now I sit with butterflies in my belly, floating from one end to another. Do I have some sort of disease? Is it Shingles? I have had chicken pox, you know. Scarlet Fever? The Flu? It’s not crabs because my gentiles don’t itch. And, no, I am not with child–this uterus is on lock down. Perhaps the Zombie Virus is a real thing and my body is fighting it with a vengeance? Whatever is happening, it feels funky but it feels good. I feel like I am floating beyond Cloud 9.
I sat in a theater seat next to The Girl and watched wide eyed and hopeful as (Cinder)Ella found her true love. I can’t lie, I believed in that whole story book love until a few years ago. I believed in Prince Charmings and Love At First Sightings. I believed that love is everlasting and can heal all ails. I believed in big beautiful dresses and romantic moments. I believed the fairy tales spun for my enjoyment as a little girl and I carried the possibility of those tales with me for well over 30 years. Sitting there, watching ‘true love’ spill off of the screen left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Reality is far from that depiction of relationships. It saddened me a bit.
I remember the year I told the kids Santa wasn’t real. It changed Christmas forever. It just doesn’t feel the same. The magical bubble had been popped and now it feels like just another lazy t.v. watching day off from school and work. Watching Cinderella felt similar. The magical bubble of true love and fairy god-mothers and beautiful dresses and Prince Charmings had been popped. It felt just like another lazy movie watching day off from work and school.
At some point little girls began to believe in the picture Cinderella and her Prince painted. The ugly duckling, the diamond in the rough being polished by true love (which prevails all–even ugly stepmothers). The long suffering turned into happily ever after by the mere locking of eyes and the glitter of goodness. The happily ever after was left to the imagination of girls barely old enough to spell their names. They believed Cinderella and her Prince lived in a beautiful home with beautiful happy children and fortune always. Little did they know none of it was true.
The wedding with gowns and tuxes and grand parties and glasses clinking is a nod in Cinderella’s direction. The big houses filled with 2 kids (one of each gender), a dog and a cat are nods into Cinderella’s direction. But where is the debt or the sleepless nights? Where are the ‘i hate you’s’ or the ‘i’m leaving’s? Where are the dirty diapers and the lay offs? Where is the changing of the guard when the infamous ‘mid-life crisis’ hits? Where is the day when love just isn’t enough?
I sat next to The Girl a little sad for her. Relationship reality was found no where near Cinderella and her handsome (deliciously gorgeous) Prince, and should she choose to believe in the story unfolding on the silver screen it might come with a rude awakening someday. I stared at the screen hoping to naively believe in that again, but to no avail. It was no use. Relationship reality has set in and set up shop. Perhaps it is best–fairy tales belong in story books and on silver screens…not in homes filled with bills and dirty diapers.
I have probably told this story 90 million times, but for those who do not know I was pretty fat (293 lbs to be exact) for my height and I needed to get rid of it. I had tried everything on this side of the sun and figured the only thing that would get me moving in the right direction was to challenge myself with something way outside of Zone Comfort. So…I did. I decided to run.
I got picked for the Peachtree Road Race that year. I trained. I ran. I wobbled for two days. I ran the following year and the year after that. The third year was the most emotional year. During this time The Marriage was in undeniable trouble and my life was coming apart at the seems. That year, I ran the entire 6.2 miles and Cardiac Hill (killer hill at mile 3). I ran to the finish line with Kay who pushed us and when I crossed I broke down. If I could have laid in the road and wept I would have. I was happy because I had beat myself and won, yet I was sad because I knew that at that moment everything had changed. The Spirit never lies.
The next year I didn’t get in and I didn’t really care to run either. I was sad and angry and I did not have the energy, nor the respect, for the process of running the Peachtree. But oh what a difference a year makes. This year I am celebrating my new found independence the only way I know how. Running. Running my race.
When the email came through congratulating me on making it in, I leaped out of bed and squealed with joy. I get to celebrate independent Me from where it all began. I get to do this not to prove someone wrong or to lose myself. I get to do this on my terms, for my reasons and be present for it all. When I cross the finish line this year, I cannot guarantee I won’t break down again, but I can be sure of one thing: nothing will be the same. I can’t wait to see the amazing things in store.
It is cool how Life works. It is even more astounding how the Universe rises up to meet you where you stand. This phase of my life is about celebration and enjoyment and pacing and exploring. I cannot possibly see tipping my hat to this phase in a more fun, liberating way.
It has been discussed before that I am a thinker. Unfortunate at times. My mind is constantly buzzing with questions and assumptions and judgements and randomness driving me batty after a while. The noise does not really stop unless I am listening to music or watching a movie–something to numb it. Something to drown out the constant drumming of thinking, thoughting, thinking….
This morning on the way to work my head was buzzing with thoughts from relationship crap to God to moving back home to getting a new job to losing weight. My head was swirling with noise and the only thing I could possibly think to do was to put on the headphones and turn up the music. After it all settled down, the only thought suffocating all of the others was do more and think less. Do. More. Say. More. Live. More. Think Less.
How often do we actually do? How often do we open our hearts and actually love? How often do we smile at a complete stranger or hold open a door or let someone in (both driving and emotionally I suppose)? How many times in the day do you think about doing something but talk yourself–or think yourself–out of it? How often do we just….do?
The Boy came to me yesterday evening and told me to pick him up late from school this week because he would be trying out for the track team. This morning when I wished him luck, he looked at me with all sincerity and said “I don’t need it. I’m gonna make it anyway. I’m already the fastest one out there.” And with that he closed the door and walked into the building. He is a doer. He believes. He sets his goal. And he does. He. Does. He doesn’t mull it over 900 times. He doesn’t craft a plan (a), (b), and (c). He sees, he believes, and he does.
I drove off with I Lived blaring in my ears, inspired by The Boy’s doing and decided to do more and think less. Life is so short…why waste it by being locked in your own head. Of course that does not mean jumping in with both feet every time an idea comes along, but so what if you do. At least you are doing…
There. I said it. I have been keeping it close to the chest for a few days now, unsure of the reaction it would elicit (unsure of my own reaction).
It feels strange. Not that anything has changed per say, but just the fact that there is now another layer being added to our–uhh–The Us is an odd fit (saying the word ‘relationship’ when speaking of the romantic variety is hard to actually say…it gets stuck in my throat…it’s a work in progress).
For the past 5 months or so, Young Gun and I have been conversing on a friendly (but a little more than friendly) level. Butterflies, stolen flirty glances, and swift middle school kisses have floated in and out of our pretend relationship for a while. I made sure to keep all options open (as did he) and just simply enjoy the pretend. Funny thing about pretending–if you do it long enough, you are bound to start the real thing.
Quite honestly (despite the apparent inability to say the word ‘relationship’), I am happier. He does not expect me or want me to be anything other than myself. He totally digs my fro, prefers jeans, sneeks, and a naked face over 5″ heels and short skirts, and believes I can do whatever I put my mind to. When I told him about The Marathon, he didn’t double over in laughter for 10 minutes (yes…that actually happened to me before). When my hair is huge & ridiculously fro-ish, he gives me a high five and smiles. When he sees me in jeans and a tee shirt, it is like metal to a magnet. I can say weird stuff or laugh at terrible jokes or drag him to see awful chick flicks and he accepts it all. He constantly reminds me to not open the door for myself or carry things when he is around. He knows which weekends are my free weekends without me ever saying a word. He is respectful of my children and the space I require for them. I. Am. Happier.
I am still riding this ride one day at a time. I am still just having fun. I am still just keeping pace. I am still putting focus where it is needed. There is no pressure to be anything other than myself; no pressure to do anything other than what I do; no pressure to go where I don’t normally go. He is simple. This is simple. We are simple. And after the long journey I had before, simple (and slow) is just fine by me. Now…about those wedding dresses….(NOT!) 😛
Never in my life have I felt accepted. Throughout school I always felt like an outsider. During my marriage I always felt like The He was looking for something else. Even among my friends, today, I do not feel completely comfortable with being exactly who I am. No, they have never asked me to be anything different and to be quite honest (outside of a few relationships/circumstances) no one has actually come right out and said there was something wrong with me. The feeling is there, none-the-less.
Very recently I figured out the only way to get over the feeling of exclusion was to accept the unaccepted: Me. Sure, I have said it before, but I never fully felt it until now. I do not expect to feel secure in self 24/7 (i.e. Forever Never The Dancer), but I do expect to feel comfortable in my own skin.
Perhaps it comes from getting older, or perhaps it comes from the people I surround myself with, or better yet–perhaps it comes from understanding that God loves me just as I am. He understands every flaw and shines His light on every nook and cranny. Yet…He loves me anyway. He cares for me anyway. He blesses me anyway. He gives me great responsibility anyway.
Looking at myself through His eyes helps me to be okay with who I am. It can be messy and it can be a struggle but it is worth it. Living life never accepting yourself is a waste. Thank God I am no longer feeling wasteful. Thank God I am able to accept the unaccepted.