I have been thinking about writing here for a while, but just haven’t been able to make myself do it since November. It’s been an interesting couple of months. Life is surprising and wonderful things pop up where you least expect them that can turn your life around most profoundly, but regardless of how wonderful these things might be, change takes time to process and there’s a whole lot of “what the fuck” that goes along with it. Life moves forward and you gotta roll with it. You have to take care of business. Sometimes it’s exciting, sometimes it’s frustrating, and sometimes it’s just so mind-numbingly stupid all you can do is look around and the closest equally bewildered person and say, “I know, right?” It gets overwhelming, this thing called life. It’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s ice-pick through your pupil painful. It can be wildly unfair. It can hurt. It can be depressing as often as it’s wonderful. Here’s the thing: this shit ain’t for pussies. Figuring it out can be the hardest thing until you realize that there really is nothing to figure out at all because the minute you figure it out, things change. Everything is in constant flux. Just when you think that you’ve found your solid footing, guess what? That damn rug gets pulled out from under you again. Better to just learn to float. And that is when the only real thing that matters are 3 words: I love you. Saying them to someone. Hearing them from someone. Saying them to yourself. Whatever. I love you is the same as Thank you, but kind of squishier and fuzzier and, well, you know.
My life has fallen into these 5 categories. I know it’s been a long long time since I’ve been here, so here’s a run down of some of what has been filling the categories of my days.
When we bought this house 11 years ago and started packing up our stuff to move, I came across a box of my hold high school stuff. I was ready to throw the whole thing out unopened, but Brian insisted we go through it. Inside I found programs from operettas, old notes, pictures, the publications that had my poetry in them, senior pictures of my friends, my diploma, a high school memory book and assorted other flotsam and jetsam. The memory book was barely filled out – even then I wasn’t the type of person to get too sentimental about that kind of stuff – but there were a few things written in it from friends. I found it funny that probably 60% of the people mentioned my “funky style.” I thought back. While I certainly didn’t think it as particularly odd at the time, I suppose I did have my own flair. I was almost always in jeans, white v-neck tshirt, flannel, and combat boots like most of my friends. The only difference is that I would wear that outfit with pearls and with my long hair in a french twist. Or I would wear a fancy dress with an army jacket, little black dresses with neon tights, flowered shorts with actual bowling shoes I stole from the local bowling alley. Okay, my boyfriend stole them, but whatever. I was also one of the first people in my crowd to have a tattoo. In 1993, kids didn’t have tattoos. I felt very comfortable in my skin and my clothes, but I got lots of “what the fuck” back then and now, 21 years later, I’m getting it again. While my youngest son now wears my Doc Marten boots and I no longer wear an army jacket, I am still expressing myself visually. I got my tongue pierced. I got my septum pierced. I got a full chest piece tattoo. (You can see all this stuff on my Instagram.) They all mean something very important to me and I love each one of these new pieces, but it seems that folks wonder WTF has happened to me. The answer is simple: Everything and nothing. I am still the same person I always was. And I change every day. It makes me do my own version of wtf: what the fuck does it matter to you? Maybe I’m a little sensitive.
I wrote not too long ago about an event that shook my little family of three to the core. While that event got squared away, it spawned some other WTF moments. One of the people who perpetrated the original awfulness decided to sue me. It was the most outlandish, egregious, poorly thought out decisions I have ever experienced first hand. There are a few people who know the details, which I will not expound upon here, and all of us collectively shouted to the world, “WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK???” This time, my sweet kiddos got in on the act and actually contacted and shook some sense into this person and the lawsuit was dropped rather quickly, but let this be a lesson to you all: crazy is as crazy does.
My girl dog, Audrey, has decided that she gets to get on the furniture now. We’ve had her 2.5 years and she never got on the furniture before, but now she does. WTF?
My main tv remote no longer controls the volume nor the power. WTF?
I bought a new vacuum and love it more than any other appliance. WTF? (okay, maybe I have changed. A little.)
I have been feeling the need to make some professional changes in my life for a few years. Yes, it’s been a long long long time coming, but today I took the final step. I am no longer involved in any of the managerial or secretarial duties at Yoga Sol. I just teach and I have to say that, while it was a wonderful run and I’m grateful for the experience, I’m relieved to have scaled back. The person who replaced me is doing a much better job than I did. It’s better for the studio, and it’s most assuredly better for me, as well. Teaching will always feed my soul and I couldn’t function without it. I’m grateful to be able to focus on that fully.
While I haven’t been writing here, I have been writing. I am spending quite a bit of time on my other love: live music. I’ve been blessed to fall into ranks with a community that supports, creates, and promotes real musicians doing genius stuff independently from huge labels. I have been attending shows, interviewing artists, laughing and dancing and writing and living and … wow, it’s so much fun! You can find interviews I’ve done over at MoonRunners Country and I look forward to more experiences coming up. These people I have met have become my family and I couldn’t be happier nor prouder of my association with them.
It’s fucking cold and I fear Spring will never arrive. I could go on about other things, but that particular item has me so depressed that everything else doesn’t matter.
TSAFP (in which I violate the TSAFP code.)
A few years ago, two of my best girlfriends and I sat down at a coffee shop to discuss a rather unpleasant happening in one of their lives. ”Rather unpleasant” is putting it mildly, but discretion being the better part of valor and all, I’ll leave it at that. While there wasn’t a solution then (and there isn’t a solution now,) we pretty much summed up the whole experience by saying This Shit Ain’t For Pussies. Sorry ladies, I just released the code out into the world.
While I have learned over the years to not take on the troubles of others, I am a very compassionate and empathetic person. Some of the people I feel closest to in the whole world are dealing with some serious stuff right now: addiction, domestic abuse, mental illness, divorce, declining health of elderly parents, poverty, serious physical injury, abandonment… it’s all really heavy stuff. There isn’t much I can do but care, and oh, how I care! Having been to the bottom and having pulled myself part of the way up, I relate to how hard things can be. This Shit Ain’t For Pussies, but I’m with you. I care. I’m here.
Every single morning, when I walk out of my bedroom, I am greeted before I even make it to the bathroom by love. Zeus, the puppy, stands up on his hind legs, puts his paws on my shoulders, and hugs me. That’s 89 lbs of puppy love. At least he has learned to jump higher than my bladder. A few minutes later (after I’ve taken care of pressing matters,) my oldest child puts a cup of coffee into my hand (coffee that he doesn’t drink, but makes for me every single day,) and kisses my forehead. He’s taller than me now, and it’s funny how the role has been reversed. ”Good morning, Mom! How were your sleeps? (a throwback to our conversations when he was a tiny one.) Did you have good dreams?” I ask him what he has been reading that morning and tell him what our plan for the day is. A little while later, the youngest comes out. He sleeps a lot these days – growing so fast is tiring work. Some days I’m lucky – some days he will still curl on my lap for a snuggle. Other days, he kisses my cheek and stumbles, bleary eyed, into the kitchen to get his own breakfast. He’ll usually bring me a glass of juice. We talk a bit as they eat and eat and eat (teenagers!) About the time I pour my 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee, I either send or receive a “Good Morning” text to or from a person who fills many of my thoughts. The last text of the day and the first text of the morning is usually interacting with this person and it’s a heartwarming feeling.
I go about my day, working on the kids homeschooling projects, making meals, making plans, making the most out of every minute. I look at the calendar and see who is coming into town, which concert is next, what article is due. Emails, Facebook, Instagram, each one filled with something that makes me smile. Dog kisses, fresh warm laundry, the perfect cup of chai tea, lunch with a friend, memories flashing like shooting stars, music so raw and so pure it makes me have to remember to breathe. Old friends and new friends texting, calling, checking in or asking me if I want or need to check out for awhile with them. Asking “how are you?” and really meaning it and knowing that the people who ask me the same really mean it, too. Impromptu dance parties with my littles who are far from little anymore.
I cannot count the number of times a day I say or I hear “I love you.”
When it all boils down to it, those are the only letters of the alphabet that matter.