I started a new job two months ago.
I will leave it next Friday.
This is not typical for me.
But there can be a dark side to stability. Sometimes it means staying with someone who hurts you because the pain you know can seem better than even the possibility of worse pain somewhere else. It can mean sticking with something that limits you while keeping you comfortably, predictably “safe.” It can mean living with your wings wrapped tightly around you because you know you’re less likely to fall if you don’t even try testing your wings.
Of course, avoiding falling means you also never learn to fly.
I only saw this a few months ago.
I used a different analogy then, though. Read more…
Horror movies are scarier at night. So are shadows in the closet and unexpected bumps and thumps from corners of the house where no one should be.
These sounds are usually just the dog scrounging for scraps when he thinks he won’t be caught. (Try remembering that immediately while half asleep at 2 a.m.!)
There’s another kind of clarity that comes at night. With all pretensions of day stripped away, it’s somehow easier to see what’s right.
Life won’t always be merry. Sometimes, like times of mourning, simply getting from one moment to the next takes every last ounce of will.
But most the time, it’s a sign something isn’t right if most heartbeats, most breaths, most thoughts ache.
If that’s the case, something’s gotta change.
Somehow, the dim artificial lights of deep night make it easier to see that peace, contentment and laughter shouldn’t be cherries on top. They should be the glue binding everything together.
There’s too little time in one life to waste much just getting by.
By light of day, that recognition can seem sad.
By night, it’s beautiful reminder to make the most of each morning we’re lucky enough to rise like the sun.
WARNING: POSSIBLY TRIGGERING
(also an apology)
I believe you.
Those three plain words have stuck with me for two and a half decades.
My younger sister was ten years old when she testified against the family friend who had molested her for three years.
I was not allowed to be present in the courtroom while she testified lest my own testimony be tainted by hers. I, her older sister and should-have-been-protector, watched helpless through a window as she sobbed through her testimony just feet away from the molester.
I hated him then. I hated my inability to comfort my sister. I hated the narrative that turned my mom into the de facto defendant. I hated damn near everything about the trial except those three words.
A law student watching the trial followed my sister out of the courtroom and knelt down in front of her.
A new year nears,
And I wonder:
Dare I seek?
In asking, I find
The things I want
That can be
Store bought, or
Grasped with my hands
Seeing (the better to know)
Knowing (the better to change)
Changing (the better to uplift)
Uplifting (the better to soar)
Soaring (the better
To show my sons
What it is like
To be free)
Here is to our taking flight in 2015!
I watch my twelve-week-old son sleep in the middle of my bed. His belly rises and falls ever so slightly it sometimes looks like he’s a doll.
For the last twelve weeks, I have been with him most his waking moments. I’ve watched him learn to smile, laugh, and roll over. I’ve kissed his forehead as he’s done his baby push-ups against my chest. I’ve had countless conversations with him.
And now, it’s time to relinquish these moments to someone else. My heart breaks, but holds together at some seams knowing it’s still my arms that will rock him to sleep each night.
The last couple of years, I’ve seen the same lovely lady for waxing. I’ve enjoyed our amicable, easy conversation.
I was surprised when today’s conversation took a more melancholy turn. I mentioned how I’d reached to stroke my older son’s face earlier in the week and been startled to see my hands are aging. I started crying, not because of new wrinkles and spots, but because
I wrote my first blog on June 23, 1995. It was a text file I began with the earth-shattering words:
My, doesn’t she aspire to a lot! She aspires to be Bobby’s girl, and that’s all that’s important to her!
I was sixteen years old at the time. My only objectives were killing time and making my super-stellar website into more than a collection of links, which was what 99% of the web felt like at the time.
I didn’t write very often at first. I used a single short text file for all of 1995. My 1996 text file was even shorter, and included an entry written almost exactly eighteen years ago, on March 19, 1996:
[B] and I – the ‘giant teddy bear’ – moved into a rather groovy (if I do say so myself) house on eighteenth and Jefferson […]. It’s a wonder – I would never have thought that we would get it.
I’m trying to get into the Youth Corps. Hope I make it – I’m so sick of washing dishes you wouldn’t believe. I do love my coworkers, yes, but that’s not enough to combat the loneliness and feelings of incompetence I deal with through every moment of every shift. “Am I such a loser that this is the best job I can get?” It’s not, actually, but I’ve not had the energy to look for a job again until recently.
In early 1997, I was writing enough to warrant a text file for each month. I wrote only one very long entry that March, detailing how I’d emailed my boyfriend’s parents about some unkind words they’d spoken about my mom:
I wrote a letter to [B]’s parents, a letter wholly honest, nothing hidden or omitted. [B]’s father called last night and said that he wanted to talk things over with [B] – one of those things being the letter that I wrote. He said that it had them very upset. It was then that I realised that no words will ever enlighten them; no understanding will ever touch their hearts. They lost me when they left that message – and when they lost me, they lost something good. They lost an intelligent, sensitive, creative and caring human being.
I wrote about anything and everything at the time, though I surely wrote it more dispassionately than I felt it. Shortly after I wrote this particular entry, I walked to a nearby park and swung in the darkness for a long time. I ached to realize my time with B was almost over. I knew there was no way we’d be able to overcome familial differences, and that our relationship was gasping its last (prolonged) breath.
For a seventeen-year-old, even a seventeen-year-old college student versed in poverty and abuse and long since moved out of her family home, that is huge stuff. And still I had time to write about life lessons, the kind I have to keep learning every few months even now:
I talked with an old friend of mine yesterday evening, and something I said remains with me still. Our conversation had fallen to the parts of our pasts that have hurt, and I remarked that this is why I look to the future rather than at the past. We can only relive something so many times before it becomes only an exercise in agony, a reminder of pain that we have already learned from. Though today may bite, tomorrow always has the potential of being a beautiful, wonderful day.