I feel 17 inside in so many ways and I joke that I am 21 for life. I know that I have grown incredibly since those days, and in so many, too many ways too count. I have “matured”, I have reached the points where you realize: that is your mother speaking(?!), I have LEARNED. But it has always amazed me, given me a moment where I need to pause and reflect; I AM still that “young” girl in so many ways. I have wondered if it is for others the way that is for me…
Those little things about myself that have NEVER wavered, the thoughts, the hopes and dreams, what I see when I look in the mirror; I am STILL that “girl”. If I look hard enough, I can see the new little lines in my face, the changes in my skin, and I can of course acknowledge the things that have altered certain thought patterns/beliefs. But, I still see that “spark” in my eyes, I feel that energy; the one that consumes you with interest and naivety, and excitement, desire, curiousity… I am not growing older, I am growing wiser.
There are times that I question that “wiser” element of life. We live only once in this lifetime, we experience this life one time; tough times, hard times, it doesn’t matter, we must do what is required to live life to the fullest. As we “age”, our rationale, our vision of life and the future, our toleration; it all seems to shift, even just enough to rattle who we have believed ourselves to be. We question our beliefs and our actions, in many situations because that is what we have been taught SHOULD happen when we finally “grow-up”.
I kind of, I DO, refuse to accept that for myself. In true fashion of “ME”, I snub my nose at society’s expectations of my future. I fully accept, and welcome all I have yet to learn, but as for my true spirit, the “real me”, I am not going to do much in the way of changing.
I like, love, myself just the way I am. In and out, ups and downs, I am the person that I am, who I was intended to be and “perfect just the way I am”.
I had carried a purse for at least 15 years of my life; always black and usually with some type of “silver” detailing, but always varying in size and shape.
Each, and every, time I purchased a new purse, I would promise myself that this would be the one that would be kept neat and organized, and never overfilled. Roughly a month later, that promise would be a distant memory, leaving me with an overstuffed and cluttered junk drawer!
Towards the end of my life with a purse 2 years ago, I may have begun to go overboard, but at least I usually had whatever little thing might be required in a given situation! I carried, among many other typical and some not so normal items, a little flowered hammer with a handle that unscrewed to reveal a few different screwdrivers, a tape measure, and a multi-headed screwdriver. Ok, yes, I am/was an Interior Decorator, but it wasn’t my attaché/briefcase/work-kit, I carried this stuff in my purse!
In a sense, a portion of my world, who I am was carried in my purse, and I always kept it close at hand.
Then came mommy-hood. Enter, the DIAPER BAG. Well, let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised to discover what I could carry in it! Never mind that it wasn’t as “stylish” (okay, I am not a FASHION-ista in ANY SENSE, but I DO know what looks good and what isn’t acceptable!), it had room for most anything I wanted/needed to carry!
Times, they are a’changing! The need for such a large bag is diminishing and the NEED for some little piece of ME is screaming out! So, a couple of days ago, I went out and brought home a little something for Mommy, a little beauty that I have been eyeing up.
She’s pretty; small, black (of course!), white stitching and including my favorite silver detailing! Just the right size for what I intend to fill it with put in the designated places. I pledge anew that she will be kept clean and clutter free, and this time, honestly, I mean it!
As though a distant memory of another life, or perhaps a glimpse into the future of this life, I am at times overcome with a feeling of nostalgia, recollection so deep it seems to come from within the blood that flows through my body. A picture is all it takes. I am taken to a place inside that screams “take me there now! I miss being there…”
I have this vague knowledge in me that seems to come from my earliest memories, I recall books and shows, and as I watched, I KNEW these other countries, these other places were to be in my life. I would be there, no questions in my mind. There was to be this unbelievably amazing and magical life that was waiting for me; funny, the “magic” age that I always saw for myself, from a young age, was 45; still got a few years to go! Was/is it a naïve assumption that “it will come” to me? Could it possibly be something that is destined for me and I have always known it?
I can, at this time, only drink in, soak up and revel in these overwhelming feelings, glimpses, memories… Which is just fine for me, right now. I am taken to some beautiful places that I look forward to being in, and I WILL be there.
"I am going to that country which I have all my life wished to see." -William Blake
I am who I am; who I was intended to “be” on this journey. I am the person that I should be BECAUSE of what I have lived, not despite it.
I learned long ago that blame was pointless. I am and have always been responsible for my own life. Sure, there are things in my past that “shouldn’t have been”, but the fact remains, that IT WAS. Regret and blame fall to the side because it cannot be changed, I can only move forward. There is nothing that any one person could have DONE or NOT DONE differently in my life that would have changed who I am today, whatever their role at the time, however they responded to “me” in the moment, was exactly how it was supposed to have been.
The dark, the sad and the scary things I have lived through were necessary in bringing me to this point in my journey. While I may have experienced or done things that came from a place where I dare not step now, I learned so much during those times; if I take the time to honestly look at/examine the events.
As I continue to grow, I find myself wondering why we hide these truths about ourselves. What makes us feel reluctant to share the things that helped to create the person we’ve become? The harder we try to ignore where we came from and pretend that certain things never happened, the more pieces of ourselves we lose. To know who we are and where we are going, we must acknowledge where our roots began. To deny our past in any form only prevents us from really growing in every aspect of our journey.
If I can’t be open and honest about my truths, how can I believe that I have truly worked through and learned anything about my life and who I am?
One of her favorite pastimes when she was a teenager was hitchhiking. Typically, with at least one other girl, on quiet nights they would take rides looking for something to do. When she was 16, she and one of her younger friends found a ride with 2 older guys. They had a few drinks as they drove the streets of the small city, nothing serious and no harm done. Her friend was interested in the driver and had exchanged numbers with him.
A short time later, on a boring Sunday afternoon, this girlfriend called with an invitation to go with the guys for a few beers and a drive in the hills. It was right up her alley, so of course she accepted. After several hours and beers, she was quite buzzed and they were having fun listening to the Tragically Hip as they drove. Time flew, and she was actually surprised when they pulled up to a gas station, they had taken the back road ALL the way through to the next town. She was also concerned about the time. She lived her with “over-protective and strict” mom; curfew, especially a simple dinner curfew was just not something she usually ignored.
After much pressure from her girlfriend, who did not have such limitations in her home, and of course the guys, she gave in and called home offering an explanation of car trouble that would keep her out later than planned. She knew she was going to be in trouble, and at that point, her inhibitions what they were, she didn’t really care, and so she quietly accepted that they would continue on down the road a few more hours to another small town. They made several stops and had many more drinks before finally making the roughly 4 hour trip home.
She recalls how dark it was and how loud the music was as she sat in the backseat of the truck. She remembers feeling tired and numbed by the alcohol. The guy next to her started to move closer, his hand heavy on her leg. She felt the pressure of his large body as he closed in on her, suggestions becoming actions. She said no. Again, she said No. She repeated NO! The loud music drowned her out as she watched her friend turn with a smile, laugh and then she turned to make her own, welcomed, move in the front seat. She tried to resist as they struggled in that small backseat, but, he was heavy and she was drunk.
They finally made it home in the wee hours of the night. Her mom was obviously beyond angry and afraid for her daughter as she waited near the door. Too out of it to feel, too tired to care, she went in and took the reprimanding that she knew she deserved before her head managed to hit the pillow and succumb to sleep.
She offered no explanation, only hollow apologies as she fought the consequence of being driven to the front door of her school after only a few short hours of sleep; she was still intoxicated. She faced the ridicule of her friend, who insisted that she had obviously asked for it and then received. Her friend basically told her she deserved it and was on her own. And so, she questioned herself and her actions. She hadn’t the strength to fight back as she had wanted, so it must have given the ok. Under his force, his strength, she had given in and so that must have meant that inside she really did want it to happen.
She knew better, and so she relayed the events to a closer friend who insisted that she was not to blame, and what happened was NOT HER FAULT. She knew it was true, and yet, she said nothing to anyone else. She kept inside, where over the years she continued to question her roll in what happened. Years later, she had still wondered if she should have tried harder, screamed louder and resisted longer. She knew the truth, and that was all she needed.
Of course, some of you will instantly recognize my “use” of another voice in this piece, and to avoid questioning, I will admit that I am the “she” in the above.
I certainly do accept and recognize that the fault does not lie inside me, no matter the actions I took that led up to the events. I don’t ask for sympathy, or apology. I have dealt with it, not dwelled on it and have certainly moved past it. I am open to sharing these things because they are a part of me; who I was and who I have become. Since I was young, I have wanted the words that I wrote to touch another, to show them that they have never been alone in what they have experienced. I don’t mind sharing my inner self and experiences if it means that I can reach someone who needs to see that they aren’t the only one.
Dad, little redheaded girl and mom, holding hands and laughing; the view of our little family as we walk down the sidewalk and turn the corner to enter the tall brick building that is the home of Makiya’s eye specialists. What is not visible; mom and dad’s hearts, tightening and beating fast.
Makiya, true to her blood lines, is very strong-willed. She does not like anyone touching her hair, looking in her mouth at her teeth, her ears; anything on her head, is out of bounds to her! Thus, the doctors have a hard time examining her, giving her a proper diagnosis. They have been able to slightly notice her eye that wanders outwards, but they can’t really tell the severity/depth of her problem, and have only said so far that her vision itself is perfect. This being the 4th appointment, finally we were given two conditions to “check out on the internet”; Intermittent Exotropia and Divergent Strabismus.
While they have assured us during this past year that it is NOT serious, we are rapidly heading down the road that says SURGERY for our baby girl’s eye problem. Very hard, no matter how you look at it, for the parents to handle! 30-40 minute operation that involves cutting the skin and tightening the muscle on her eye, and apparently children handle it MUCH better than adults; very comforting. During the last appointment, I was told that they wouldn’t consider surgery until she was at least 4 years old. Today, obviously because it isn’t improving, we were told that it could be around her third birthday.
We were sent home today with approval for our own current “technique” in drawing her eye back to focus, extra tips, papers to make flash cards and matching sheets from, preparation for appointment tips, websites, etc. and the wonderful waiting period of another 2 ½ months.
It is difficult to watch your child as her eye strays from its natural path, as it begins to bother her enough that she pulls at it, rubs, squints and points at it. She doesn’t have the words yet to express how it bothers her; is it an annoyance or painful? We wonder also if it is a silent blessing that our girl is such an avid “reader” at her early age; the constant focus on letters, words and pictures surely must attribute to the strength that does exist within the deterioration of this eye muscle?!
I can fully accept and make my attempts at understanding my own journey, all of the steps that I come to realize were necessary for me to walk; but, when it comes to your child, this all changes. As a parent, guide, leader, teacher, we only desire the purest, simplest and smoothest path for the little being in our care. We wish for not a pebble or dip in the roadway that is our baby’s life; we long only for calm waters to be the grounds of their journey. It breaks our hearts to see them in any arena of discomfort.
I guess that I should be thankful; A)she is young enough that we can likely resolve it early B)providing that we are able to resolve it now, she may not even have strong memories of the discomfort that now exists C)she is living an experience that will only open her mind to things she would never have known otherwise…
Grrrr… I suppose that this is another one of those journeys that we are meant to be embarking upon; a learning experience and path that is meant for each of us.
I am a stay at home mom and literally spend all of my time with my daughter. Because I take this time with her, I know her little quirks, gestures, signs, words and attempts at words. While it is a constant learning process, for us both, for the most part I do understand her. I know that she is a little creature of habit, continuity and routine. I know that she likes things in their place, and can sometimes be distracted by something that is off. I know that after I read her “lullaby book” (in the dark!!), I must also read the description on the BACK of the book; after our goodnights, she has her special corner of her blanket in hand and is then covered, head to toe, by two other blankets. I know the little things that make my baby girl tick.
The other day it really hit me, these things I KNOW about my child.
I thought of the babies and children that are suddenly torn from their mothers, fathers or other “primary caregiver”. The complete devastation that must manifest inside these little beings as their world is ripped away from them in an instant. All of a sudden there is not ONE single person that understands their cry, their language or their routines. No one KNOWS them or understands who they are! They are, for whatever reason, taken away from the only truths, comforts and communication that they have ever known and been thrown into a foreign place. Their entire life, world and sense of self must obviously crumble before their innocent and uncomprehending little eyes.
It broke my heart as I thought of it then, and every day since. I see something on television, read something, or as I interact with my daughter, and I am taken back to this sad realization. Every day, there are so many little ones that have their lives torn apart!
It tears at my heart and makes me so grateful for the time I have with my baby girl. We are lucky, and I try to remind myself of that simple fact every day. I try to drink it all in, savor it and enjoy every minute, exactly as it is. I cannot imagine not having her in my life every day, and I can’t even fathom the confusion that would fill my little girls head if something were to take me away from her!
My heart goes out to those who have grown up to know these truths in the core of their souls, and to the precious other little ones that are right now facing this heartbreaking, life changing disturbance (? Understatement!) in their world.
Every time I log onto the computer lately, “Disconnected” seems to pop up everywhere. Its screams reach out at me and echo within. A conversation with my BF found the word floating freely from both of our mouths.
Disconnected is exactly how I feel right now, on so many levels. I don’t feel connected to anything in my life. I am drifting slowly along the path like a zombie. I mindlessly perform required actions and find even the small tasks drain the energy from my body. Last night, by 7:30 PM I could literally not keep my eyes open. I was and am listless. My joints ache and my muscles hurt. My mind is full of many things, but, it’s like looking at a foreign language; none of it makes sense to me. The little things overwhelm me and cause my body to react as if faced with sensory overload. It is as though there are sirens and wind, flashing lights and screaming, my skin is crawling and my heart is racing, my chest feels tight and it is hard to breathe. Anxiety constantly consumes me from head to toe.
In an effort to cope, after pushing endlessly through, I have now become disconnected; the fact only causing more distress inside. I know that I will wake up one morning, and all will be back on track. Everything will return to “normal”. Do I want it to, I don’t know. Can I hang on, while that time only appears on the horizon as an imaginary oasis? Will my heart hold out, not suddenly seize up in the midst of an anxiety attack? Will I manage to wade through the growing puddle of tears?
I know there is no option, I can and will get through this. There are times when life seems to chew us up and spit us out distastefully. We become so intertwined with the daily pressures that the walls around us begin to suffocate us. In addition to everything else in our lives, we become wives, mothers and maids all in one, and suddenly, who we are becomes lost and confused. It can be scary and depressing. It can be overwhelming at times, but we have no other choice but move forward.
I will become “disconnected” from this passage and become part of a new one.
After an already exhausting couple of weeks with Makiya’s suddenly confused sleep routines, we came upon Time Change. I was truly worried as we have already been dealing with 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 AM kind of waking with her; I mean WAKING UP, ready to face the day kind of awake! So I honestly was dreading what I would wake up to this morning.
4:30 AM comes awfully early. Especially when hubby and you agree to ride it out together, no matter the outcome, and stay up late! And then, hubby DOESN’T get up!
I suppose it was “technically” 5:30 as we like to say for the first couple of days. I was a little prepared physically I suppose, because we have been dealing with 5:30 pretty consistently as of late.
Makiya and I did our usual morning routine; change her training pants, grab her cup of milk and off to the couch to cuddle. This morning, I put on her new movie, Tinkerbell, and as she watched and flipped through her books, I had 10 minute little, almost sleep sessions. After almost an hour, I got to the coffee and was instantly ready to go! I wanted to get an early start on last minute errands and be ready to send off baby girl for the afternoon.
She went with Grandma to an older cousin’s birthday party; a family get-together, which means lots of cousins to play with! For hubby and I, it was a long overdue afternoon alone. We had shopping to do, which was still nice, because it has been quite awhile since we did that alone! Some time alone; and I will admit to thinking Makiya had to be upstairs having a nap and almost telling hubby to quiet down a few times!
Ah, my beautiful, growing up quickly girl!! Up so early, no nap, and a rare 6 hour, activity and adventure filled 6 hours away from mom or dad!! She seems to have fared wonderfully, and after only a brief, half hearted attempt at fussing, is soundly asleep.
I am hoping more than I can express, that between Time Change and her busy day, maybe we can begin to get back to a normal sleep schedule. Perhaps it is the perfect time for “change” in many senses.
This afternoon was such a nice, not often enjoyed, breath of fresh air for myself; it has left me at least slightly re-charged and ready to face whatever time the clock reads tomorrow morning when I hear “Mommy! Mommy… Daddy! Daddy…”
Yesterday we enjoyed another record breaking warm temperature day! It was 22 degrees in November on our streets! We went for an amazing walk, a mission really; I wanted to collect leaves to make simple placemats with; a first craft project for Makiya and I!
We stopped frequently, pausing to search for the perfect leaf and newest addition to our rapidly growing collection. We turned, felt and examined each leaf, looking for the freshest and most appealing to the eye. There was, of course, a stop at the park. Makiya was, as usual for her, excited and friendly as new children arrived; she ran to them waving and yelling “Hi! Hi! Hi!…”
We wandered out of the park and walked for several more blocks. Makiya would stop and sit on the edge of a yard, looking at the leaves, offering them to me as she went through. It was a long walk, so a few times I carried her a short distance; then she was ready to explore some more!
Our little Ziploc bag full of an assortment, we arrived home; Makiya was thirsty and ready to read some books! I pulled out the wax paper, iron and set up at the dining table. Makiya squealed as she hopped up onto my lap as I began to arrange the leaves on the paper. It only lasted a brief moment before she was off and back to her books, but it was our first attempt at a craft!
Sadly, I hadn’t realized there were some better options for putting this “placemat” together, and wound up with something that looks much prettier on the window! It is a little difficult to capture it in photo, but I still think it’s pretty!
We had a wonderful, magical time on that walk, and created a new tradition I hope; now I will also know how to put the placemat together in a much more visually appearing manner!
Halloween is over, but after reading this post on a blog I follow, I was compelled to share my own experience of a little “friend” in the house!
I lived in an old house until I was 7 years old. It was the kind of house where amazing adventures and mysteries took place, were discovered and imagined. It was also very creepy; the scary basement that I rarely stepped into and the attic rooms we were not allowed to enter. There were always spiders, big ones, little ones, and beetles! Ugh!! Even back then I had vivid nightmares of being trapped in the attic with all of these creepy crawly things surrounding me! My bed would shake a little sometimes, and one night I went downstairs to tell my dad; his response was that it was only the train. Of course! How could it not be the train that was several very large blocks away from our house! I also had an “imaginary friend” named Miranda who lived in the house. She was a little blonde girl, older than I was by a couple of years. We would play and talk together; even my parents witnessed me having conversations with her. We had a lot of fun, and I cannot remember ever feeling scared by her.
As I grew, I saw her less and less; by the time I was 7 years old and we were moving down the street, she was virtually non-existent. I remembered her and would think of her, but I don’t recall seeing her. Shortly after we moved, I was woken one night by crying; I could hear what sounded like a little girl whimpering. Curiousity led me out of my room to peek into my younger brother’s room where I thought I would find him having a bad dream, but it wasn’t coming from there. There wasn’t a tv or radio on; my parents were both asleep and it hadn’t come from our cats or dog either.
But I knew what it was. Miranda had come to check on me, to be sure that I was safe before she left me forever.
I never forgot about Miranda, and had no shame in sharing our story with friends. I knew she was not a made-up, imaginary play friend, she was a real little girl that I was lucky enough to see. I always had the sense that something had happened to her, which I guess explains why she was there, she was stuck.
9 years later, when I was 16, I was re-united my second oldest sister; we had not spoken or seen each other since she left home when I was about 3 years old. I quickly learned that my friend Miranda, had also been my sisters friend. She had the same name, same blonde hair and we shared similar experiences with her. Our older sister had witnessed her sitting up in bed at night, talking and playing with Miranda. Miranda would also shake my sisters bed; ha ha ha dad, so much for your train explanation!
Although we didn’t grow up together, my older sister and I have always been very similar in our personalities and characteristics. I imagine that is why Miranda chose to reveal herself to the both of us and no one else in our family. She knew that we WOULD see her, and I guess she felt comfortable and safe with us.
Over the years I have experienced little signs or glimpses of spirits, but nothing like what I experienced with Miranda. I think of her and our time together quite often actually. It is a little mystery that I hope to one day know more about; who she was and what happened that left her stuck in that house. My sister and I have our theories of course, but as of yet been unable to actually learn anything. Perhaps we never will.
I am finding myself walking through my days a little as though in a “zombie” state; perhaps even a little as though I am LIVING IN the movie “Groundhog Day”! I am taking each step but with no thoughts behind them, and a little as though I am walking amidst a thick fog. I feel like nothing is fresh and new. Everything feels stale, like old bread; it’s ok, but really could be a lot better!
I feel bored, exhausted, achy and dull. I try to keep a smile on my face, but it feels so phony that I would rather not even bother! I don’t even have the energy to look for the light, the rays of sunshine to point me in the right direction! I am stuck, in a pit of quicksand. My mind wonders if this is a signal, a warning to make some changes? How could it not be, especially when all we face comes to us with a purpose?
I know it will pass and all will return to its version of normal. I will suddenly be drenched in a new chapter and give little, if any, thought to the state of blah that I am currently in.
Until then, my eyes will continue to search for a clue. My mind will keep wandering and my body will take this time to regenerate itself. I will be ready when the door opens to welcome me through.