i did it.

I finally sucked it up and emailed him.

Now I'm going to go puke my guts out as I wait for a response.

me in numbers

Tomorrow is a therapy Tuesday and I have this sinking feeling that we're going to keep picking at the oozing scab my mood is going to be rather introspective afterwards, so all I have for you this week is fluff. Recycled fluff, no less. Except for the last two. Those are new, just for you!

Facebook 25:

  1. This is the third time I've started this silly exercise.
  2. Even with the tag-back rule*, I haven't networked with enough people on here to tag 25 others.
  3. The statement above makes me feel like a total loser, even though I'm purposely keeping the number of "friends" on here to a minimum.
  4. I am a huge fan of blue-grass music. Shhhh...
  5. I *am* Jerry Bruckheimer's target audience. Except for CSI: Miami. But that's because I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE David Caruso.
  6. I always thought being a mother would come "naturally" to me. Meh, not so much.
  7. I was born in Nebraska, but my parents didn't live there at the time.
  8. I have lived in Colorado, Arizona, California, Texas, and Pennsylvania.
  9. I have visited 25 of the 50 states (house rules define a visit as staying overnight and eating a meal off airport grounds.)
  10. I have traveled through an additional 10 states.
  11. My travel adventures include biking in France, touring Mayan ruins in Belize, climbing Chiripo in Costa Rica, hitchhiking across St. John (USVI), losing luggage in Amsterdam, and climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
  12. I turned 29 the day after summiting Kilimanjaro.
  13. My son knows exactly how to crack me up when I'm trying to discipline him. I'm a sucker for his crazy expressions.
  14. I have a love-hate relationship with the distance I live from my family.
  15. I completed my first half-marathon last October in San Francisco.
  16. I will do just about anything for a bag of Cheetos.
  17. I am freakish about following the rules.
  18. I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 25.
  19. I learned to swim (beyond just a doggie-paddle) two years later.
  20. I still can't stand up and balance on a bike.
  21. I am the most uncoordinated person you will ever meet.
  22. I have no sense of fashion.
  23. My little boy is the most important thing in the world to me, but there are days when I'd trade him for a bag of Cheetos.
  24. I am scared to death of my little boy starting school because that means I have no more excuses for not getting back into the job market and I'm afraid I won't be hired.
  25. I can't figure out how to tag more than 10 people in this note. Oh, never mind. I get it now.
5 reasons he shouldn't have married me:
  1. If I were to make a meal consisting of all my favorite foods, there would be nothing he likes on the table. I'm not much of a cook otherwise.
  2. I have a bad habit of "helping" him finish his sentences.
  3. I'm not the best listener in the world.
  4. Put number 2 & number 3 together and you can see how communication might have a tendency to break down between us.
  5. I cry when I'm happy. I cry when I'm sad. I cry when I'm tired, angry, overwhelmed, exhausted, pre-menstrual, and sometimes just because it's before 10am.
29 in 1:
  1. Where is your cell phone? basket
  2. your hair? knot
  3. Your father? unique
  4. Your favorite thing? sleep
  5. Your dream last night? no
  6. Your favorite drink? depends
  7. Your dream/goal? clever
  8. The room you are in? office
  9. Your fear? isolation
  10. Where do you want to be in 6 years? confident
  11. Muffins? meh
  12. One of your wish list items? purse
  13. Where you grew up? Colorado
  14. The last thing you did? blogged
  15. What are you wearing? lots
  16. Your TV? paused
  17. Your pets? obnoxious
  18. Your computer? passable
  19. Your life? progressing
  20. Your mood? content
  21. Your car? Jeep
  22. Favorite store? Target
  23. Your summer? tranquil
  24. Your favorite color? green
  25. When is the last time you laughed? today
  26. Last time you cried? yesterday
  27. Three of my favorite foods? delivered
  28. Three places I would rather be right now? unspecified
  29. Three people I think will respond? unsure
10 bits of honest scrap:
  1. I dreamed of being a journalist until I learned about little things like "sticking to the point" and "reporting factually " and "not using 16 words when 1 will do".
  2. My extreme focus on being organized hides an insane fear of disappointing others.
  3. I am horrible at judging the amount of time needed to do *something*. I hardly ever allow enough and then can't figure out why I'm feeling rushed at the end and unsatisfied with the results.
  4. In addition to #2 and #3, I am a rigid perfectionist. So, in a nutshell, you probably would have hated assigned group work with me in college.
  5. While I am unforgiving about mistakes in myself, I tend to cut the people I love/admire too much slack. I've been guilty of helping tie the shoes that step on me more than once.
  6. More often than not, in real life I sound like a bumbling idiot. It's like my brain shuts off mid-sentence just to eff with me sometimes.
  7. I only have one or two photos of myself that don't make me cringe. I keep hoping that I'll one day find a photographer who can catch me looking happy without also looking like a gopher-pigeon.
  8. I am addicted to solving other peoples problems. I usually do a pretty good job of filtering the amount of assvice that actually comes out, but in my head? The synapses they are a firin'.
  9. One of my legs is slightly longer than the other. I secretly believe this is because I let the son of a chiropractor (someone I had met that afternoon and fallen Madly in Love With at some high school band thing) give me an "adjustment" which involved me lying on the floor (fully clothed, Mom) while he grabbed one foot and whipped my leg up and down. He effing stretched my leg out.
  10. I am worthless when it comes to keeping up with current events. It's not that I don't care, I just haven't found the medium that reports current events in a way that holds my interest.
My first 5 for 365:
  1. My one and only "xs" sweater that I bought at Old Navy 3 years ago. It's warm, it's neutral, and it makes me feel little.
  2. Torani vanilla syrup and half-n-half. Who needs Coffeemate?
  3. Wireless internet
  4. Cornstarch and water. A bowl of Oobleck, a spoon, and a small boy make the afternoon pass so much more quickly!
  5. Watching CSI:NY on the treadmill. The brain may be mush, but the body is [getting] hard(ish).

once upon a time

  • I believed that the only difference between boys and girls was the all too often subconscious cultural view that boys and girls should be different and that given the right environment those differences could be at least minimized if not eradicated. And then I learned that the other half believes that if you truly love something, you must smash it!
  • I believed that any child could be reasoned with in any situation and patience, love, and understanding could withstand any storm. Until I spent upwards of 45 minutes trying to explain to one very sleepy 3 year old that I *knew* his head hurt and I *understood* that his eyes were sore and I *knew* that he had a tummyache and omigodwouldyoupleasejustlaydownandgotosleep!
  • I believed that picky eaters and poor sleepers were a product of their environment. And then we had that dinner where I let him choose what we would have and then help make everything and everything was still "yucky" including the chocolate milk that he insisted on rinsing his mouth out with after each and every bite got spit back into the bowl.
  • I believed that violence was a purely mimicked behavior. But I have the bruise on my thigh to prove that sometimes the only way to release that much frustration is to lash out physically at the one person you want the most to stay in the room with you.
  • I believed that mother's intuition would always kick in when push came to shove. Three years later it's still a daily guessing game as to how to best mother this child.
  • I was shocked and horrified by the idea of putting a child on a "leash". And then I took him to the zoo.
  • I was embarrassed for the parents of the child screaming in public. Now I just want throw food across the restaurant myself to give them a break from all those "embarrassed" and "understanding" looks.
  • I didn't believe that love and hate could define the same relationship at the exact same time. That was before the endless negotiations started that leave me crazyproud of his reasoning skills but exhausted with trying to keep up and hold my ground.
  • I couldn't understand how a parent could ever get so out of control as to ever think about raising their hand to their child. I now recognize that the line between *thinking* and *doing* is much broader than it seemed from over there.
  • I thought that there was an endless capacity for nurturing. Now I know that to nurture, one must in turn be nurtured. So while there is a seemingly endless supply, you can't just keep dipping from the same well.
  • I thought that getting enough sleep and eating the right foods and making time for exercise and friends and family and hobbies was just a simple matter of setting the right priorities. Puking babies don't give a tinker's damn about priorities.

Oh, universe, are your sides hurting from laughing at me yet?


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playtime

In the spirit of taking my inner tyrant down a notch or two, I've been trying to get us out of the house and to something "new" more often.

Here are some of my favorite shots from our latest adventures:




Playing the fool never felt better.


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coincidence? i think not.

"I must learn to love the fool in me--the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool." -- Theodore I. Rubin, MD



And that ^, ladies and gentlemen, is my 50 minute therapy session from this morning distilled into it's purest form.


From Notes to Self by way of "...Maggie Mason's post, begat by Joanna Goddard's post, begat by Creature Comforts post..."


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hey! i think i just found the end of my navel!

First, a couple of clarifications for this post:

  • My intention was not to suggest that prayer was somehow inappropriate or dismiss it as a silly, unworthwhile thing to do. Do whatever it is you do to get involved. And if what you do is pray, then by all means, pray. But do it purposefully. It's the hands-thrown-up-in-the-air, I-didn't-vote-for- him/at-all, I-sure-hope-it'll-be-okay, we-better-pray-because-someone-suggested-that-he-might-have-a-Muslim/Jewish/agnostic/gay acquaintance-or-may-have-even-visited-a-Mosque/Synagogue/seminar/conference, but-I'll-just-leave-it-all-in-God's-hands, shrug kind of a prayer that I take issue with.
  • RE: religion in general and Primitive Baptist teachings in particular -- my feelings are somewhat mixed. I no longer see it as an all or nothing proposition. The intense belief is gone, certainly, but so is the equally fierce disdain. Yet, I struggle almost daily with how to reconcile my past with my present. Somehow I think that neither will be my future. Slowly, slowly I am coming to terms with the idea that my journey may be less about where I end up and more about exploring and experiencing all I can as I go along.
Along those lines, I had another one of those caffeine after 4pm dreams a week ago Sunday.
I am on family vacation with my parents and siblings circa much younger than I am today. 14ish, perhaps? It's kind of hazy. The important part is that I am young enough to still be the family's responsibility. I can't tell you where exactly we are or what we've been doing. That's the problem with my most vivid dreams. They're usually nothing more than a series of brilliantly colored, intense images flipping by. Not easily reconstructed in story form. Anyway. The image I have is that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. We are in imminent danger and fleeing. Also? Whatever it is that has happened? This threat to our family? It is my doing. I don't know what it is, but I am certain that I am to blame. We're driving much too fast, Mom's at the wheel. She pulls this James Bond move, driving the car straight under an enormous tractor-trailer, yanking the steering wheel all the way to the left at the very last possible minute and we go careening back out into traffic.

But now, instead of the car, we are sitting on a train, hurtling down the tracks. There is an impression that the train is simultaneously old and new -- sort of the Orient Express meets the Ligne à grande vitesse. I sit towards the back, a little off to myself. There is much whispered discussion about "What will we do?" and furtive little glances towards the back of the train from corners of eyes. I stare bleakly out the window, drained of energy and emotion alike. The responsibility for putting everyone at risk is too, too much to bear so I contemplate the desolate landscape rushing past us.

Suddenly we are crouching low behind the rubbled walls of a once grand hotel in a place at war with itself. Hotel Rwanda floats through my mind, though I have not seen the movie. There is a heaviness in the air, a desperateness. A large door opens to the left. The sudden influx of air and daylight causes the tattered velvet curtains to flutter, a Victorian damsel recovering from a fainting spell. A James Earl Jone-ish figure steps into the room, his arms outstretched, grandly offering comfort and solace. "Sanctuary!" he roars. "Sanctuary! This, too, we shall provide!"

And with that pronouncement, my family is bundled away into a waiting car. My younger sister's face peers at me questioningly from the back window. She cannot understand the how or the why any better than I. We waggle our fingers at each other as the distance between us grows.

I woke up in a rather off mood, feeling angry and abandoned. Resentful and wounded. Bitter. I couldn't shake the feeling of having been passed off to someone else to deal with. Like the runt of the litter, shuffled off to give the greater needs of the pack a better chance at survival.

I felt clearer after a more restful nights sleep, but that tinge of bitterness still clung to me, so I shared my dream with Dr. R at our session last week. Halfway through he closed his eyes and leaned his head in his hands. When I got to "Sanctuary!", he looked up at me with such sudden intensity that I almost forgot what I was talking about. I finished off my tale and grabbed another tissue. After a few moments-that-seemed-like-years of silence, he smiled at me. "I think what strikes me," he said at last, "is that it took such a long, frightening journey for you to find a place of sanctuary where you least expected it." And then, as is his manner, he folded his hands in his lap and waited.

At that moment, I hated him. I hated him and you and you and her and him and them. No! I wanted to scream. There is no silver lining! There is no good that comes from this. I am alone and abandoned and unloved and neglected and misunderstood and unappreciated and disrespected and completely undeserving of all this pain. I opened my mouth to tell him as much. And then, as has become my manner, I realized he was right.

After years of twisting and flexing and stretching and scrunching and folding myself into odd little shapes and then folding and scrunching and stretching and flexing and twisting the world around me to conform, I am beginning to recognize the senselessness of it all. It's a journey, this life; an endless highway punctuated with exits that lead to big cities and tiny towns, with the intermittent rest stop or point of interest thrown in just to make sure you're not asleep at the wheel. It's all about finding a little place that sparks your curiosity, driving down Main Street to see what there is to see and maybe stopping for a minute or two to sip a latte. About jumping out of the car to march with the parade down Broad Street until the aromas grow so heavy around you that you can no longer resist the urge to slip down a side street to sample hot, fresh beignets. Of pulling off to the side of the road and waiting for the tow truck because you were going so fast that you just didn't see that board with the nails in it in time to swerve away. It's recognizing that all around you are people in little cars, big trucks, motorcycles, and hybrids, all traveling in the same direction, only to get "there" and turn around and come back and do it all again. It's miles and miles of open highway, winding mountain roads, and dirt trails, beckoning with the simultaneous luxury of solitude and companionship.

And so I've found myself preoccupied with the concepts of community and family and what it takes to make a village and if a village is even necessary. Maybe Norman Rockwell had it all wrong. Or maybe he didn't. Maybe it doesn't matter. There are so very few absolutes and so many, many maybes and probably nots. What I know today shifts and changes into what I can't fathom tomorrow. Contrary to conventional wisdom, there seem to be more answers than questions and I just can't seem to sort out what goes where. It's stressful. It's exhausting. It's exhilarating. It's terrifying.

It's where I am.

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