Life changes, and we with it, so although the URL remains the same, you'll find the content very different. This is me just looking to figure stuff out. For now my journey has taken a turn, and I'm learning to like the new route. As I mark my journey I will use this space to share thoughts, ideas, insights, and probably even pain. Depending on how my day is going, the posts will vary accordingly, so, if you want to look away, I get that.

By the way, I don't mind if you share or use, but please do the right thing and credit me for any written word you take from this page.

December 19, 2014

What I Did and What I Learned

So, here's what I did. I put up my tree. No big deal, right? I know it is not Festival of Trees quality, and certainly won't garner any gasps or declarations of "oh my GOD that's amazing." But none of that matters, because it's my tree. I have no expectations for anything except that it gives me satisfaction to open the boxes, admire my decorations, and recall which of my children or family members or friends made or gifted the ornament to me. This ritual has been a part of the pleasure I experience every year.

But this year was something a bit different. This was the first year in four years I've put up a tree, because it's the first year I've had my own place in that time. And what's funny is I wasn't sure I would do this. The damn thing has been sitting in my living room since Thanksgiving weekend when I moved in. Several times I thought "yeah, this is the night!" or "I know, I'll put up my tree and decorate it!!" But then I would think, "nah, I don't think I will. Not this year. I don't really want to. It's too much work. I'm not in the mood. I'm not feeling it. Why bother?" Why indeed...

And then something happened. An epiphany if you will. I sat there pondering the box that held my tree, examining the reasons I wasn't doing this thing, and recalled that when my boysez and nephews were helping me move, they teased me about the two trees and the numerous boxes and tubs of decorations they were loading into the truck, asking me again (because it's been years since the last time they asked) why I loved decorating for Christmas so much. I love it because it's pretty, and because it's something I was able to do in the lean years to make my house more beautiful and shiny and less drab and dull. I love it because it makes people smile and it makes me smile and because it's a time when people get together and celebrate whatever it is they are celebrating. I love the memories that live in those boxes and tubs, and  the fact that whether you are just  a  mediocre decorator or one who is terrible it's forgiving. The great thing is you don't have to be good at it for it to be pretty, and how often throughout the year does that shiny gift land in your lap?

As I sat there pondering,  I realized the root of my hesitancy, which was that this year was supposed to be different. I was supposed to be doing this Yuletide holiday with someone, and that wasn't going to happen.  I was letting that stop me. And that's when I reminded myself that I AM someone, and I am worth it. I remembered that I had promised not to let loss steal my power or my life like the Grinch sneaks into Whoville and steals Christmas while everyone sleeps. I remembered that denying myself this pleasure was relinquishing part of ME to someone who wasn't even here. And that's dumb as hell.

So what I learned as I began  putting together that brand new tree I bought four years ago and dusting tubs and sorting through decorations was really a reminder that I don't need someone else to make me happy. I am happy on my own, happy with myself, and I always have been. The idea of needing someone to make me happy has always been foreign to me, and this is not the time in my life to change something perfectly healthy about myself into something cheapened by someone else's insecurities and inability to be happy. So I turned up the Christmas music, poured a glass of wine, and enjoyed my company while I engaged in doing one of the many things in life that gives me pleasure.

Which leads me to what I want to share with you: find your happiness inside. Don't waste another moment of your life denying yourself a life of being happy with yourself, don't blame others if you are not happy, and please do not wait for someone else to make you happy, because honey you cannot be happy with someone else if you are not happy with yourself. Be happy because that's what carries you through life, rejuvenates you when life is not what you expected or wanted, adds light to chase away the darkness, and shines up the dull bits.

This Yule and in the future I hope you find your happiness and know peace.

December 8, 2014

Done and done

So, I've been whining around about my broken heart for going on three months, and I'm over it - as I'm sure you must be. I moved into a fabulous new apartment with a view of the city, finally got the closure (never ever underestimate the value of closure in healing) I sought, have my stuff that I haven't had for over three years, and every single morning get to wake up in an apartment I love and always envisioned myself in. Pretty wonderful right???

With every step I took, I came closer to healing - to feeling better and letting go. It was funny that when we had our closure conversation the other night (via e-mail, because face to face, phone, or Skype is hard you know), I heard him tell me more of the same, and here's what happened. I pushed and told some truths he didn't like, including reminding him that I had to explain to my mother that I couldn't hold on to this wonderful man she thought was the best thing ever - a belief he helped nurture for her. So he did what he does best: he shut down. Mr. "I'm so honest I love honesty I embrace honesty, ooh look at me being honest" could not deal with the honest, so he said the only thing he could say: "I have nothing more to say." So I sent a short reply that basically said "Fine, but some advice: don't do that to future girlfriends, because no one deserves to feel shitty because of you" and I went to bed....

I woke up the next morning and laying there in my wonderful purple wonderland I call a bedroom, I thought "Wait... Wait a damn minute. Hold up!  I got that COMPLETELY wrong! He's not a wonderful guy, because people who are wonderful don't lie and deceive and then be all about , 'ooh, sorry I lied to you, my bad.' Wonderful guys don't do what he did. He's not wonderful AT ALL! Furthermore, I didn't lose HIM. HIS sorry butt lost ME!" And I got out of bed and I realized that it was finally broken and done.  Because that's how the women in my family - survivors the lot of us - work. We will put up with a whole lot of stupid man-shit, but when we are done, we are done. Done.. D O N E. So, I got that going for me.

As part of me moving on, I took photos of all the motorcycle gear he bought me and listed it on eBay. Including tucking away a pair of Harley-Davidson earrings in the pocket. Earrings he bought me that really weren't me at all but that I pretended to like because he bought them for me. And of course, you know that feels good...

Now I'm just excited. I'm excited that I'm living in a city I love and always wanted to live in, in an apartment with a city view that screams me as if it was built for me a century ago and has been waiting for me all this time. I'm living in a style I can afford, on my own. I'm excited that he no longer owns a piece of me, because you see, what I forgot was that as long as you keep grieving over a person who treated you like shit, as long as you stay angry and don't forgive them you keep giving them power. You keep letting them own a part of you. It's when you release them that the love you have for yourself strengthens, and you stand a little taller, and you remember that what doesn't kill you does in fact make you stronger.

So now, this is my life, and this is my view from someplace different. In a light-filled apartment out windows that make me smile every single time I turn around, close to the Oregon Coast, doing work I love. All I need now is that tortoise.. Maybe my kids will get me one for Christmas. I will name her Morgana. You can look at the photos when I post them, express awe, and feel free to comment about the amazingness that will be her.

December 1, 2014

Miracles Happen

I did not write this, but I found it today and decided to use this space to share:

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand
     And chaining a soul;
And you learn that love doesn't  mean security
     And presents aren't promises;
And you begin to accept your defeat with your head up
     And your eyes open ~
With the grace of a woman
     Not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today
     Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain
And futures have a way of falling down mid flight.
After a while
     You learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
     Instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers

And you learn that you really can endure

          And you really are strong

               And you really do have worth.

                    And you learn...

                         With every goodbye, you learn.