Tag Archives: environment

too grown up- thoughts about being rational

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So it’s late and I’m writing. A sure sign that my head is too full.  I’m not sure I know how to have fun. Not that I don’t laugh or enjoy people’s company but somewhere along the way I got too scared to trust “good” things. Like life or karma or something was just waiting in the wings to bite me in the ass the moment I let my guard dowhatchingn. And the funny thing about self-fulfilling prophecies is that sooner or later you’re right.

I got very good about weighing the odds and making the “right” choices. There is a part of me that almost wishes I could go back and re-do my 20’s knowing that I would be fine. But my life didn’t set me up to know things like that. I only knew that it was on me, to make it or to fail. I believed I could do it but I never dared to dream of anything more, bigger than what I could hold with my own two hands.

There was a moment when I let myself think like that. And for a while it was inspiring and I was bold. And then it changed. Like a house of cards the years of “you will fail” that I had managed to hold at bay by graduating from college, getting and keeping a job, finding someone to love; suddenly none of that mattered. It was like ten years of life amounted to one epic disaster called me. No amount of careful planning, determination or restraint had saved me.

I wonder now why I “seemingly” wasted my time being so good? I’m really not trying to build myself up. I was that kid who didn’t miss a day of school and did all their homework. I didn’t drink before twenty-one and didn’t have serious relationship until after college. I lived my life trying to make as few waves as possible, to do things the “right” way. I know that all of these ideas were/are well rooted in the instability of my childhood and my own fears about being noticed and not measuring up.

But now as an adult I look back and wish I could tell myself that it wouldn’t have mattered if I had missed a day or two of school. If  I had attended even one party in college. If I had a fling or two. But I do not know how to be that person. I do not know how to not look at what “could” happen given my choices. I envy those people who just feel like doing something and they do. I’m not saying that I want to become a care free hedonist. But it would be nice to not have to think all the time.

So I dance and I let my friends con me into stuff I would never do on my own, in the hopes that one day it won’t be quiet so scary to just go with something and not know how it will all turn out. To lay some little piece of myself in the hands of fate willingly.

 

Thoughts on the Holidays

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So life…it’s the holiday season for me. I always want to love this time of year but for the past few years it has been hard not to see all the changes and differences in my life. My family does not do big get togethers. In fact Thanksgiving usually marks the beginning of my father’s “I hate Christmas/ this season in general,” story that I have had to listen to every year.

I last year I just wanted it to pass by but this year I find myself needing a little holiday cheer. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t have my own issues about the holidays. It is hard to listen to other people tell their happy stories and know that more than likely that will not be me. But I’m working on making my life what I want it to be instead.

I spent Thanksgiving with my friends and the weekend with my sister and her family. It was really wonderful. There was no drama, not fighting and I even clocked a few new good memories. Christmas is harder though. I can’t really remember a good one while I was married. We always went to see his family because he didn’t like/ was uncomfortable with mine.  And I have a hard time crashing someone else’s Christmas.  When I was child it was a special day for families (nuclear) and I don’t have one of those. Just me and the cats.

I’ll put up my tree sometimes this week and the boys (cats) will begin the yearly camp out.  I’ll burn candles that make the house smell nice and I’m sure a few batches of cookies as well. But all these things are just things. I miss singing carols with my sister. I miss baking with my mom. I miss having someone to share things with. I know that in part the distance is my choice. But I would rather have an empty Christmas than one that is filled with fighting and guilt.

So I’m off to find my own holiday. Don’t know if I’ll be successful but I’m going to give it a shot.

perspective: changing sides of me

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Have you ever looked at yourself and been unsure of the person looking back at you? I find myself in such a state, it’s not bad parse but it is very different from the rest of my life.

I am a person who doesn’t really do labels of most kinds but I realize that this rule -like so many others- was only applied to the people outside of my head. For a long time I wanted to be the “good daughter” I’m not sure I even realized how far that one went until I didn’t want to do that any more. I wanted to be a “good student,” in HS and college. I never sassed my teachers and always did my homework.

I have tried and will continue to be a “good friend” though I know I get too caught up in my own stuff sometimes. When I was married  I desperately wanted to be a “good wife.” And I became another person to try to pull it off. I knew that I was a “good teacher, bad writer and someone who loved to sing and make art.”

But now precious few of these way of identifying myself feel real or wanted. And the terms I find myself thinking in feel different; sometimes comforting and others threatening. So many of the labels I had hurt to try to retain. I know there is something taking that space but I don’t know what it is. There are so many things I could do and I could be. And I know that the “you must have a purpose” part of me would love to just latch on to anything to keep from being a void. But that is where I am.

I have met a lot of interesting people lately that have caused me to think of myself in different lights and for that I am grateful. I have a strong inclination that the person I used to be is fading away. I am uncertain of the person I am becoming but I trust change. Some seeds take fire to sprout.

 

Trust: poem

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When did I first learn not to trust you?

Was it an unanswered cry in infancy?

A tearful, childish night I was sent back to bed without a hand to hold?

Or was it the nights I listened to stories yelled through the walls,

Shattering my illusions of home?

Was it the first time you doubted my judgment?

Pointed out how my “methods” needed improvement,

How different I am from you?

Or was it when you decided I wasn’t worth the sacrifice of anything to be in your life?

Was it when I realized that little girl still lived inside me?

That I had not managed to kill her with my rationals and coping mechanisms?

When you still loved those that failed to take care of you?

When you loved someone who could not love you in return?

I don’t remember. I only know that I want to try again.

Amanda C 2012

What I’ve been up to

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I know I have been quiet for a while. It’s not that I haven’t thought about the blog or haven’t had things to say. But I have found (over the past year or so) that it is best to write after a situation is resolved, so I have some perspective, instead of in the thrall of the moment. It can become a serious TMI in a heart beat.

That said, it is a little calmer now and I think I am beginning to see what my life might be like on the other side. At this point what I am dealing with is all me, the rest has been resolved, salted and burned never to resurrect itself again. But there are a lot of questions I have for myself about who I am, who I’m not, who I want to be and how the heck I got this way.

Example, I used to be a bold-ish, laugh all the time, a shiny, happy type of person. I knew what I was good at and had confidence in those abilities. Now I am afraid to laugh, to let anything good in (not because I don’t think I deserve it) because I don’t want to feel how much it hurts that she (the happy girl) was in a coma and is now trying to wake. I want to really live again, to let myself love my life again and stop being afraid that at any moment my life will fall like cards. So I have set out on a mission to find what I love and try my best to hold on to it even if I’m terrified.

In that spirit I have taken up two new ways to challenge and make my life more colorful. I have always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument. So I bought a bamboo flute (above) and am going for it. I love the sound and it is helping me to learn music instead of just sight-read. Also I look forward to doing something soothing after 8 hour of computer screens (I have three) and stat order after stat order.

The second is so out of character for me that I shocked myself when I took it on and then continued with classes. I am learning two different Latin dances. Bachata (slow/sexy) and Salsa (fast/challenging). I never would have said that I wanted to dance, liked to dance or had the self-confidence to get out there and just have fun. But I find myself practicing in the living room and I just bought my fist pair of “real” dance shoes. Who knew your needed felt to turn properly?

Last night I went to a local restaurant the hosts a Latin night to meet up with some of my classmates and practice in a “non-class” environment. Let me say that at the best of times I don’t like rooms full of strangers, add to that performance anxiety and I could have spent the night on the bench. But my teachers and class mates are so wonderful and made me laugh at myself and get out there anyway. I ended up having a good time and even ran into a co-worker while I was there.

It is interesting that dance lets me learn to trust parts of myself that I haven’t before and I like the person I am when I’m dancing. There is so much of who I used to be and how I used to feel about myself that lives in this hazy place called the past. But when I work on music or dance, it is something that I am doing for me, in the now and has no ties to any of that. And that is liberating. I know that I will sing and draw and inspire young people again someday. But for now they are the field lying dormant, waiting to be fertile again and while they rest I will explore the other pasture newly cleared and full of possibility.

 

self induced coma

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I sit in my chair reflecting quietly,

And the smile for the sunshine and morning well spent fades

And it is hard to breathe.

My cat sleeps under my comforter, a warning of my mood.

I do not call, I am so sick of my own voice.

I want them to believe I am happy, well.

But for some unknown reason I am lost, broken again.

I do not have the energy to hate myself for this indulgence.

I morn nothing, I hate nothing,

And there is nothing but pain where my heart used to be.

I feel joy in fleeting moments and run from beauty;

Anything that could wake my heart from its sleep.

And yet, it dreams, of love and happiness and peace.

But in my waking world these dreams feel like nightmares.

And what sain person feels like that?

AS 2011

Grand Bay: day trip

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This past Saturday I took myself on a day trip to Grand Bay Wildlife Refuge which is less than 10 min from my house. I was really surprised by how nice the picnic area was and how long the board walk to the tower is.

It was cold and quiet, it made for the perfect morning stroll. I enjoyed the solitude and the chance to just be with nature far away from the sounds of people.  I forget sometimes how necessary it is to remember my place in the world as just one small thing living with many others; some much older than  myself.

There is a cypress stump there that they think was around 600 yrs old when the loggers cut it down. That is older than our country! I didn’t see many animals a few small birds and one heron. There were some late season flowers and weeds making a go of it before we get frost.

I had a really good time, it was nice to get out and take some photos. Here are a couple more.