I like words. Words make up sentences. Sentences make paragraphs and before you know it: you have a story. I am a story: I am living a story. My story really has no beginning and the end is no where in sight. It’s being written with each and every breath I breathe: no matter how painful those breaths may be sometimes. My story is love and laughter and pain and shock and loss and power and fear. It speaks of my candor and my caring and my loyalty and divine desire to simply live. My story is a comedy of errors and inevitable variables. It’s not a chose your own adventure where I can just go back and change directions if I do not like the outcome: oh how I wish it were. My story is full of learning. My story is full of chances taken and choices made: not all of them by me. My story occasionally promises a happily ever after, but then quickly adjusts itself to resemble a Blair Witch Project-esc story line where I am in the forest: I am frighted: there are tears on my cheeks and so much snot dripping down my face; turns out I am no ones princess. My story is full of navigating through my struggles and making peace with demons attempting to steal my soul and people who have turned into zombies that try very hard to bite me: to make me one of them (I have so far been successful at circumventing these outcomes. I am, however, getting tired of running). My story is full of promises that have been broken and truths that I did not want to know even though I asked for them. My story is full of strength gathered during long dark nights that I have survived. My story is apologies not made and explanations not granted. My story depicts the tale of someone allowing herself to be caught in the gravity of others and not being dauntless enough to be her own force in this world: yet. My story is full of splendidly beautiful life changing moments that have been drowned by the cunning behavior of others that sit alongside my memories of memories so full of elation that thinking of them sometimes makes my heart hurt so badly it stings my fingertips. My story promises tales of self inflicted pain designed by my masochistic nature: I have not yet figured out that if it hurts to do something I should probably stop doing it. My story promises incidents of my own bravery being shadowed by the antics of others attempting to knock me down and my eternal struggle to remain upright: I have been successful at this as well. Somewhere there is a shift and a change in the tenor of my story: from calm to chaos to nightmare to points where it plateaus for full chapters filled with nothing but wait and see what comes next moments: I am trying to not fall victim to believing in my friend Murphy and his law. There are chapters of me learning what I will and will not say, think or do: I will not hold on to anger as I think it is a useless emotion; I will always do my best to forgive and find peace at the end because those are things I can live with (Consequently, I try not to think of there being an end to anything: I believe in pauses instead). My story shares my struggle to sit still any longer: my need to move and explore and learn who I am: love and loss have left me empty and I desire to be as full as I can. Page by page my story continues to flow to create something beautiful: if you listen closely you can hear the crescendo of the music associated with my story. My story is scars and burns and slips trips and falls: I didn’t look to see the sign. It’s happy and funny and full of bad words and chance meetings with people that made me know what love actually feels like and make me crave that again. Word by word I carry on living my story. I can’t read ahead or I would: It would be nice to know what to expect next…just for awhile….just so I can be prepared. I carry on learning. So far: I have learned “it is what it is”. and that is about it. I carry what I carry and on I walk and write as I go. And I assure you: go I will.
“A silver lining is a metaphor for optimism in the common English-language which means every negative occurrence has a positive aspect to it” thank you Wikipedia!
I have been back from my cool adventure for a few days and I think I have readjusted to things like the cold and making my own bed and making my own food and wearing pants. I had the most incredible time. I did everything I set out to do and then some. It was truly an Eat, Pray, Love SUCCESS. I made decisions and choices and I added things to my you-ness that need to be added. I lost some things that needed to be lost. I conquered some things and set some goals in order to continue to grow. I will never stop growing: I decided I will never stop moving. This. This of all the things is the most important. I feel empowered and I will not allow myself to stop the movement I have begun. My steps are bigger now, my walk is quicker: I am in motion. I will do what I have to stay excited. I have asked those who know and love me most to catch me if I slip: be harsh and direct if you must. I believe and know they will. I love you for this and so so much more.
I arrived to the airport internally conflicted. I might have been angry but I can’t remember. Actually I was quite pissed off to be honest. It wasn’t really a favorable start. There was some shock and some sadness and urgency to the way I felt. I however, did what I said I would do; exactly what I promised I would do during the last few seconds: I kept my chin up. I smiled. I took a deep breath and I persevered regardless of how I was feeling. I was feeling not great. 5 steps in I was lost. 14 steps later I was overwhelmed. 27 steps forward and 22 back in the direction I came I asked for help. I found my destination. I followed the instructions I was made to repeat. 1896 steps and metal detectors and lovely customs agent (who declined my offer to join me because his wife would not appreciate that) later, I was seated ready for my flight. Headphones in. Shuffle. Breathe. The first song that played was a song that I hadn’t listened to in years. I downloaded it seconds before I departed on a whim. My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit. look it up. It is very great. A believer of things happening right as they should when they should. This was perfect. The song speaks of finding the good with the bad and moving on and past. It speaks about keeping going when you feel you can’t. Not worrying about what has happened as well as not worrying about what will. It was exactly what I was doing. What I needed when I didn’t know I needed it. Throughout my short time away I listened to this song several times: at least once a day. I kept repeating the words to myself. I wrote a particular phrase in my journal. It became almost a mantra for me.
I’ve woken up in a hotel room, my worries as big as the moon
Having no idea who or what or where I am
Something good comes with the bad
A song’s never just sad
There’s hope, there’s a silver lining.
I saw my silver lining everywhere I looked. The little girl who asked me to play dinosaurs with her while we waited for our plane, erased some anxiety I was feeling: a distraction. The couple I was seated next to on the flight who became my travel companions and shared dinner with one evening. The sunset reflecting off the wing of the plane I was looking out so my seat mates would not see my constant flow of fearful and lonely tears, was a reminder that no matter where I go those that I love are still looking at that same moon and same sunset. The little bird who landed on the bench I sat on one morning when I was feeling a little sad and lonely. The couple that had a 6 hour long yelling match one night who made up the next morning (lady if you’re reading this: you need to calm your ass down and trust your fella. Jesus!). Emails I got randomly with the flawless encouragement I needed to hear reminded my I am loved and cared for no matter how far away I end up. The ability to sleep during one difficult night reminded me no matter what is occurring I can remain in control enough to to know the simplest thing: I need rest when I need rest. Rest: There is hope. There is always a silver lining.
I might be magical. I might be riding a travel high or perhaps its shock and exhaustion; however, I am better. I am feeling more like me again.In that short amount of time I found some of the peace I hoped for and I am better: not entirely not even close, but I am over the hard hump and ready to begin to ascend. I did not realize how lost I was: how much of myself I had allowed to disappear. How good it felt to laugh for real and smile just because. How good it feels to not be scared. How wonderful it feels to not be waiting for a hypothetical punch that is never actually coming. How good it feels to live again. I feel empowered and strong: stronger than I have ever felt. Going there was difficult and uncomfortable all the time: most every minute was an effort. It was wonderful and amazing and beautiful, and I think I had more fruitless fun than I have ever had before: with a group of people I will never see again. I am immensely proud of myself for doing this. When others say the same to me, I am so appreciative that they can see the effort and the strength this took. To see how important and essential this was for me. That they can see the trip itself wasn’t the crux: this trip, this short journey to the safest place I could have chosen, the sun and the sand and the sea and the fun; were not the point. The point was to help me find the silver lining in all things. I thought that this great reflection would arrive during a moment of meditation on beach watching a sunrise while feeling sand under my toes listening to the sea. I thought it would come with lights and songs from above because that’s how it happens in cartoons. It didn’t. It just showed up quietly. It took me letting words in emails and little girls with dinosaurs and birds and noise and funny people and beautiful sunsets and a song from a mix-tape playlist someone sent me what feels like a million years ago all infused together for me to recognize that a song is never just sad. For something to be sad it had to be happy once upon a time. What was will be again. This I know. That is hope. That is my silver lining.
I am already planning and counting how many weeks it will take to save for my next journey, where I will embark, who I would like as a companion, how long I will go. I will go. It won’t be long I will make sure of this.
And that is so perfectly perfect for me. I will be honest: at first it wasn’t. The first few moments were not perfect. It was late when I arrived (lesson learned fly out early arrive when it’snot dark). I was hungry and tired and lost. I was lost. This was nothing I had ever experienced before. It was loud and everyone was…having a good time. My phone did not work: no signal at all, apparently a very common issue in this part of the island. I didn’t have wifi permissions set and had to wait until morning. I was worried people were worried about me: not actually sure they were, but still I worried. However, I didn’t try to figure anything out: I went to bed. I couldn’t do anything about my problem at that moment so I put it away. This is what I have been trying to do. I had a problem and I literally couldn’t just call or text someone and have them reassure me. I had to do that myself. I did. I woke up in the morning and went for a walk and watched the sunrise. I had a Pina colada before breakfast and then I figured it all out. I found my way around and made the decision I belong here. This is as much for me as it is everyone else. I’m not entirely alone here (there is actually very little privacy) I met a few people on the flight and bus ride here. Lovely people who I have seen several times so far and stopped and chatted and had a drink with! I learned very quickly it’s no secret in a resort when you are solo: you sit by yourself at breakfast and people catch on! I have noticed that most of us “solo girls” are here alone for the purpose of serenity and quiet and reflection. A few ladies and men: not so much!! It’s awesome! A slight nod of the head across the pool with a woman this afternoon confirmed this for me: we were sitting directly opposite each other. Having an occasional drink, reading, journals tucked under our deck chairs. Enjoying short conversations with the people beside us; but relishing the moments the conversations died down (feigning sleep works!). She caught my eye at one moment as I told a very nice man that, no thank you! I don’t feel like a walk along the sea right now: and yes it does sound romantic and everything, but I think I will pass for now! Thank you for the drink I won’t be drinking sir!! She looked at me and nodded her head. She’s been here before. She’s done this a time or two and recognizes how uncomfortable it is at first. How important it is. How fucking empowered you feel while doing this. That nod said “good for you. You do you sister. You got this”. I smiled at her. I was proud that a complete stranger was proud of me. Thank you lady for noticing. I would guess that 1 out of 50 people here are solo travelers. Not many, but enough that you notice us. I have felt a few times that I almost had to gratify my choice to come alone. I felt the need once to almost explain myself and my aloneness: but I haven’t yet. I enjoy my solitude. I enjoy the company I have had so far. I enjoy sitting and watching people interacting with each other. I do not so much enjoy over intoxicated barely adult people throwing up in bushes and peeing in the pool but I take all that with a grain of salt and find a less ruckus’s place to sit. I shared dinner tonight with a pair of women I met in the airport and I have plans to swim in the ocean with another group tomorrow: with assurances I won’t get sucked out to the middle. I have been invited on excursions and to shows. People at resorts want to hang out with people: it’s great. It’s also great that when you decline, no one gets upset or hurt by that. Everyone is here for something. It only been a day. I am already relaxed and feeling better. I feel full. Full of life and food and myself: I’m allowed to be full of me sometimes. Tomorrow is a day to start to do some of the thinking i came to do. I’m looking forward to look forward. I have eaten 3 very delicious meals today. I walked 4 miles on the beach before breakfast. I have a sunburn on my nose and sand is everywhere. I’m a happy, calm, full and tired girl.
It’s early: earlier than you think right now. It takes me minutes to write these posts but twice or three times longer to edit and correct my atrocious spelling (I spelled atrocious so very wrong spell check was all huh????…it took a minute to spell it close enough to right for spell check to get it!). Today is the day I go. I have been packed since 4:30 pm yesterday (let’s GO NOW while I’m still brave!!) and my coat and the shoes I am wearing (well…when I decide what shoes I am wearing :s) are at the front door. Yesterday I did my last errands and paid the things that needed to be paid. I checked in with the kids school and was given so many words of encouragement and congratulations for doing this, well I cried. It was a good day. I was happy all day. I found music to keep me up..thank you Stevie Nicks. I was not polite to a few chosen people and felt good about that. I remembered at one point to tell my sister I was going…oops. Sorry. I asked a hundred thousand questions (have you ever been able to feel someones exasperation from 33 kms away??? I love me!) I remembered at 7pm i forgot to eat….did something about that. Then I went to bed…and was too excited to sleep much and now here we are. 3 cups of coffee in and I am going to regret that in a few hours. I’ll just say sorry the energy that will hit at like 11 am this morning. Sorry. At 10 am I am walking out that door. I’m not as nervous as I thought I would be. I am prepared. I made copies of all the things and will hand them off to the right person, I have left all the “just in case” information where it needs to be. The right people have the right phone numbers. I am all set. I am waiting for the few “have a good trip” texts I know I will get and I will replay with my promises to take lots of pictures and post them to let people know I am good. I know its only 5 days that I will be gone. I know everything will be fine for me there. I know too, however, that anything can happen while I am gone. In all reality that amount of time is enough time for things to go sideways. Fast. That is where my nervousness is sitting right now. It can’t though. I can’t let it. Truly, honestly I know that if things are going to sideways on e: they would go that way if I am here or there or anywhere (perhaps with Dr. Suess..). That’s a big thing to recognize. That’s a hard pill to swallow: realizing that I have sat waiting for things to wrong for such a long time. Again, it was a simple thing that corrected that thought. Basically the thing said, Robyn, the “stuff” that happened: happened. Fucking stop. That’s actually about it. Riiiight. Connect that with a book I re-read this week with all the other choices I have made and: oh crap. Right again….again. And I decide to stop. I move past it. I live. There are other things, real things, that I am nervous about today. They aren’t so silly. They are reality and experience based. I’ll get over them once they are here and then I will be good or not but I’ll deal (Anticipation is maybe a better word than nerves in this case). So I’m going. I’m getting in a car then I’m getting on a plane! I’m going to the beach!! I am excited and happy and counting the hours until I get told it’s time to go!
Nos vemos proto mis amigos!!!
You are 17 and in grade 11. You think you know it all: here’s a secret I will let you in on; you do. Already. In your short 17 years of life you’ve already been through and survived a lot. I’m sorry. Those friends you have? hug them all. Hard. For me. Hold them for just a minute longer than is comfortable and say Thank you…from us. Trust me…We will thank you later. You think you are a good kid and you are, mostly; bit of a brat, bit of a drama queen…but for the most part: you’re doing alright. You show up to school everyday even though no one is really paying any attention. You get good grades, you participate and have fun: you do great things. I might suggest you lose the plaid shirts a baggy jeans: you don’t look “grunge”: you just look sloppy. Also: do something, anything, with your hair. Oh, and black eyeliner: just no. Those friends we just talked about? Ya…they are going to show back in a few years and be just as cool and fun and caring. They don’t change too much. They all grow up great! Try not to be so afraid to be close to them: they really won’t leave you. Being as scared of people disappearing out of your life is going to cause you some…issues later. Maybe if you could get over that now we could avoid some unnecessary heartache later on. That would be nice. Oh…the teachers. THOSE teachers: ya they are going to keep showing up too. In different ways. Some of them will be your kids teachers (ya….there are kids. Don’t ask. I’ll let that be a surprise. Relax: you’ll do just fine.) You will work with some of them and interact with them through you career. It’s cool. Be nice to them. Listen to them. They are all right about everything they said (except for the whole you won’t always have a calculator thing. We showed them!) Now. The boyfriend…ya… hes great and worth it and first love is first love and I promise 20 years later it counts still! but in a few months…well, just trust me when I say that will be ok too. You are going to feel like it will hurt forever: it won’t. You’re going to do a really dumb thing after that: do it anyway. You’ll know what I mean. It’s good for you. Don’t ditch your friends for boys though…that’s dumb. Oh also: there is this guy at school. You have known him forever. Pay attention to him: he sticks around and always appears at just the right moments. He’s cool and he’s a good buddy! but who knows what could have happened there: this is hind sight being 202/20. You are kind of oblivious. Even though you’re scared and think you are too fat for the black dress: go to prom. Wear the dress. You are not fat. Maybe you could hold your head just a little higher. Again…you are oblivious to how you look to other people. All that negative crap is just in your head and you need to get it out now: all of that is going to come back and get us later. It’s not fun and it’s hard and man…it would be friggin sweet if it left us then. Tell “those” girls to fuck off also: every single one of them gets theirs: trust me. You will chuckle later. Even though you think you always have to be nice to everyone…you don’t. Don’t be like that. Maybe you could try just a little harder to talk to people and try new things. Maybe you could speak up a little more and not get pushed around so easily. Maybe you could be brave and try out for that play you are thinking about right now: we might get the part and that might make things different. Go to the parties. Please Robyn have some fun and quit being such a scaredy chicken: your friends are there too and you have each others back. You will regret not going and not trying and not making those mistakes and learning from them. (Although: Maybe you could just stay home from that one party you will go to this summer…that was not so good for us. The one you didn’t feel good about. On that note: listen to those grown ups who sound like they are being dumb and old: they aren’t wrong, you can get hurt, it will suck. You won’t listen…but we will be OK eventually). Keep reading all those books. Keep laughing at silly things. Keep being ridiculous…we are still ridiculous and its great!. It’s OK to be sad sometimes. It’s OK to be mad. Listen: none of those little changes are going to change where we end up: I don’t want them too. I like where we have been and I would not want to change most of it. It gets a little rough and we get a little lost and somethings that matter so much go away for ever and it’s going to hurt like nothing you have ever felt and it’s going to hurt forever: don’t let that scare you away from experiencing it. Listen sister, it’s not awesome right now but we’re going to be fine. I promise you, in regards to whats coming… it will be good….it will be more awesome and amazing than you can even imagine: when it gets there? don’t waste a minute of it. Do just what I did: be grateful and appreciative of every single second. Those seconds go by fast and being able to remember how they felt will get you through what happens next. You need the things you will learn and figure out and discover. You need to listen. You need to feel that stuff: Also, pay more attention to the “weird things” going on : it’s not weird. It makes sense now. Robyn, I don’t know what is coming next. I don’t know where we are going just yet: I haven’t really decided and I might not. I’m very tired you see, so I think for a while I am just going to ride this wave out and see where it takes us. As much as I am done being a pylon in this life (just standing there and watching things move around me: I’m going to be the ball!) I’m planning on just letting us roll for a little bit. Don’t worry and don’t be scared! No one decides anything for us anymore. No one is going to put us second, no one is going to let their own needs define ours: we are stronger than that. It wasn’t a mistake. Trust me we learn so much from this. Things that we need we get to keep. I promise you are doing fine…just fine. Just….can you try to see YOU for the great you that you are now? Can you look a little harder in the mirror: past the fear and the loneliness and the mistakes. Just try. Talk. Ask. Tell. Don’t hold the blame for anyone or anything. Don’t make excuses for the grown ups that are supposed to know better: they are supposed to know better. Pay attention to the birds and the music and look both ways before you cross the street. Breathe deeper and for the love of the GODS…slow the fuck down. It’s not a race. This is our one life and it goes too fast and I missed too much by trying to get somewhere and I honestly can’t remember where the hell I thought I was going. For all I know right now I am close to half way to the next leg of this journey and I feel like I might just be starting to get all this: I wish that you could get this now…then…there. You won’t. I just wish we did. I love you. Keep loving us…we need it. Stay awesome
I am a list maker and a pre-planner and an over-thinker. I’m scared of so many things I actually make people scared of me. I scare myself out of living. I don’t live I exist: except this time. In T-minus ummm…. 57-ish hours I am going on a last minute vacation. I am going to go to the airport and go through security. I am going to actually get on the plane…and then get off the plane. I’m getting off the plane in a tiny airport (that apparently looks ghetto to some people) in a foreign country. In a place I have never been. Different culture and language and customs. I am doing this alone. I have never been anywhere (OK I made it to Columbus Ohio last year…) before this. I have never seen the ocean before and never been to a resort before. I am going to spend a few days on a beach surrounded by complete strangers. I am going to eat with people I don’t know. I am going to attempt a tan….which means bikini: yikes. I am going to put my feet in the ocean. I am going to talk to people? and make friends with people? and have fun with people?? Take chances, make mistakes and get messy. Oh. God. I have put myself completely out of my comfort zone in every aspect of all things: me. I don’t take chances. I don’t want to make mistakes and I don’t get messy (unless I’m crying). I don’t talk to people: I don’t know how. I don’t go places alone: I might get lonely and not have anyone to talk to. I don’t walk in to rooms first; someone else has to go first. I don’t show up to places where I don’t know anyone there or my way around or how things work. I need a plan and a list and to be prepared and ready to go with little room for error or forgetting things. I certainly don’t like when people hand me things and I can tell there will be many people handing me things. I don’t wear clothing that attracts attention to me; I don’t like attention. I don’t like situations where I have to be bold and daring and out going. I am going to do all these things. I have put myself outside my comfort zone: which is obviously very small and there are many rules, on purpose. I don’t like my comfort zone anymore. I don’t want to be there anymore. When I was talking with someone about this trip over and over I was told: Robyn, you will be fine. Everyone there will be nice. You will find people to talk to. Everyone there is looking to just chat with people…there are no expectations. AND THEN: “Remember, no one knows you there. These are people you will never see again. And remember they don’t know your story so you can just relax and have fun and you will be great!” Great…I can be great for these people. I can pretend to be great: but wait holy crap!!! I said not so politely, imagine how good and easy this would all be for me if I WAS great…why aren’t I great? I could be great? I can be great actually…I might actually be great. Huh. Shit. I am actually kinda great. I’m a lot of things already that make me great. So why do I think I am not? Why am I afraid to walk in to a room? Why am I afraid of going to a new place alone? Why am I so nervous to talk to people? Why do I worry that people will notice me? Let them notice me!! There is actually a lot of good things to notice about me. Also: screw being great for “those people” I’m great for me. I don’t need to pretend or fake anything. I’m good the way I am. So I’m going to a beach in Cuba for the first time ever all by myself and I am going to have a great time. I’m going to take the chances and make mistakes and most likely get a little messy: drinks. I leave in 57-ish hours and all I have done so far is make a plan to get to the airport and throw most of what clothing I THINK I should bring (including the out of the ordinary for Robyn black bikini) in the general direction of my suitcase. The list I made of what I know I need to pack and buy is in the pile of unfolded beach clothes and I will get to it later today maybe. I’m not in a rush…I have so many hours still. If I don’t bring “the right dress” or the shoes I pick aren’t “perfect” I will still have a good time. I’m not going there to impress people or pretend I am something I am not. I’m so excited to go. I’m looking forward to the break. I’m actually eager to meet new people that I will never meet again. I’m curious about the food and the mojitos. I’m very much looking forward to being alone for awhile. I have lots to think about and some decisions to make that I just can’t make here surrounded by familiar and usual and I need some space and freedom to do that. It’s time. I’m ecstatic I have given myself this opportunity. I am so grateful for the encouragement I have had and will continue to have. I am indebted for the help I have had to finally understand that I am already great. I don’t need to be told that. I don’t need to earn that: I am already that. I don’t need to change the parts of of me that are already here: I need to add more: more great. Either people see that in me or they don’t: It’s their loss?? Nah.. the loss always stings and it’s every ones equally, But I’m not afraid to be great anymore. This has been one of those BOOM..there it is…right there: the obvious. Yeah…it just took me a minute or 30 something years or whatever to get there. I’m going to put on the bikini and the party clothes and have a good time. It’s going to be great. I should probably go pack I guess…how many pairs of sandals do I need anyway??
This is good: I like this one! It’s all options. Not choices: choices still feel like work. Also: I should not be allowed to make decisions BECAUSE then I end up with a purple kitchen instead of a soothing grey kitchen because it turns out my eyes are bad enough I can not tell the difference. Yes….please, lets all recall that time a few years ago I ended up with a purple bedroom the same way…pretty sure it’s still purple. Haha .
It is amazing to me how changing one word around can make such a difference to my mindset. Changing the way I look at situations and switching my thoughts from a negative connotation or feeling to something that feels more positive and comfortable certainly has allowed me to proceed with much more confidence and passivity. I’m simply amazed at how elastic my brain actually is: how open I am to accepting the micro adjustments responsible for these changes. I’m actually fundamentally proud of myself for allowing myself permission to let things like this happen. Again, it was a simple adjustment of how I perceive myself and situations. I get stuck sometimes, I know I do. When I get stuck I am stuck and I am low (and unbearable to others)…I know this. I try to not get stuck: I am not perfect, then again no one is. I am accountable though: the only person responsible for my poor outlook on those days is me. In this life, if I choose an option that leads me down a path I no longer want to, or can no longer follow: this too is my responsibility to correct. I am capable of doing this; it just may take some effort. I choose how I react to situations and to the reactions of other people: I am responsible for ensuring that my reactions, the options I choose to deal with “that”, are something that best represent my integral me. I firmly believe that my reactions help to define my integrity; the situations I sometimes face simply do not. Situations are temporary, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. The way I deal with “them”, react to them and learn from them are the pieces I will carry with me, so I need to ensure I make those pieces count. These options that I choose are also the parts of me most capable of affecting and influencing others. Integrity is important to me. The way I make others feel is important; again, I am accountable for the way I affect others. I recognize that there is always more than one way to react to something, more than one way to get my point across: if a point needs to be made. Sometimes responding hastily and choosing anger and fear and frustration is easy: however, what is the easy option is not always the most logical (I am half Vulcan…I swear). Things that take some effort and calmness and solicitousness are usually, in my very humble opinion of myself and my own life and my own path, the best option. I realize my choosing the options to be kind and forgiving and empathetic and just selfish enough to take care of my own needs first; opens me up to being vulnerable, to being drained by the needs of others, to seem as though I am nothing but selfish when I do act for myself: These are my options. These are my choices. This is me….and I am not sorry (except when I am…then I am so so sooooo sorry. Like really sorry. I’m sorry.)
I will not put macaroni and cheese on my baked potato: too many carbs all at once!! However if I choose the option of ordering frigging Chicken Fingers in Cuba: then I will!!!
Draw or paint I say: I can’t she says, I’m not a good artist. Paint something abstract…maybe for your wall: I can’t she says, it always turns out ugly. Use paper or glitter or crayons or SOMETHING and do mixed media collage: I can’t Mom, shes says, I don’t know what to make that will look good. Sad face. Sad Mom. Internally I scream PLEASE SEE YOUR OWN AMAZINGNESS LITTLE ONE!!! Please…just look and see it like I do!!! Then it struck me: Give the kid a fresh cartridge of Polaroid film and watch her go!! Last year we gave my girl an Instax Mini camera for her 12th birthday. We set her up with batteries and some film and she has had so much fun with it ever since: pretty sure somewhere in this mess of still (soon Robyn…SOON) unpacked boxes there are 100’s of little Polaroid pictures that document Ry’s last year. She takes a million selfies on her iPod everyday and drives me bonkers with stupid SnapChat filters. She becomes frustrated trying to get a good shot (why she always covers her mouth I have no idea??) But…when she uses the Instax: the photos she takes are so much more….meaningful. She suddenly gets the “value” of a picture. You can’t just delete and retake the photo: there are only 15 pictures for each cartridge, so the photo you take has to be “the one”. She still gets excited waiting for the picture to come alive. She STILL shakes it thinking it will develop faster. She is so proud of herself for each photo she takes. Suddenly the “I can’t” and the “I’m not an artist” disappears and she feels pride and excitement for what is she can do. Every single one of those shots have a story and carry meaning for her. I watch her look at her subject thoughtfully, adjust the lighting, adjust the angle, adjust her position and SNAP! My favorite are the ones that don’t “turn out”. She can look at those “a little bit blurry” or “a little bit too bright or too dark” shots and still manages to find beauty and art in them. I found some black and white film for her this Christmas that is still in the box: she is waiting to save it for something really special. I love that she is looking for that “special” moment to photograph. I love that she can look at little things: items around the house, a flower, a cloud, a snowflake or even a reflection on the glass table and see that as something she wants to capture. Not one selfie. Not a single “pensive look out the window like I have a record dropping next week” shot. All creative. All amazing. All incredible. Give a creative mind, that doesn’t realize she IS creative, a cartridge of Polaroid film and watch her go! I would love someday to give her a true film camera and watch her have a go with that and have to wait for the film to be developed!! She is currently sitting next to me, taking selfies on her iPod. Searching for the perfect one of course…while glancing every so often at the stack of photos she took today and a few pictures from a few months ago that are her most special, and the smile that twitches at the corners of her lips as she does this simple makes my heart soar!!! You did it Squish…you found your amazingness. Yay us!!!!
This is my every other Friday view. Sitting. Waiting. Warning lights on. Fingers crossed it was a good 10 days apart. Wondering what changes have occurred in her absence. Will she be taller? Will her face be more grownup than child like? Did someone break her heart this week and I wasn’t there? Did she experience a life event that will pull her further away from being my little squish and closer to being a young woman, and I missed it…again? Is this going to be the time she no longer wants to be tucked In to bed and I forgot to notice the last time was the last time? Will I recognize her? Will she recognize me? Will she notice how I have changed and grown as well in 10 short days? Will I ever stop feeling the stab in my chest when I notice and bare the affect of how much she changes and grows up and away in 10 short days that feel like an eternity every damn time. I can do nothing but wait and hope and do my best for her and for us in the short time we have: it’s all we have and it is enough. It’s perfect. This is what is ok…this is what works for us. We are happy. We answer these questions every other Friday: it’s the thing we do now: We make every second count. That’s what we do :))