Her Story Began…

 

G is For Girl

 

Once upon a time there was a gal who loved living. She loved the world. She loved seeing what might happen next.

 

She also felt things quite deeply. Sometimes she felt too much. At her best, she was able to process her feelings and all the resulting colors that filled her soul. At her best.

 

Other times, the world was too much for her. And she swayed beneath the weight. During those times, she drew inside her skin and tried to keep the darkness to herself. Whether or not this was a good idea never crossed her mind. The girl simply didn’t want that part of her to be shared.

 

There came a day when the girl realized she needed help. She needed her friends, yes, but she also needed to reach out beyond her circle for guidance. For better or worse (for better, surely), the girl recognized she could no longer muddle through her darkness. Her friends looked her in the eye and were there for her. Her doctor hugged her and said he would help. And she said thank you to each and every one of them.

 

She knew finding her footing would be work. She knew it wouldn’t be easy to get back to fitting in her skin. She knew the road would be long and that she would sometimes be traveling in darkness. She also knew she was strong. She knew she would eventually find the light. She knew her soul was worth saving.

 

And so her story began…

International Day of Peace

 

 

Today is 21 September and that can mean only one thing: It’s the UN’s International Day of Peace.

 

The very thought of this day’s intentions calms my breathing. My mind quiets and I am still. I imagine all of us going about the business of living. I see us facing trials and tribulations, to be sure, but I also see us dealing with our challenges in a mature, congenial fashion. When I lose myself in this sort of thinking, it’s quite lovely. Even more beautiful are the feelings that accompany those idealistic visions.

 

If only the world could feel the same.

Here We Go

 

 

Now that the US party conventions are wrapped up and the balloons have been popped… Now that we’ve witnessed every emotion imaginable… Now that we’ve got only a little over 3 months until Super Tuesday…

 

Please, please, please – can we try to be decent human beings? Can we give that gift to each other and to ourselves? Can we try to remember that just because we have different opinions, we are still in this together, quite literally? If I’m in the same auto shop as you and we are on opposite sides of the political river, can we still be civil to one another as we sip our free coffee and talk about life?

 

Here’s the deal, y’all. Regardless of your political affiliation, I want your kids to have a good, decent life. I want them to run through sprinklers in the summer and to play in leaves in the fall. I want them to marvel at winter and to pick flowers in the spring. I want all kids to have a chance to live their lives, with youthful jubilance and curiosity. Not just the kids of my friends, but all kids. In fact, how about all us kids – big and small – get a shot at a good life. How about we do it with respect for one another. How about we acknowledge our differences, then remember our similarities. Can we do that?

 

Unless you’re wearing clothing that tells me your party affiliation, why on earth would I look at you and judge you as being different from me? I mean, if you’re standing in line in front of me, waiting for doughnuts, about the only thing I’m likely to be thinking is please don’t get the last creme-filleds! And even if you are sporting a t-shirt or a pin that represents your choice of candidate, so what? You like doughnuts? Me, too! You like creme-filleds? Me, too! And please don’t get them all!

 

I know you may have strong feelings about this upcoming election. I do, too. The strongest. But hating one another won’t serve either of us. And it won’t help us as we go about our day-to-day business in our towns and communities. You hating me will not help either of us get through the paint line more quickly as we shop at the ghetto Home Depot. Me hating you won’t benefit anyone attending the charity dinner where I and others have cooked for good, decent people. In short, hate won’t help us. It will drag us down. It will eat away at any goodness we’ve stored in our hearts. It will eventually destroy us. But it won’t  help us. Not now. Not ever.

 

So when you and I are out in the world, when we’re just trying to make those ends, when we’re trying to pay our bills and maybe fit in a little fun here and there – can we please, at the very least, show each other a modicum of respect during our encounters? Can we please remember that we are all more similar than we ever seem to notice? We all have to pay the rent. We all have to figure out what the kids will eat. We all think that the price of gas is too high. We all run out of toilet paper. When you get down to it, we really are more similar than not. Our minds alone take us down different paths. And that’s okay. We’re meant to think. We’re meant to opine. We’re meant to figure things out for ourselves.

 

But we are also meant to feel. And we are meant to strive. I cannot imagine striving for less than we are capable of being. And I promise, despite our differences, we are capable of being better. Period.

 

So if our paths should cross during this heated political climate, I tell you now that I will do my best to address you from the heart. (Because honestly, that’s how I do.) And even if you’re about to buy the last of the creme-filleds, I won’t hold it against you.

Listen To Your Heart

 

 

Yesterday, while I was still trying to sort out my feelings about the loss of the genius that was Prince, I found myself cycling through some not-great memories. I don’t know why. I can only guess it was because I was in a not-great emotional place. And believe me – I want to move on. It would be good for my life if I moved on. But sometimes grief grabs hold. And I think this will pass when it’s ready.

 

Anyhoo – one odd memory popped up and really caused me to think. It was many years ago, and I was waiting in a lobby for a job interview. The interviewer – who would be my boss – was late returning from lunch. I didn’t hold that against her or anything, I just sat quietly, biding my time. The interviewer wasn’t a complete stranger, by the way. I had met her a few times, and though we weren’t friends or anything, she was familiar. After quite a while of waiting, she entered the lobby, looked over at me and said, “Oh! You’re here!” She then walked over to where I sat and – I swear to God – she dragged one of her shoes across the top of one of my very white shoes, leaving a large, noticeable scuff mark. “There. That’s better. Your shoes were entirely too clean,” she said in a sober tone. She then turned and walked toward her office, saying, “Follow me.” I was in shock, but I did as I was told.

 

In that moment, before following the interviewer into her office, my gut was screaming for my attention, trying to get me to run away as fast as I could. Everything in me suggested this was not going to be a good fit. That I simply could not mesh with someone who would behave as she just had. But I needed the job. So I followed through and went to work for her. And though I wouldn’t call her a bad person, I can’t say she was very organized or that she provided necessary training. While I worked for her, I struggled to figure out most of the basic functions of her office – on my own. And every single day I spent there was awkward. By the time I left, I was so relieved.

 

After stumbling down that portion of Memory Lane, I thought about a few other instances when I didn’t listen to my gut, nor to my heart. And how each time I failed to honor my greater truth, I eventually faced ugliness of some sort. I don’t know why, when I’ve been given the gift of intuition, I’ve chosen to ignore that guidance. But I have. And I’m thinking that maybe it’s time to stop that behavior. Maybe it’s time to trust myself, at least a little bit. I mean really – how much time is left?

 

I’m hoping to ease out of the darkness soon. To switch my focus from life’s absurd brevity to life’s ridiculous joy. It’s all there, you know. Two sides of a coin. Time for a toss, I think. I call heads…

Winter Sky

 

 

Mister snapped this pic when we were in the desert a few weeks ago. He managed to get the full moon and some stars. I think it’s lovely.

 

The winter sky – for me – is mesmerizing. At night, the stars are clearer and it feels good to gaze upon them while bundled against the chill. For some reason, I feel a sort of ancient connection to those stars during the winter, a connection I just don’t sense during summer nights. And I love that. I love that sense of belonging mixed with the knowledge of my finite experience. I suppose I’m not making sense. Feelings are like that sometimes.

 

I do hope your winter sky is kind and comforting. Personally, I can’t get enough of it.

Limbo

 

 

Sometimes I don’t feel much like an adult. Sometimes I don’t feel like a kid, either. During those times, I feel a bit like I’m stuck in limbo. And I don’t quite know what to do.

 

I’m not a gal who thinks “stuff” will cure all ills. I’m well-versed in that approach, as I was raised in that culture. But I don’t buy it – figuratively or literally (not even during this season of excess). I also don’t believe in putting my head in the sand, as if ignoring life will lead to everything working out. I’ve witnessed more than a few friends choosing this non-action, but it isn’t for me.

 

There have been times when I’ve faced challenges and I’ve chosen poorly. (Many times, actually.) I wish I knew why I continue to fail myself and others, but I haven’t a clue. I could blame my less-than-I’d-like-to-be moments on my humanness, but that well has been tapped so many times it’s nearly dry.

 

The truth is – while I may have my moments of feeling steady in living this life thing, I’m really just a novice, and a farkakte novice at that. I’ve done a lot of work to overcome the ugliness of my youth and I’ve accomplished a great deal. But the mountain before me looms as large as ever and it doesn’t matter how much ground I’ve covered. There’s still a lot of climbing to be done.

 

I share this because I’m in the middle of trying to figure out how to be a better person while not sacrificing my Mikki-ness. I mean, how do I interact with other souls and maintain my own? How do I communicate with folks in a positive manner, and still project honesty? In short – how do I speak my truth, encourage others to do the same and not get hurt or hurt anyone else in the process?

 

I am mortified the answer may be “I don’t.” It frightens me to no end to think that life means constantly being hurt and hurting those we love. I don’t like the idea of any of that pain. Thinking there’s no way around it is almost more darkness than I can handle.

 

I suppose these sorts of feelings are what lead some of us to quit. To give in. To file for divorce or terminate a friendship.  Don’t get me wrong – I know those tough choices are often made for very legitimate reasons, but don’t we sometimes choose to walk away from muddy ground instead of doing the harrowing work of getting through the muck and mire? Who could blame us? Muddy trenches suck. And even if a gal is wearing hip-waders, she still needs strength to pull herself through – one sticky step at a time.

 

Still, I’m not giving up. For even when it breaks my heart, I love life. And I love my nearest and dearest more than words can convey. So I’ll keep showing up, and showing up, and showing up. I’ll keep trying to toughen my skin while softening my words. I’ll endeavor to let things roll off my shoulders and to not add weight to the shoulders of those I love. I’ll keep trying.

 

And maybe some hot cocoa wouldn’t hurt. There’s magic in a cup of cocoa, you know. I’ll take all the magic I can get.

Rock Camp – Showcase!

 

 

Today was the big showcase! And it couldn’t have been Awesomer!

 

As it started early (1 pm), it didn’t take up much of the day. After a full week of volunteering each and every day, it felt crazy to have free time in the morning and in the evening. What a luxury, yo.

 

As the first band took the stage, I was so nervous for the singer. She had struggled a bit during the week, and I wanted her to have a great experience. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. She totally killed it! I was so happy for her, and then the next band took the stage, and the next. And each time, the girls were owning their stage time and knocking it out of the park. I was so proud! I was so in awe! It was phenomenal.

 

By the time “When Pigs Fly” took the stage (the band I’ve been coaching all week), I knew they had it. I told them so and they seemed to know it, too. They went up there, they played their hearts out and it was amazing! I don’t know what to tell you. They were great.

 

 

After the rest of the bands had performed their songs, they all got up on stage and sang the camp theme song. At the song’s close, the house lights came up and the club began to empty.

 

Another Rock Camp was finished and successful. The best one yet! And the bar just keeps getting higher.

 

I’m wiped out now. I just don’t have it in me to write anything more. Tomorrow I’ll post my wrap-up. It will probably be all about feelings. I have a lot of them, you know.

 

 

Right now, I think I’ll try to unwind. But I want to stay up on this cloud. Floating feels so grand.

Life, The Universe and Everything

 

 

Sometimes stuff pops up in life, stuff that’s out of our control. Undesired stuff. Tough stuff.

 

Some people I adore are dealing with such stuff right now, and I can’t do a danged thing to help. And try as I might, I will never ever know how it feels to stand in their heavy shoes. So what does a gal do, in the face of that?

 

You pray. And you hope. And you have your feelings and you acknowledge all of that, and then you try to breathe. Then, I suppose, you start all over again. And again.

 

Loving people involves admitting how very little we actually control. It involves boundaries. It involves holding on and letting go. It’s work. Worthwhile work, to be sure, but work just the same.

 

As for these darling souls, whom I love so dearly, I’ll just keep loving them. I have no idea how their challenges will play out. I’m sure they don’t know, either. And that sucks. But it’s also just the way it goes. No matter the choices they make, no matter the choices made for them, I love them. And there you go.

 

Again, it’s work. For all of us. But worthwhile work, to be sure.

Sweet, Sweet Sleep

 

 

I slept better last night than I have in weeks. What’s the story? I think I actually paid attention to my intuition, acted from my heart, and was truly honest with myself about my (ahem) feelings.

 

That isn’t a dirty word, friends. Our feelings can be very real indicators of our truth. I know that when I stray from what is honest and right for me, the incongruity manifests somewhere in my body and produces discomfort, if not downright pain. By paying attention to my feelings, I can dig a little deeper and try to figure out where I got off path. It isn’t always an easy process, but more often than not, it’s a navigable process.

 

So I’m trying to remember to do a gut-check before making decisions, and I’m trying to heed my honest feelings. Because y’all, most of all, I’m trying to sleep through the night. For reals.