May 26, 2017

Loop

Anxiety:  Something's not right.

Me:  What do you mean?

Anxiety:  Something's wrong.

Me:  Where?  How?

Anxiety:  DOOM!

Me:  Can  you at least give me a hint?

Anxiety:  Sonething's not right.

May 20, 2017

My body wash smells like hope (redux)

From 2/18/17 1:03am

I just turned 40, and it was less traumatic than I expected. I am conscious, though, that I have been living in survival mode for about a decade now and I want the next decade to be different. I grew up not far from here but always wanted to leave. After living in other places for 15 years, life has brought me back this way. Now I find myself in a staunchly red state and I am blue, blue, blue.

I miss the kind of writing I used to do when I was younger and had more time for navel-gazing--I'd just open a vein and bleed out onto the page. Now that ability is trapped under adult responsibilities.

I miss the kind of friendships I had when I was younger and could spend endless hours conversationally exploring over drinks

Those oceans are still in me, but now there is no one to navigate them with.

May 9, 2016

I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign.

Everyone in my house is in bed. I'm sitting in the dark listening to "Synchronicity" by the Police. Whenever I hear any of these songs, I am instantly transported to 1984 and that old red house at 407 S. Chestnut Street, listening to Jim blast this album with that velvet picture of the devil on the toilet hanging on the wall.

At any given moment, some part of me is always in that house.

April 7, 2016

And she does.

When I was very young, my mom was single. She was in early 20s, in and out of relationships, melodramatic, and emotional. I adored her.

When we would Drive around in her baby blue Firebird, she would crank up the radio and sing--especially to Journey and to David Bowie's "Space Oddity."  I came to know the words to the songs, and wanted to sing along, too.

"Stop singing!" she would snap, sometimes with great irritation. "I can't hear the song!" 

When I got a little older, she would complain that I couldn't carry a tune and was ruining the song for her. It hurt my feelings tremendously. I remember thinking even way back then that I would let my little girl sing as much as she wanted.

32 years later I have a little girl. A mini-me. And sing she does.

She stands in the yard and sings joyfully at the top of her lungs. She sings heartfelt, original lyrics with great passion into a microphone in the middle of the living room. She sings "Skin-a-marinkey-dinky-dink" from the backseat as we are driving around town with the windows rolled down. She sings lovingly to her Blue Blankey.

Unfortunately she has my voice and can't carry a tune in a bucket, but I love complete lack of self-consciousness and pure joy when she sings.

November 12, 2015

And Greek olives.

 A (surveying the interior of the refrigerator with dismay):  Ivan, you're messing up my refrigerator door organization. The Sriracha goes on the international shelf. And--look--you have all of the salad dressing over here. This should be on the American shelf with the mustard and ketchup and mayonnaise.

I: The "international" shelf?

A: Yes. See? With the tahini and soy sauce and fish sauce. 

I: Organizing the refrigerator like this is…

A:  ...lost on you?

I: Useless.

September 25, 2015

On lovies

Sophie: I put Blue Blankey in my mouth. I go to hospital and doctor have to take it out of me and I have Blue Blankey again.

I realized she was describing the extraction of Blue Blankey from her surgically.

Amie: Why would you put Blue Blankey in your mouth?

Sophie: I just like him a lot.

February 20, 2015

Letter--week of 2/16/15

Dear K.,

Thank you so much for checking on the Wellness Center. I will give them a call. At our appointment last Friday, I promised to email you on Fridays to give you updates. I certainly intend to keep that up, and I am grateful for your willingness to listen.

I didn’t do very many things right this week, but I’m trying to focus on what I DID do right. I cooked actual meals for my family for dinner 3 of the 4 week nights we’ve had so far this week. Like actual made-from-scratch dinners. Not gourmet, but nourishing. That is unheard of for me! I mostly cook meals on the weekends when I am more relaxed and less rushed. There is time for chopping and sauteeing on the weekends. Week nights to date have involved simple, healthy meals for my daughter and then whatever her dad or I grab after she goes to bed—usually leftover pizza he brings home from work. All the cooking this week required a bit of planning and prepping ahead, but I am really incredibly proud of this. It is part of an effort to change the way I think about taking care of myself.

When I am lonely or sad or frustrated or scared, the way that has felt best to take care of myself has been to literally fill myself up. After the rape, I began filling myself up double-time. Which is how I got to where I am today.

I know that things need to change. I want to be an example for my daughter. I want her to love herself much more than I ever did or have loved myself, and I want to be around for her as long as possible.

While texting with a friend last weekend, I mentioned that I was planning to buy a FitBit so that I could focus on increasing my number of steps. A couple days later she emailed me because she had signed up for a new bank account, and they gave her a free FitBit for joining. She is mailing it to me as a gift to help me get started, apologizing that lime green was the only choice they offered. I was absolutely thrilled! I will happily wear that lime green thing on my person. The one she is sending is slightly fancier version of the most basic model I planned to order for myself. It should be here soon. I like to think the universe is trying to help me along here.

Thank you for listening. I hope you have a wonderful day. It’s hard to keep your chin up in these temperatures, but Daylight Savings Time begins March 8, and spring is not too far away. We’re almost there.

Best,

A.