Friday, March 29, 2013

best week ever

I'm having a good week. Here's why:

1. I wrote a very therapeutic blog post
2. I caught up with an old friend
3. I'm back on my thyroid medication and have much more energy already
4. I was promoted at work
5. I got to hold a friend's brand new baby and remember how small my little boy once was
6. My little boy is a week away from his big birthday
7. I got two new blazers
8. We have soft water again
9. I interviewed some excellent candidates (that really gets my blood pumping)
10. I finally finished a book this year
11. I cleaned out my closet
12. It was 70 degrees today!
13. I got a new prescription and new glasses
14. Happy Endings is back on
15. Brandon learned to climb the stairs today

Enough complaining! I have a happy life. If you hear me bitching, tell me to shut the fuck up.

Monday, March 25, 2013

clogging up spaces where love can be

People do strange things when they're judged all the time instead of being loved. ~ 3.24.13 Californication

I heard this and immediately wanted to write about it. I wanted to say something about it because it's a thought I've had but never put into words. And you should get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. That's what writers do. And I'm working towards being a writer.

I was born with an idea in my parents' heads of who I should become. Parents should always want the best for their child. But I also believe they should be open to all the different outcomes that could come in. I was born to be a naïve, Christian girl. It was a path laid out for me. So, as good children do, I tried to honor my parents and make them proud. I memorized verses, I finished 12 years of AWANA. I was a Christian Camp counselor. I taught Sunday school. I went on missions trips. I was the holy grail when it came to sheltered Christian kids.

I didn't curse, I didn't smoke, I didn't experiment with drugs or alcohol. I didn't get piercings or tattoos. I didn't date older guys. I didn't date guys at all. I never watched a "R" rated movie. I was top tier Christian girl. It doesn't get much more pure than that. I gave the Virgin Mary a run for her money. If I had lived back then, maybe that could have been me. I was a virgin, after all.

But after high school, I went away to college. A Christian college, mind you, but I went away nonetheless. And space was all I needed to find out who I was. I already knew who I was supposed to be. But I didn't know who I was. The space away from my family and my church allowed me to just be. Not to be my parents' daughter or the good church girl - just to be.

It was in college where I learned what I liked. I hadn't heard much music besides Point of Grace, so I finally listened to and picked music I enjoyed. I found out what kind of people I gravitate towards. I discovered what it is I really love to do. In college, I wrote. And the more I wrote, the more myself I felt. And the more myself I became, the less churchy I became.

I morphed from overly judgmental to more accepting. I began to think for myself. I believed in what I thought, rather than what I was told. I learned I have a sense of humor. I guess I didn't know that before. Before, I had always felt like a caricature - that sheltered, homeschooled, church girl that didn't know who Pee Wee Herman was. I had been a spectacle - not one of a group, I was the outsider. But once I became myself, I found friends who accepted me.

Through this transformation, I learned about the world around me - something I had completely missed until then. And in this transformation, my naivety waned. I was excited about turning into myself finally. But when I acted like myself in front of my parents, the excitement wasn't returned. There were questions about what I was doing and assumptions I was doing things wrong. I immediately felt judged. I felt that I had to shut myself down and revert back to acting the way they wanted me to act.

I kept this charade up as much as I could stand it - it was just for holidays and some weekends after all, it couldn't be that hard. But being someone and acting like someone else is exhausting. And it didn't last all the way through college, anyway, because it was my senior year in college when I got pregnant. I remember so vividly the reaction I got from the people who had known me for so long - the blatant disappointment. People do strange things when they're judged instead of loved.

So I moved away again. I moved back to Nebraska - the place where I had transformed into myself a few years before. I moved to where I felt loved. I moved away from the judgment and disappointment because although I knew it still existed, the distance made it sting a bit less. And when I moved here, my friends were here. They didn't hold any grudges against me for getting pregnant. They accepted me for who I was and what I had done. If they were disappointed, I didn't know it. I felt loved again.

I am a mom now. I have a daughter being raised by wonderful parents. I have a son I try every day to raise to be a good person. I have been married nearly seven years. I have a good job. We are only 15 years away from owning this home we live in. I don't have any vices. The people I love, I love furiously. I don't purposefully hurt people. I work every day to improve myself and become a better person. And I still don't feel like that is good enough. I feel like if only I had turned out the way I was planned to, if only I could ignore myself and be someone else's paper doll of myself, maybe that would be enough.

Because despite my accomplishments and the person I am, I don't go to church. I watch rated R movies. I make raunchy jokes. I drink on occasion. I curse recreationally. I had sex before I was married. And because of that, I will always be thought of as lesser than someone who didn't do these things. I see this over and over again with children of religious upbringings. I see judgment. I hear lectures. I feel the disappointment. And I just want to shout that all of that is clogging up spaces where love could be.

Love people for who they are. Don't expect them to be someone else. Just because someone didn't turn out the way you expected them to doesn't mean they didn't turn into someone great. People come in different versions. We have different stories with different endings. We don't all have to be the same. Embrace the person. When you do, you'll see more of them, hear more from them, and become a larger fixture in their life. People want to be around people where they feel love, not judgment. We all want to be loved and accepted. It's time we start doing to others as we would have them do to us.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

11 months

Sorry for the absence of Brandon pictures lately. He had a pretty rough home hair cut and although I don't think he's old enough to be vain, his mom is on his behalf. Have to protect his image, you know. We tried the home haircut again last weekend. I had Steve take care of the bangs this time.
 Brandon is turning one in two weeks. He certainly has learned a lot in  a year. Walking and real words should be coming any day now! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

turn me out the door

The outdoors have been calling me. So, not being one to dismiss a siren's song, I have obliged. I have officially become a Midwesterner. I remember my first winter here, I would think those people wearing shorts in the snow were crazy. I am now that person. A few days lately, the temperature has been above 35 degrees. And 35 degrees is when I say it's OK to run outside. In shorts. So the cold wind has whipped at my legs and I have dodged snow and ice and slush piles. But I'm outside.

I don't pay for a shrink. But I have found my own therapies. They are puzzles and books and writing and baths and fresh air. Between the five of them, I don't think there has been a mood that wasn't bettered. Spring is coming. Walks with my son and my husband are right around the corner. Long Sunday runs will return. Lying in my hammock with a book will be back. I haven't enjoyed the outdoors much the past two years - last year because Brandon was an infant and I was afraid to let his delicate skin into the sun too much. The year before that because I was pregnant and using it as an excuse to be lazy.

My body is craving the Vitamin D. My jimmy legs want to go wild and run. My white skin is praying for a bit of light.

The daffodils are peeking through the frosty dirt which always means spring isn't too far off. I'm happy to see it, since I've already got spring in my step.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

milestone birthday

I have a milestone birthday this week. I am turning 30. This is the first birthday where I feel the age. All the other birthdays came and went without much notice. But this year, I can't help but notice. This marks a decade of my life that has come and gone. And the best decade, too - the 20's are over.

I was sulking in my upcoming new age today when I ran into my boss in the hallway. He told me, "if you're not getting older, you're dead." And it made me realize that it isn't all bad. If I'm not getting older, I'm not developing and learning and changing. And I am doing all those things. Nobody needs to be in the 20's forever. My days of partying too much and quitting jobs on a whim and focusing only on myself are over.

The 30's will bring raising our family and growing my career and writing a book. There are great things to come. And great things come in time. I am growing and evolving, not shriveling up and dying. And each of these years that have come and gone have changed and developed me.

I don't think I could be 23 again if I tried. I fall asleep at 11 pm. I am nearly 30. And that's not all that bad. People in their 30's figure their shit out. People in their 30's are searching for happiness, but not themselves anymore. That was discovered last decade. And I am in that group now. I'm not some ditzy little moron. I am a woman, damn it. And who gives a shit if I have crinkles around my eyes. I know who I am and how I can become better. And now I actually give a shit and will start to work on it.

And thankfully there won't be another milestone birthday for another decade.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

we're home

I just love Saturdays around the house. I have turned into a real homebody. This is my solace and my serenity. Brandon loves it too. After being out and about, he starts to fuss but the minute we walk in the door and I turn off the alarm, he starts smiling and kicking. 
This place exists just for us. Everything in it belongs to us. Here we can be silly and obnoxious and annoying and no one will judge us for it. Here we can be ourselves completely, without worrying about anyone else. Here, the three of us and our dog are all that matters.
Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness.  Home is where the heart's tears can dry at their own pace.  ~Vernon Baker
Peace - that was the other name for home.  ~Kathleen Norris