When I look into my mind for my words I see them in a pile like laundry hanging down -- dripping like Dali's Persistence of Memory.
When I call myself a writer, I pledge to rummage through that pile and make sense of it. That means looking at that shirt that brings up all the feelings and the hurt - the rejection - the loss-- or whatever it is that I am running from by not tending to my obligations -- or my job --my calling.
I promise to give pause to the process.
Take the God pause.
(picture of recliner)
I am having such tough things coming at me one after another lately. It would be truly overwhelming if not for the friendships I have actively cultivated. I am so grateful for those that I can actually CALL ON THE PHONE and have a conversation with. Those who send me texts, checking in. The people who pick up the phone and call me. Invite me to yoga in a yoga desert. Those who send me love from afar so strong and palatable that I can feel them nearby.
Those who come over to my home and share my space.
It is everything I ever wanted. Everything I was too scared to ask for -- the connection that I felt robbed of - unworthy of, yet knew was my birthright. I have found myself asking this question all my life...Do I Need Anybody?
So, here I am on a Saturday morning after perhaps one of the most difficult days of my personal and professional life. I haven't slept well in days and I am tired and frustrated and scared. I know we are not meant to live in fear and lest I be judgmental of myself for those feelings, I know I have to deal with them and feel my way through them or I will misstep my way all the way through this experience and the lessons that are before me.
When the pile of word laundry dissipates as I began here, I now see a new hero's journey before me. I sit and I identify the road ahead. I have no choice but to walk it. I plan my clothing, my accommodations and my itinerary on vacations and road trips and that is what I shall do here.
Up next, an ultrasound to determine how extensive my first surgery is going to be. I am just about 46 and I have been very fortunate to have experienced only a few physical health concerns. Fibromyalgia before my first son was born was the last big one, besides minor aches and pains of an athletic lifestyle. I am working through shame and blame at this prognosis. I allow many things into my life and I juggle a lot. In the move, I have been responsible for arranging all the new health care and logistics of running a family and I haven't been able to be as thorough as I would have liked. For instance, we all went for two YEARS without getting the family's teeth cleanings done. That is the biggest thing, really. Except that I also neglected my annual gynecological exam.
So, a polyp has gotten too large to be removed readily in-office and I'll now need outpatient surgery. To be thorough, we're going to do an ultrasound to make sure there are no stowaways and then we will proceed. I am a little mad at myself. I have been following up on my ferritin issue, possible hemochromatosis. The levels have gone down to such low numbers that I was able to postpone an appointment with a hematologist. While blood-letting is fascinating in an Anne Rice novel or Poppy Z. Brite story, I really wasn't feeling that I wanted to have to do that. It would break my heart in large and small ways for the blood to be discarded. It still has a use, value.
Letting go and clearing always come up in our lives. It's become quite mainstream. My husband and I watch Tiny House Nation and the masses are watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (I wrote a bit about inspiration from her work in my 2017 memoir). We are continuing that process with a new property and new life here and it is not without hiccup.
Helping our children adjust has also been an ongoing endeavor. We have had to bear the accusations of ripping them from everything they love and reacclimating them to giving up some of their time to family pursuits and spending time engaging and working to mesh our lives with those with whom we moved here to mesh as well as the wonderful souls who are welcoming us with open arms and hearts.
I know it has been a lot for them. All we can do is the best we can do. It was truly difficult these past few years with Matt's heart surgery nearing. It robbed him of his joy and drive and damaged his confidence in ways we never saw coming. I leveled-up in a major way to SHOW UP for my family and engaged in self-care enough to keep things afloat and so we could steal more moments of joy, but on the other side of this surgery, I let my guard down a minute. I wanted to catch my breath.
In the midst of the surgery healing, I encountered that "blow" to my self-esteem, not being included in an organization I have been a witness and supporter of from its beginnings, and watching many of the friendships I was forging become complicated because of it. I also lost a comfortable place for my personal practice, but I never wrote about it before. I am not bitter, but I am hurt and still working through those feelings of "not good enough," "imposter," and also mourning the loss of someone who I thought was a friend.
I always find the positive spin and so that is what I shared before. I was told early in my career that I can be seen as negative. I always feel as though I am just true and honest and that oftentimes people are repelled by that. They say we can only meet another as deeply as we have met ourselves.
I have never been a shallow pond. I am learning discernment - to say less. Show less. But also be enough. I fail. I still storm.
Fast forward to a summer of not getting a promotion that I thought would be a natural next step for me. I am having to settle into alignment with what I am clearly being called to experience by not having many of the opportunities I have reached for coming within a reasonable grasp. I have been becoming okay with that. Again, I think, what is my lesson here? What can I learn?
The year actually got off to a great start and I was rolling right along, and feeling good. I just knew that God said, "Girl, you can have a GREAT last year in the classroom, HERE YOU GO!" I am not ruling that out, at all, but I just got shot down another peg. Felt the other shoe drop. I got blind-sided, sucker-punched right smack in the gut.
OR, I just got a tremendous growth and learning opportunity thrown my way.
I am not at liberty, or, frankly, comfortable, divulging details at this time of what is transpiring with my son, but we are at a crisis point. I have felt for some time now that one of the directions in which I should focus my psychological and intellectual pursuits is on the treatment and development of those with divergent thinking. I have always been interested in gifted education and I have great need to become more immersed in Special Education on the other end of that spectrum and also in those who are specified as "Twice Exceptional."
Navigating the ins and outs of these processes are challenging for a parent with twenty years of diverse classroom experience. I can only imagine what the lay-person must experience. My prayers have been answered, I suppose. I will certainly learn a great deal MORE about the law as it applies to those with a disability.
Bottom line: we could use your good energy, positive vibes, good juju, prayers, and love during a tough time for our family. We are going to be fine - we always are - but it's going to take some real tough love.
My wish for you are friends like mine.
Now that I know how to make them, I can better help to teach my son. He might finally be ready this time.