Self Portrait #23

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*This was originally written March 22

Last night I got hit with some things I was not quite ready to process. It literally put me on the ground, my heart not liking the stress very much. Thank God for three of my main people (one is a hard ass, one soft and sweet, the other very spiritual) that circled around me, and with their phone calls and texts, I was able to stand back up and breathe through my panic attack. Although my eyes are still swollen from crying.

Now it’s today.

Mom, how has it been six years? I need you more then anything. What I would give to have your arms around me, but instead I am forgetting what your touch felt like. What I would give to have you tell me that everything is going to be ok, but instead I am forgetting what your voice sounded like. I am tired. I am scared. I am sad. I am angry. I am a girl wanting her mom.

They say time heals, but when it comes to you, this dull ache still sits heavy. I was the most like you. Even though I am forgetting some things, I do remember how you looked dancing in the kitchen to Shania Twain. Sitting at the table, with your hands in your hair, laughing. How you would shove my kids full of candy and pop with the biggest smile on your face. The days spent in your gardens, and how you would stop and turn your face up to the sun and smile, dirty hands and bare feet.

This will always be the worst day for me. It is a constant reminder to what I have lost. All the things that you have missed. All the memories you are no longer part of. All the tears that your death has brought.

The only relief I get, is that you no longer hurt. But know, we hurt for you.

So, somehow I will wipe away my tears, and carry on. I will push down these feelings of anger, and sadness, and frustration, and try to become the daughter that carries your wild and free ways with me. Never again, will I be somebody I’m not, in order to keep those around me comfortable. This I promise you, mom. I will be that wild child you didn’t know what to do with, but allowed me to spread my wings anyways.

Miss you forever and a day. xo

Self Portrait # 17

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Chaos.

So this is you standing at the brink of your own chaos, arms out, holding back the floods and the hurricanes. This is you falling apart, breaking to pieces during earthquakes of trauma. This is you hurting, heaving and trying to heal. This is you, in the messiest part, right after it has happened. And you are asking why, why did this come to be? How could all this earthly chaos happen to me? To you I say, love, this is your growth, this is your survival, this is the result of the universe’s incantation, this, this is how that magic happens. – Nikita Gill

I have learned to no longer ask the question why. I refuse to take the victim role. To get angry and say it isn’t fair. That this was not how it was supposed to go. Instead, I listen. I feel the dull ache in my soul, the gentle humming around my heart, the longing for something without a name. Because there is a lesson to every single thing that happens to you. Instead of asking why, ask, what will you have me do now? What do you want me to do differently? Why is not a question that needs to be answered. It is a burden you will carry forever if you do. Feel the hurt, but find your authentic self, and push back. Lean into the discomfort. Lean into the unknown.

As things start to progress for me in my journey, I find my throat tightens and my anxiety hits hard. I feel like I am constantly balancing on a ledge. One side I am a fighter, the other side I am scared and lost. Each day determines which way I lean. Today I push back, today I lean towards the fighter, knowing that tomorrow I may be lost. But luckily, there’s always another day…

Self Portrait #13

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This is me.

We slept in today. No workout or meditation before kids woke up, so I’m out of sorts. I just dropped them off at the bus after running around like a crazy lady making four lunches, finding 8 socks that kind of matched, 8 mitts that definitely didn’t match and homework that wasn’t finished. I walked over to the studio, pulled off my sweater, and stood infront of the camera. I haven’t brushed my hair in two days, I don’t have makeup on, and I feel….happy. For the first time ever I look at myself and feel beautiful, but not for what I see in the mirror.

I know I’m not for everyone and I don’t pretend to be. My smart mouth, keen intuition and impulsive behavior will drive you crazy on some days. I admit that I often do and say things without thinking that only get me into trouble. I love hard. I want to fix the broken people around me, and wear wings around my neck as a reminder that flying is always an option.

I told one of my highschool friends the other day that maybe I’m doing it wrong. Maybe I need to shut down and close off and protect my heart. He told me that that is one of the things that makes me amazing. That caring is who I am.

So here I am. Today I make a stand for myself. I don’t care about your opinion of me. I don’t care if you think I say too much. I don’t care if you think I shouldn’t be posting photos of myself and talking about my journey. I don’t care if you think I should have stayed in a loveless marriage. I don’t care if you think I’m doing it all wrong. I don’t care what you whisper about me behind my back. I don’t care. Because the ones that love me and find me worth it, I promise that my love, loyalty and commitment to spoil and care for you, will make it all worth it. So whatever opinion you hold of me, keep it to yourself. I don’t care. I’ll make you a promise, I will hold no opinion on you and the choices you make in your life – since we are all just trying to do our best – if you want to do the same for me. Because starting today, I don’t waste my time on the opinions other have of me. Your loss, not mine.

This is me.

Self Portrait # 12

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Free.

I like to think that I have this all figured out, that I am steady and strong all of the time. My close friends know that this is a roller coaster ride. That some days I wake up ready to slay the dragon, and the other days I wake up and think, “what the hell am I going to do?” I think my saving grace, is that there are so many ways I am shown that this is the right decision. That there is no other way. I spent too many years involved in turmoil, and anger, and nastiness. Too many years fighting for a place in a family that wasn’t worth the fight. I feel like I’m divorcing my ex as much as I’m divorcing his immediate family (don’t get me wrong….his extended family have always been wonderful to me). And the worst part is, all of those years I spend consumed in their bitterness. What a waste.

Even know I hear whispers of a lawsuit for defamation of character. I’m not sure if this is true, but the one that is spreading it to other family members has been the center of the problem for years. It’s funny how one insecure and narcasistic person can cause so much upheavel. When I speak about them, I only tell the truth….so bring it on. I will not be threatened and bullied anymore. Sweetheart, and you know which one you are in the family, it’s time you move on. Stop worrying about me, stop checking up on me, stop talking about me, stop letting me consume you still. It’s not healthy for you. I promise I don’t think about you anymore. Let that stuff go, and enjoy your life. I know that I have never felt more free since letting all of you go. All you do when you say these things about me to other people, is light my fire even more. You make me stronger and more confident. You make me want to rise up above you all.

I am grateful my children have wonderful grandparents who love them very much. But I worry about the role models they have in their lives. We all need to step it up a bit. Put your own issues aside and realize the four little ones that are affected the most here. You don’t need to be so bitter. You don’t need to be spiteful or angry. This could all be very different. Maybe you could put to use the fact you go to church every sunday and claim to be a Christian. But this is the choice you have to make. Just remember though, I am a whole lot stronger then you think or ever gave me credit for. And when this is all over, I will be free.

Self Portrait # 10

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Ten years.

I have struggled with heart issues for many ears now. I liked to ignore it, I did not have time to deal with it. But four children in three years did a number and at 26, I had to have heart surgery. Want an interesting experience? Be awake, while they operate on your heart. Have doctors explain to you as they burn sections out of your heart. I’ve never felt the flight or fight sensation as much as I did that day. This situation actually took a toll on my marriage, as my ex decided to go hunting during my surgery. In his defense, he has since apologized and admitted it wasn’t a great choice, but this was something I never really got over. And track record speaks for itself. But I had my dad. He was there for me the entire time, wanted to sleep in the chair beside me, and reluctantly left after the nurse sternly told him to. Twenty four hours later I was home taking care of my babies.

I am supposed to take my blood pressure twice a day, but I’m lucky if I do it twice a week, or even twice a month. I am the worse patient ever. My doctor told me to lose 15 pounds, well, that hasn’t happened yet either. I have been poked and prodded, my chest sandpapered for leads, hooked up to machines and MRIs run topless on treadmills more times then I’d like to admit.

I would like to say that I’m fixed, but I’m not. The problem now is that my heart is enlarged to twice the size. I literally have a big heart. My doctor says that I have ten years with it if it stays like this. The solution? Destress……ha. ha. ha. Destress? I asked him to come spend a week with me, and he would see how he’s literally asking me to move mountains with my magic abilities. I have felt my heart more lately then I have in a long time. It is the most frustrating thing. To be held back by something that is supposed to pump life around my body. It is like my heart is saying, want a challenge? I will give you the hardest one there is. Luckily, I never back down from a challenge. Ten years? Nah. I’ve got too much life to live, there is no way I can fit it into just ten years.

Self Portrait #6

Beautified.

One of my fondest memories growing up was watching my mom do her hair and makeup. I used to sit and watch her in awe as she curled and painted. When she was on top of her game, she felt that you should never go out of the house without putting some effort into yourself. Sometimes we were late because of this, but she always looked beautiful.

It’s amazing what you choose to take and leave from your childhood. I struggle with this concept at times. I enjoy getting dressed up and “beautified” at times, it makes me feel good. But most days, I leave the house with a high bun and fresh face, pair of ripped jeans and a tshirt.

My girls sit and watch me. They ask for makeup, I refuse, they pout. I tell them they are beautiful without it, and no amount of face paint will ever make them shine more then they already do. I try to show them to be comfortable in their own skin, which often means a lot of us in the house only sport underwear at times! I know that this won’t last forever But I hope that they can watch their momma do both. Take pride in the natural, and take enjoyment out of adding some color.

I used to feel like I had to “keep up appearances’ and that couldn’t be accomplished without my war paint. How exhausting it got at times. But it’s funny when you get in a self accepting spot, that you no longer care about this, because you only have you to impress. That when I take the time to actually brush my hair, it’s for me. And when you quiet the people around you that you’ve allowed to make you feel like you aren’t enough, you realize, you are more then enough. And that is beauty all on it’s own.