UU

So, two weeks ago I started going to my local UU church. It’s wonderful. It’s a spiritual community, filled with people from all walks of life who gather together to improve themselves and their community. I’ve totally fallen in love with it. This passage comes from the hymnal …

Life comes with singing and laughter, with tears and confiding, with a rising wave too great to be held in the mind and heart and body, to those who have fallen in love with life.

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news!

Yesterday I signed a lease. Yup, you heard me right. I found this amazing apartment that I love. It’s got a dishwasher, and laundry, and a linen closet, and a frickin’ fireplace! And it’s mine, my friends. It’s going to be empty as hell, but who cares? I’m going to be able to burn incense, and hang up tapestries, and arrange furniture the way I want to, and buy nothing but organic food, and play Ani DiFranco 24 hours a day. Why? Because I will no longer have to ask permission from anyone else to do this shit. My place. My life.

I’m terrified and exhilarated and overwhelmed.

It’s going to be awesome.

distance

04-01-09-032-2

I keep on thinking I’m done with the emotional aspect of this.  Everybody keeps saying that I seem like I’m in such high spirits, considering what I’m dealing with these days.  And I have been!  I’ve been feeling excited about the prospects before me, about the doors opening, about what the future could have in store.  I’ve been feeling hopeful that the changes I feel in myself won’t go away, that I won’t simply sink back into being the same old me that I so desperately want to get rid of.

I think that’s the thing I’m having the hardest time expressing to him right now … that the changes occurring right now are starting within me, deep within me in a place which I’ve been wanting to change for so long.  What happens between us is merely a by-product of those internal changes.

We have good days, you know?  Days when we seem to be able to laugh and talk almost like we used to.  Days when he seems to be trying particularly hard to make the changes I need made.  Days when I can almost forget how miserable I am.  Yesterday was one of those days, one of those fleetingly joyful days, and so when I woke up this morning I was deeply entrenched in the emotions of it all again … the feelings of loss and mourning and exhaustion.

But yesterday I also took off my wedding ring and hung it from a chain around my neck.  But now it feels like The One Ring, weighing down my heart and mind and spirit in a way that it never did around my finger.

I don’t know what this means.  I don’t know what any of it means.  I simply want something to change.

I find myself repeating … over and over in my head … am I doing the right thing?  For myself and for everybody else involved, am I doing the right thing?

He’s going away for a week, to Pittsburgh to visit a friend of ours who is getting a divorce.  He’s going away to give me space, give me a chance to figure out what I want without having him here all the time, driving me nuts with his constant presence.  I’m afraid of what that will be like.  I’m afraid that I’ll find that, without him here, it’s all too much for me to handle.  I’m afraid that I will sigh and begrudgingly say fine, we can stay together, because it’s too hard for me to do on my own.

Will distance make my heart grow fonder?  Or will I discover that having him away is, in fact, exactly what I want?

breakthrough

I’m finally starting to get it …

On days when I don’t exercise, I emotionally feel like crap.

On days when I eat really badly, I emotionally feel like crap.

On days when I don’t get out into the world and interact with it in some way or another, I emotionally feel like crap.

On days when I don’t use my creativity in one way or another, I emotionally feel like crap.

The days when I don’t do those thing, when I’m not taking care of myself … those are the days when I hate myself and my life.

Duh.  It’s so obvious that I can’t believe I didn’t put it together until now.

I’m eating some food and then I’m off for a hike.  Yippee!

movement

This morning I went up to The Fells after dropping Darwin off at school and took myself on a hike. Two straight hours of moving up legs back and forth, up and down, looking at the world around me and gaining perspective from nature.

I love to be outside, love the sounds and the feelings. I love the wind moving through the trees, love happening along a little stream. I love standing up at the top of a hill that I just climbed, feeling like the master of my own destiny, ruler of my own universe. I love the strain, exerting myself, love the amazing payback I get for the effort. I feel happier and more alive being out there, walking alone than I have in a long time.

I need to remember this. This veil of depression that’s been settling over my eyes is a road to disaster. I need to think of this time that I’ve been given right now, this momentary lapse in adulthood, as an opportunity. This is my chance to spend time alone, in the world. This is my chance to remember who I am and to figure out who I want to be. I need to learn to believe in myself. I need to remind myself of my place in the world. And in order to do that I need to be out, moving in it.

There’s a trail on the West Side of The Fells called The Skyline Trail. It’s my favorite trail to hike there, with a difficulty rating of 4 out of 5 stars. I found out today that its total distance from start to finish is 7.88 miles. Next week I’m going to hike the whole trail.

Just watch me.

change

I recently decided to open my heart to change.  I told the universe that I was willing and able to accept change, to welcome it, to learn to love the change.  And the universe listened … just not in the way that I thought it would.

Today I got laid off.

And now I’m finding myself a little bit shellshocked.  It’s not that I’m surprised that I got laid off (I’ve actuallybeen anticipating it for a while), it’s simply that I’m now surprised to find myself without a job.  It’s a strange thing.  But I’ve already got an interview set up for next week, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I should have known that the universe would listen.  And I should have remembered that it never listens quite the way you think it’s going to.

stagnant

Today I’m feeling overwhelmingly, heart-achingly sad.  Sometimes I feel like my life is out of my control and I don’t know how I got here or how to get out.

I’m 50 pounds overweight and I’m having a bitch of a time getting myself to do anything about it.  I know once I start keeping my momentum up will not be too hard.  But for right now inertia is killing me, and I’m feeling incredibly sad that I’m not doing anything to change.  Sadness makes me eat.  Vicious cycle.

I’m in a fairly unhappy marriage.  It’s not that we’re going through a bad patch, it’s that we’re unhappy together and we occasionally go through good patches.  Right now is not one of those times.  Usually vacations give us enough time together doing cool stuff to spice up and improve our life together for a while.  But that didn’t happen on this vacation.  We, in fact, had a horrible time and it took a serious toll.  Right now nothing is particularly good and I’m really feeling the effects of that.

I have a 2 year-old son who’s going through exactly what any 2 year-old is supposed to be going through – testing limits, throwing fits, having tantrums, etc.  But my emotional state is not conducive to dealing with it … I get more frustrated and angry with him every day, and I’m pretty sure that’s not going to be helpful in the long run.  What I want is to be calm, and not super emotionally invested, so that when I punish him I’m not doing it out of frustration, I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do and will have long-term benefits for his life.

Also, I’ve reached the point where according to my biological clock and my deep-seated emotional desires I want another baby.  I want my son to have siblings and emotionally now feels like the right time.  Except that it’s so obviously not and my lovely brain knows that.  So my emotions are constantly warring with my brain and I’m in this giant tail-spin of wanting a baby and knowing that, in all likelihood, I’m never going to have another one.  Or at least I’m not going to have another one while my life is like this.

I have no career and no prospects for one.  I’m working a job which doesn’t require me to ever use my brain.  Maybe some people wouldn’t have a problem with this, but I’m actually smart enough that I find it frustrating and saddening.  My job is just fine, but I want something more.

And that’s just it … I want something more.  My husband, when we’re fighting, complains that I’m always waiting for other people to do the hard work for me, that I’m happy to simply sit back in my bubble and wait for the world to change itself to fit my needs.  Is he right?  Am I not taking an active enough role in my own life?  Am I waiting for someone/something to come and save me?

I want something more.  It’s up to me to make that happen.  How do I do it?  What steps do I take?

… watch your own reflection superimposed …

Yesterday was an amazing day.  I spent time with two friends of mine who I absolutely adore … we made mac and cheese and talked about intimacy and spirituality and the possibility of overcoming our genetic dispositions.  These are two of my favorite people in the world, who I feel incredibly lucky to be so comfortable with.  They are friends I am not willing to let simply slip away into the ether.

And then last night, after all these deep and wonderful discussions, when I was totally open to having a profound and life-altering experience, I went to go see an Ani DiFranco concert with two other friends.  I’ve been a fan of Ani for 15 years, though my love for her has waxed and waned greatly in that time.  I suppose it would be fair to say that it’s actually been a long time since my love for her was anywhere but on the back burner.  But when a friend said that she was coming to town and playing at Symphony Hall, I obviously couldn’t resist.

And I am now incredibly, unbelievably thankful that I didn’t.

First of all, I have never heard music the way I did last night.  The acoustics in that place are TO DIE FOR.  It was like being entirely encased in a giant bubble filled with the most beautiful music imaginable.  It was all encompassing and entirely astounding.  I can’t say enough.

And the concert itself was amazing.  She played a couple of my favorite songs of hers, subtly redone so that they were new and interesting.  She played a bunch of stuff from her new record, all of which was incredibly cool (I especially liked the one about being in labor with her daughter).  And she played 2 songs which she just wrote, one of which was a song about President Elect Obama, and how proud she is of the American people that we all voted for him.  It was amazing.

She ended the concert with two of my favorite songs, both of which I very strongly associate with J, and they brought me to tears in a way that was astounding.  I think that because I was so open to the world I really let myself have that profound experience, really let myself feel the words and the lyrics and the emotions that are tied into these songs for me.

I’m going to leave you with some of the lyrics to her song “Overlap”:

i search your profile for a translation
i study the conversation like a map
’cause i know there is strength
in the differences between us
and i know there is comfort
where we overlap

each one of us
wants a piece of the action
you can hear it in what we say
you can see it in what we do
we negotiate with chaos
for some sense of satisfaction
if you won’t give it to me
at least give me a better view

i build each one of my days out of hope
and i give that hope your name
and i don’t know you that well
but it don’t take much to tell
either you don’t have the balls
or you don’t feel the same

come here
stand in front of the light
stand still
so i can see your silhouette
i hope
that you have got all night
cause i’m not done looking yet

Thank you, Ani, for entering my life again in such a strong and beautiful way.  You are an inspiration and a road map and a kindred spirit.  Thank you.

Two roads diverged in a wood …

And we
We took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Today I am proud to be an American.  And, amazingly, I have faith that this new president of ours can keep that pride alive in me.

It’s a good day to be alive.

(Also, let me just mention, because it needs to be mentioned, that in Massachusetts people voted to keep the income tax and to decriminalize marijuana and in South Dakota people against the abortion limits.  Maybe people aren’t as dumb as I think they are.)

america the beautiful

I’m having such an incredibly emotional reaction to this election day.  I’m feeling hopeful and terrified and happy and like I just want to curl up in a ball and cry.

This day is monumental for a million different reasons.  This is the first time I’ve seen my friends (and myself) really interested in politics, like all of a sudden this stuff actually affects our lives.  We have dinner once a week together and for months now we haven’t been able go for more than an hour without our fears and hopes for this election day peppering the conversation.

I was vehemently talking about the election one day and my husband said, “You’ve never cared about this before, why now?  Why are you now so passionate about it?”  I looked at him, entirely flabbergasted, and responded, “Because it’s not my future I’m caring about anymore.  Now it’s Darwin’s life that this is affecting, and good lord knows I want him raised in a better America than this.”

And that’s really what it comes down to.  That’s why I’m so emotional.  I see the two pathways dividing in the woods.  Down one of them is an America that I don’t want Darwin to be a part of, an America which looks an awful lot like the last 8 years, an America where no forward progress is going to be made and we will just continue falling and falling and falling.

And down the other path is an America where we improvements will be made … where troops will come home from a useless war, my parents won’t have to worry about the state of their retirement investments, health care will be more affordable, the education my son gets will be better, and where a man with different colored skin than Darwin has is president.

Two roads diverged, my friends … and I am incredibly hopeful that America knows which one to choose.