I didn’t think things would go this way. I’ve never trusted someone so quickly, or let someone ever convince me not to run – to only run away themselves. I thought we were better than that, or if nothing else, we were older than that. I mean at 41, what did you expect? Would you really have been happier if I needed you as opposed to being self sufficient? We’re not kids, anymore.
Let me make a few things clear. Yes, I make decent money. I’m not rich, but I’m not poor, and I am blessed enough to not have to stress (for the most part) about what I can and can’t afford. I still need to budget, and while there are times I can get lucky and a $$ new-to-me four wheeler comes easy, there’s plenty of times that things are tight and this, that, and the other thing needs to be repaired on the farm. It is what it is. But mostly, it’s a good thing that heading into the fourth decade on this earth, I can afford the lifestyle in which I like to live.
I manage my farm myself. I can buy my own toys, pay my own billls, and for the most part, live how I like. There were plenty of things you did better than me. Drive a tractor for one (and I don’t readily admit that!). And there were a lot of things you were really good at.
You were good to me, too. You taught me so much, even if you didn’t mean to. You see, because before I met you, I was afraid to date. I said it was because I was too independent, but a lot of it had to do with my own fears too. It had to do with my fear of failure. Of not being good enough. Again. Of not being enough, or being too much, or something mediocre in between. You taught me I was good enough, or perhaps, even too good. You told me I was beautiful – and I believed you. You told me I was amazing – and I believed you then, too. And you told me not to run – and I’m still right here.
But then you ran. You ghosted me, the same way you ghosted my best friend and told me it was because you were really into me and not her. Only you told me you loved me – and I believed you then, too. But you still left. You didn’t tell me why. You didn’t even answer. You went from telling me you loved me to disappearing in my busiest, hardest month of the whole year – which you knew from the day you met me – and you left anyway. I had a forest fire, bronchitis, wound up needing X-rays in the hospital. I traveled on two major business trips and worked through so much. And I still put effort into you.
But you ran anyway. But it’s okay. Because you know why? Because I did believe you and while I learned you couldn’t be trusted, I also learned that I would have never have known that if I didn’t take a chance. I learned that I am beautiful. I learned I am amazing. You told me so, but I am starting to see it too, thank you. I also learned that even if I was too much for you, there was probably someone out there somewhere that I am not, nor ever will I be, too much for. And I would have never believed that if I didn’t meet you.
Never before have I taken such a huge chance, such a big leap of faith that two months in and I would learn more than I had so far in a lifetime. But I did, and I learned, and somehow weeks later, I just can’t stop smiling.
Thank you for loving me enough to help me see how amazing things are when you are willing to share your life with someone. And thank you for running rather than staying and leaving after years more of me falling for you. And most of all, thank you for showing me that every chance is worth taking, and worth so much more than regret. While I wish/thought it was you I’d be sitting here with, listening to the peepers while watching the stars shift slowly across the horizon around the big pine tree is pretty damn perfect. You’re a good person; I just wish you were a better man.
Thank you, for showing me I am worth it. For reminding me I am beautiful and amazing. And teaching me that I do deserve to share my life with someone who loves me as much as I love them, even if I haven’t met them yet.
I sat in my bedroom listening to the spring peepers chirping all around and really feeling at home for the first time in a long time. Home. Really home. In a place where I could finally lay down roots – my own roots. And just when I think I am finding my footing, I go ahead and meet someone and start trusting someone and then I remember why I came to this mountain all on my own anyway.
I don’t need you here. I never needed you here. My upbringing taught me nothing if it wasn’t how to live on my own. I’ve always been a bit of an outsider. A loner. The life of the party who knows everyone everywhere but who at the end of the day just wants to retreat to her own mountain all on my own. My safe space. My roots. Home.
For a while I believed this was all worth sharing – and I guess I believe that still. We joke about who’s “invited on the island” and certainly I do invite friends here. Some of my friends are more like family to me. And without them, life would be a lonely place. So of course I want to share this with them. I always will. But somehow whenever I stop for a moment to think about really sharing my life beyond on just my terms, I’ve rarely been able to find someone to truly be a partner in all that.
I’m a tough one, I know. I don’t want your help, but I appreciate it. I don’t need you here, but I want you here because I love you. I don’t even like saying that, but something this time was different. Or at least I thought so.
Even so, I don’t regret a second of it. I learned so much about life, about love, about you, and yes even about me. I remembered why it was worth it to try again. I remembered what it was like to have butterflies in your stomach at the thought of seeing someone you were looking forward to kissing again. I rememberer I didn’t really have to do this alone if I’d stop long enough to let someone in. So I stopped. And I started to let you in.
And then I was also I reminded that I can take care of me. After all, that’s what I’ve been doing all this time, isn’t it? I’m not a kid anymore, and even then to an extent I knew how to take care of myself. So while I don’t want to necessarily do this alone, I also don’t want to do this halfway. I’m me – and all of me – and I am passionate and I believe and I love completely. I won’t ever give up my life or my friends or who I am, but I will always make time for those who I love. Because even when I’m reminded that I can do this myself, all I need to do is look around at all the wonderful people around me and realize I never really was alone after all.
Life has a way of showing you what you need exactly when you need it, even if it’s not what you want to see or believe.
And courage is what it takes to see yourself through to the other side.
I didn’t always see things that way. I’m loyal and honest – to a fault. I’m bold in more ways than one, and I’m not afraid to speak my mind or say how I feel. I say what I mean and I mean what I say, and that alone is intimidating. Most people expect me to “do that girl thing” where I say “all the right things” but secretly am mad or freaking out or plotting some passive aggressive reply while I seek my revenge in ways unknown. Even my female friends are taken aback more often than not when I say how I feel or look at things through a realist view rather than simply sighing and nodding and saying “oh yes, everything will be okay, screw him, it’s all his fault” (though there are times I will say that, or that I get it completely wrong) or whatever the situation at hand may be. Fuck that. That’s way too much effort to spend on something that will only hurt others and myself when I could instead choose to focus on the positive and on making life better for me and everyone around me. I choose that. And that also takes courage.
And conviction. I speak with conviction. I love completely. I believe from the ground up. And even when I am terrified, if I tell you I won’t run away, I won’t. I am not a liar, or a ghost. I just don’t have that in the fabric of my being. And integrity is core to who I am just like gills are a core part of a fish in order to be able to survive. Just like my flaws are a huge part of me – and I have a lot of them – my integrity is my grounding rod.
It took a long time to build myself this way. For many years I was a runner. I was afraid of being honest, and open. In some ways I still am. I work in marketing and my day job also makes me continue to be aware of public perception, persona, and polite niceties that I find frivolous and trivial. But I’ve learned to balance that out. I’ve learned how to be honest with honey rather than vinegar and I’ve learned that you can look at life through rose colored glasses and believe the best in people, even when they’ve shown you they’re not quite exactly what you wanted to believe. Sometimes I get things wrong. I get a lot of things wrong, actually. I’m over the top. I can be loud, dramatic, demanding, and confusing. I send mixed signals, and am a mix of positive and negative and everything in between. But I’m working on being better at all of it. At being me.
Life has a way of showing you what you need exactly when you need it, even if it’s not what you want to see or believe. There were a lot of things this April I didn’t want to see or believe. A lot of mistakes I made. A lot of things I thought but never said and should have. Feelings and concerns that I chose to ignore that grew into more, and that part’s my fault. But it’s not all my fault. There are a lot of things that didn’t turn out at all the way I expected. I put my faith and trust in places that – while I hope I am wrong – may indeed be misplaced (at least for now). And even so, I’ve learned that nothing in this life is final. So if I was wrong, so what? I can still learn from that. And I can still give second chances. I can still believe the best in someone is still there, even if something changed. Even if it was me who somehow caused someone to change (though at the end of the day the only one responsible for our own actions is ourselves). No one is perfect. I have more than my fair share of demons (just read any of my earlier blogs and you’ll see what I mean), and I work to overcome them and rise above, but it takes work. Someone once told me that this would be work, but that if you’ve got your sleeves rolled up, we got this. And you know what, they were right. #wevegotthis. And the best part is that “we” is so much more than just me. It’s life. It’s everyone around me that’s a part of my life, and how I am a part of theirs. Out of sight is not out of mind, at least not for me, and I try to take something great, something positive from everyone I meet.
But that too, takes courage. It means sometimes revisiting the past and seeing what went wrong, or finding what went right. It means wondering just where the rug got pulled out from under you when you weren’t looking. It also means taking a deep breath, and looking down and realizing that even without a magic carpet, maybe you really can fly.
It also means having the courage to speak up when running away is easier. It also means saying how you feel – the good stuff, the sad stuff, even the sappy stuff and the confused stuff – when staying quiet would be easier. It means saying I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions or thinking this was something it was, or wasn’t or whatever it was that went wrong.
And most of all, it means being willing to listen. To not get mad. Anger serves no purpose other than to cause pain. I have no use for anger in my life. Sure, I get mad for a few minutes but as my one friend says, I get mad for 5 minutes and then I’m over it and more interested in working together to find a way forward to make things better. I am getting better at all of this. Sure, it’s easier to ignore things and just hope things go away, but when something or someone means something to me, well, I don’t give up on people I love. But I also am not going to fight for something or someone to be in my life if they don’t want to be here. Life is all about choices. And I choose to have courage. To love completely. To live without regrets. And to always be able to stand on my own two feet and move forward regardless of who is or isn’t standing with me. I promise to listen. To see things from other’s points of view. To not push too hard or too far, but to always ask the questions that deserve answers. And I always promise to give honest answers in return – even to the hard questions, and the scary ones, and the ones that terrify me and make me wish I was anywhere but here. But I’m not. I’m right here.
There may or may not have been Bailey’s in my coffee this morning (may). I also may or may not have had 40 oz of coffee (may). Because this month is most definitely insane. And I’m somewhere between sane and insane. Mostly insane with work and stuff to do. But sane in that I’m working my ass off to get it done. With the help of Bailey’s. And maybe wine. Definitely wine. Not in my coffee though, that’s gross. At night. With dinner. Not every dinner, just sometimes. You know, on those days when I eat dinner. Cheese & crackers counts, right? With wine of course. Maybe. How about leftover Chinese in the back of the fridge?
There also may or may not be a dead flying squirrel in my freezer that I keep saying I am going to mail to The Bloggess and somehow keep forgetting. It may have been there for a few years. Maybe not. But it may. Just saying. Stranger things have happened. I do live on a farm, after all.
So far, April isn’t turning out to be nearly as shitty as it could be. I mean, let’s not take that as a personal fucking challenge, okay, April? But compared to past years, this one is marginally better. Marginally. It’s still winter so that sucks. And it rains or snows every day apparently. But so far I’ve gotten the horses moved to different fields so they can be rotated. I fixed all the fencing in the summer pasture (if by summer, you mean the field in the woods that still has snow in it, yes that one…) and moved horses there. It’s snowing again. But hey that’s normal here these days. I got the tractor fixed (again) and put out rounds and water troughs. I got a new 4wheeler and will hopefully get the old one rewired some time this month. And I’ll put out more rounds on Monday again before I hit the road. Again. 13h in the car each way and 13h days in between for a full week of crazy. Cray cray. BUT I get to see some of the best people in the world that I only get to see once a year so there’s that. Looking forward to that. Good thing the booze there is free because I’m gonna need it!
Still to do – update 1342352 websites, have about 47 conference calls, work on SEO audits and keyword research for another billion terms, fix the broken front porch step, fix the burnt out tail light bulb in the truck. Haul the broken 4wheeler into the bed of the truck (let’s get creative on this one!) and get it to the shop with said truck to be fixed. Clean the house (you don’t want to see it right now, I haven’t vacuumed in over a week and that’s unheard of for me and my OCD haha!). Unpack – do laundry – repack. Check weather. Unpack and repack. Check weather and freak out. Unpack and repack again. Change mind on what to bring. Pack and repack about 13 more times before leaving. Freak out about weather. Give up and pack all the things. Pack horse equipment. Pack friend/colleague’s stuff. Marvel at how much can fit in a 2 door Ford Focus. Realize we forgot umpteen things and freak out again. Shove it all in. Drink 1,000oz of coffee + espresso and hit the road. *Whew* I think we’ll make it. Maybe.
May or may not have time to see friends in between (may). May or may not get to ride horses before I go since I haven’t done that since December (not). Definitely will have time to eat some Goo Goo’s I brought back from Nashville (that was the trip last week). And have coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. That may or may not have Bailey’s in it.
I just need to get through April. That’s what I keep saying. It’s always a long month, with little time at home and a lot to do on the farm sandwiched between back to back business trips. So much time being “on” with clients, business associates, and friends – while a very good thing and I love the time I spend with all of them – with no downtime in between drains me. I go right from trip to farm work (spring maintenance and such) and back on the road all the while needing to maintain all of my work and clients. My stress level is off the rails and it seems like all of these little things keep adding up in between these two big things of work travel. And between everything I’ve already accomplished and everything I have to do before I am on the road again, I’m barely eating or sleeping lately.
So here I am, after an incredibly long, hard, and painful day feeling overwhelmed. Exhausted. Accomplished – yes I accomplished a ton. In pain. Frustrated. Tired. And so much more. But there’s one thing I’m not, and that’s feeling sorry for myself. Because I am not sorry. I’m eternally grateful for the life I have and the career that has taken me so many places and helped me make so many friends. I’m grateful that I get to travel, even when sometimes it’s a lot for one month. And I’m grateful that I also have this beautiful farm in the mountains to work on.
I take great pleasure from working outside. So much of what I do for my “day job” is in front of a computer or behind a phone that being outside is good for my soul. Accomplishing something physical and tangible also provides a great sense of confidence and independence that I revel in and appreciate. But April. April is always my hardest month. I just need to get through April.
So tonight I’m in sweats on my couch. I am unwinding watching my favorite dragon movie with a bottle of wine. My phone is on DND so that I can have a little break from the world and maybe, just maybe, tonight I can get some real sleep. Tomorrow may not necessarily be a better day, and actually more than likely it will be an extremely long one, but I know I’ll get through this.
Thank you, April, for being such a challenge of a month that you’re always reminding me that even when I think I am at my weakest, you are there to show me that I’m a whole lot stronger than I ever thought. I’m okay, and when this month is over, I’ll be a whole lot better than okay because tomorrow doesn’t have to always be a better day, but the tomorrow after that most certainly is. If I didn’t believe that, or if it was summer right now, there’s a good chance I’d already be halfway to my campsite in the Adirondacks with a horse in tow and no expectations beyond getting lost in the woods.
As it was, once I was finally done around the farm just before 5, I got in the truck and just drove. I wanted to drive away. Every fiber of my being this time of year tells me to run away, go somewhere else where no one can find me – the Adirondacks – the Atlantic – anywhere but here – but I find myself this year with far too much I love here to just run away, so I stay. Instead, I got in my truck and just drove around listening to music and taking in this dreary exhausting day wondering how I’ll get through this week, and then next, but at the same time knowing I always do and there’s so much more to come home to this year.
Life is good. Even when I stand here a mess of emotions that I can’t make sense of, with a little red wine, dreaming of anywhere else watching and wondering just how one learns how to talk to dragons, life is good. This life I’ve build now and where I am today I wouldn’t trade for the world. Not one ounce of it – not even the hard days – because they make all the good days that follow that much better and they make those great days amazing. Yes, life really is good.
Just know that I’ll be okay. I AM okay. I just needed some space and to realize that I never really wanted to run away. I’m going to shut down for a while, watch the second dragon movie, and go to sleep dreaming of befriending a dragon like Toothless who can help me soar to my highest heights, but also always brings me home. For it seems this time, I’ve got roots and I have no intentions of actually running away. Just flying…once I learn how to talk to dragons.
I just spent 5 minutes sitting here choking back illogical tears (“but are any tears really logical?” I think to myself), and another 10 staring at the blank page with no idea what to say. For whatever reason, nothing in my life can get to me quite the way my father does. I know, logically, I’m over it. I’ve watched Dead Poet’s Society – I know to stand up for what I believe in. Good Will Hunting taught me, “it’s not your fault.” But somehow still, years later, one email for the first time in months of not hearing from him and it still gets to me.
I can’t put this on anyone. This is my battle to fight. My demon, or rather devil. I was just saying last night when catching up with a good friend how we hadn’t heard from him in months and it’s been rather peaceful and then BAM. Speak of the devil. I wake up to an email for the first time in I don’t even know how long.
It’s like waking up to a nightmare, only it’s in writing and it’s still there. I should delete it. I should block him again because while we rarely hear from him, it still gets to me. I don’t let anyone get to me, but he gets to me and even now, as an adult I’m sitting here questioning my self worth and how long it will take me to fuck up the next important thing in my life because if there’s anything that man taught me, it was that I was a fuck up. I wasn’t good enough. I am not good enough. I’ll never be good enough.
And I’ve spent my life proving him wrong. If only I always believed it. But I know better, I really do.
His emails are delusional, painting this picture of how perfect life supposedly was when, without warning, his entire family turned on him. He has no idea why or how, when we had this perfect childhood, this perfect upbringing, with perfect family vacations in a perfect suburban town during the perfect Reagan years, when Disney was the best place on Earth and everything was, as he remembers it, perfect. Or that’s how it was if you ask him. He has no idea why one day, his family disowned him and condemned him to a life of boredom with nothing but his cats, the TV, and the internet to entertain him. Oh, and his alcohol. Of course his alcohol. But it’s okay, he doesn’t get drunk anymore, he assures us. He hasn’t in years. Only a few vodkas and a few glasses of wine a day, give or take. Maybe a little more. But really, that’s nothing. He even quit cold turkey before. I mean, except for wine, but it’s not like a few glasses of wine with lunch and several with dinner even really count, at least not if you ask him. No, he hasn’t been drunk in ages.
Funny, I don’t think he’s ever really been sober. And I know a lot more about how his mind works than he thinks I do.
I get my math brain from him. My never-ending curiosity that questions everything from reality to infinity and wants to know more. I also get my manicism from him. The difference was, I got help, and continue to be vigilant in managing my health. This life means a lot to me, and I plan on being in this one for a very long time, so quite literally, my life depends on it. And I’m okay with that. I don’t drink when I’m mad, or stressed, or upset. I can tell you I won’t be drinking this week until I get my brain quieted down and this swift-kick-in-the-gut feeling gone enough that I can breathe without feeling like I’m choking on air or about to puke. I know better, and I know that I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, and it’s not anyone’s place to fix but my own. I can’t fix him, but I’ve spent a long time fixing me, and I have no intentions of ever really being broken again. I’m okay. I’ve got this. Really.
Just know that this week, if I’m a little off kilter, I’m sorry. If I’m a little rough around the edges, or a little tense, or a little more quiet than usual, I’m sorry. I just need some air. Or a hug. Or nothing at all but some solitude on the lake. Or to learn how to see myself through someone else’s eyes other than my father’s.
I’ll figure it out, I promise. I always do. And while in some way, my father will always haunt me, I also know that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for him. Underneath it all, there’s greatness even in the devil himself. For that, I thank him. Truly. Because where I am in my life right now is the best place I’ve ever been. And I mean it – I have the most genuine people in my life that I can’t imagine even going back and changing a thing, not even the hard parts. Those are the parts that make you realize how great the great ones really are. And these days, there’s a lot more great parts than bad ones. And even more great things to come. So much more.
It’s okay, I can do this. Don’t worry about me. Anyone else can see that I’m so much stronger now. Anyone can. And if anyone else can, I can too. I love you.
I’ve never really been here before. Coming off my first huge manic episode in years, followed by a leveling out, a peace of mind, and an acceptance if you will, that where I am now is so much different – and BETTER – than anywhere I’ve ever been before.
And then all of a sudden I’m doing silly things like leaving my heated car seats plugged in and killing my car battery. Contemplating all the shit my brain does and says from every what if to fractal math and quantum physics and all of a sudden I can’t sleep because I can’t quite comprehend if infinity is real, or if it’s even enough time for everything I want to find answers to, as I’m here questioning every what if and every reality wondering if perhaps this time I really did find my way through that childhood poster with the unicorn and end up somewhere in Narnia. Because clearly, this isn’t real.
Another whirlwind weekend where time goes too fast, but at the same time too slow as I remember and cherish every moment, and I’m wide awake exhausted questioning so much about every bit of reality I’ve known this life and apparently every life – at least those that I can remember – before this one.
You see, I’m a loner. I have friends – lots of them – and the good ones I’d die for without a second thought or a first request because that’s what friends are, or at least that’s who I am. But this is different. This is something I can’t explain. Something I thought I wished for to be so impossible that it couldn’t possibly ever come true because then I’d be safe. I’d be able to continue – alone – for as long as I need.
I like my castle. My walls. My barbed wire. My over exuberant social and work life that leads me to be the person that knows everyone and everything and is at home everywhere right up until it’s time for me to retreat to my mountain where I can find the solitude and silence in the woods that makes me feel whole. It was a different mountain before this one, but this is the mountain I live at now and it’s different. It’s better. It’s taller and stronger, like me these days. And I know that I am all the strong I’ll ever need to get through this.
I’ll get through this. I always do. But this time I also don’t want to run away.
Sitting awake listening to Jason Aldean and realizing my walls are crumbling because when you’re not here, I miss you. When you are here, it’s like the world melts away and it’s just us. And when you are gone again, I can’t breathe.
Sometimes I can’t breathe because I’m so god damned afraid I don’t know what to do. I couldn’t breathe after we talked about tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that, and I said I didn’t want to run away because I couldn’t imagine a tomorrow without you in it. And then I couldn’t breathe again. You Make It Easy came on the radio on my way home today, and I couldn’t breathe again then, either, because suddenly that song made me think of you, and how easy this is and then my brain kicks in to remind me nothing is easy and everything good goes away and the air became thin again.
I want you here more, but I also need to breathe. I don’t know how to do both, but it seems every day I am learning. Space is a good thing but just how much is a thing I have never stopped to think about before. I always was willing and able to wholly and completely run the fuck away. Far away. I could breathe over there. But you’re not over there. You’re right here.
Suddenly, I don’t want to run, and I don’t know where that leaves me or what it means.
Every cheesy rom com movie comes to mind, from Sweet Home Alabama (so I can kiss you any time I want), to Practical Magic (I wished for you because it was impossible for you to exist – but you’re here) and then there I go choking for oxygen again with the realization that movies aren’t life, and no life is that good, especially not mine. It’s never been, not this life and not as long as I can remember. And I remember a lot.
I don’t know how to just be here, and breathe, and just be. Maybe it’s like the Killers said, and I’m just in a rut. Don’t give up on me, I’m just in a rut. I’m climbing but the walls keep stacking up. Please, don’t give up on me. I’m just in a rut. I can find the air out there, somewhere, if I just keep believing that this is real. That maybe I was lucky enough to deserve this. To deserve you. To believe that all those years and lives of fierce loyalty and lioness strength has lead me down this path where I get to stand beside you.
Or maybe I’m wrong and suddenly I will wake up and it’ll all be over. Like a ghost in a dream, whispers of a past I don’t remember or try not to, and I can face the world with the stark cynicism of a steadfast soul that is used to fighting for friends with the strong solitude of confidence that comes only from a past littered with loss and despair that only the strongest can overcome.
Maybe I’m still wrong. Maybe I just need to breathe. My chest keeps tightening. I’m terrified. I’m falling – I’ve already fallen – and I don’t know how to fly. I never really have. I just fall, pick up the pieces, and start over. and over. and over. and over. It’s just who I am. It’s just who I’ve always been.
Tonight I’ll try to bribe my mind with thoughts of quiet solitude and a chance of you here. Tomorrow I’ll try to breathe again and remember, every day is just one day. One more day forward doing the best I can. One day, that best will be good enough. You’ve already said I’m perfect. I’m trying so hard to see in myself what you say you already see in me. I am doing the best I can with everything I can. Everything. Because something tells me this is it. You are it. This is what I’ve been fighting for my whole life. The life I’ve been fighting for my friends to find for themselves. I just never really believed that I deserved that myself, but I believe in you and it seems you believe in me and I hold onto that hope and faith like a battle cry or banner as I fight my own demons. They’re almost gone but they still tell me I don’t deserve this. I don’t deserve you.
I deserve you.
We deserve this.
If only I could breathe.
Just when I think things are perfect and I’m so busy looking at life through rose colored glasses and melting snow listening to “What Ifs” by Kane Brown marveling at how sappy I suddenly am (who AM I?! Help me find my ever loving cynicism!) and I sit down after a great morning hike and turn on my computer and BAM. It hits me in the face and out of nowhere I’m at my desk shaking in tears.
It would seem that even when I least expect it, I still have my demons and dragons lurking around. I’m trying to get better with overthinking. I’m trying to not pre-play every scenario and every possible conversation and every possible answer, next step, and outcome out in my mind. When I do that, I make myself crazy with the endless unfathomable possiblities and usually what happens in the end is something I never thought of in the first place anyway. Before you know it, I’m sitting up wide awake at 4am trying to make my very humanly fallible brain grasp the quite inhuman concept of non-linear math and things like infinity, the applied infiniteness of the galaxy, the exponential potential combinations of things like life, congruent and concurrent time overlapped with concepts of three and four plane mathematics overlaid with ideas of fractal math to fractal time to if it would be possible to mathematically prove ideas such as theories presented in the much loved children’s book “A Wrinkle in Time” or the lesser known Piers Anthony series “Fractal Mode” all based on these things. And people wonder why sometimes I can’t sleep…
So what was it today? Last night I mostly slept (minus some slight insomnia thanks to new thyroid meds taken at the wrong time that day). I didn’t contemplate all the theories my brain likes to profoundly toss about. I had a beautiful morning hike with a friend and my dogs. I texted with a guy I went on one date with so far (yes, me! wtf? to be fair he seems really awesome and I can’t wait to see him again). I’m in the process of breaking down walls and maybe, just maybe, starting to untangle that barbed wire from around my heart. So what was it?
Still Demons & Dragons
My good friend passed away last summer of stage 4 breast cancer. She was my age. We rode together. She always wanted to come camping with us with the horses and had talked about it for a few years. She loved my trailer with living quarters, and as a gift to herself after her initial diagnosis and chemo, she bought one like it – even nicer and brand new – it was beautiful. Drove all the way to Florida with her father to go get it. And she got to use it a few times. We rode together last spring and she had the trailer. But she never got to really camp in it.
There it was on Facebook this morning, for sale. It makes sense of course. I’m actually sorta surprised that her parents didn’t list it sooner. It’s brand new and absolutely stunning. But it hit me right in the gut that she wasn’t here to go camping with. The cancer came back with a vengeance and she didn’t make it through last summer. She never got to camp in that trailer in the mountains with us. And while my rose colored glasses are still pretty rosy, and my life is still pretty amazing as I picked up Rilian (my truck) from the shop this morning to head down the shore tomorrow to see an old friend, it also reminded me that there are no guarantees in life.
Above all, be YOU
So love whom you love. Be yourself. Stop making excuses, and please don’t waste time playing games. Life has no rules. There’s no wait x amount of days before calling, or don’t text him too much because it may be too fast. Don’t call him until he calls you. Wait for the right time to do this. Wait for the weather to be better to plan that trip. Wait til you save a little more money to go here or there. Wait for what, really?
Nothing. Stop waiting. LIVE. Live your life today. Be present in the moment and soak up the sun, but also soak up the clouds and the fog and the rain and the snow because all of that together is part of what makes life beautiful. Be happy for the friend you had (even if she’s gone now, and the others that are gone too) rather than wishing for the “could have beens” and “should have dones” that never came.
I’m not saying run blindly into the night screaming in glee as you guess whether the light at the other end of the tunnel is daylight or a train (spoiler alert: it’s probably a train). No, I’m not saying run blindly anywhere at all. I’m saying that sometimes you need to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and have a little faith. Finding a little hope along the trail often helps too. And then remember, you’re not new. This life isn’t new. And chances are you’ve had other lives before this one too. But this life we’re not in Narnia (and from what I hear, there’s even conflict there from time to time – just ask the White Witch). We’re right here on Earth, and the most we can do is make the best of who we are and the people that are in our lives today.
You never know when there’s demons and dragons hiding around the next bend. I’m manic. I always will be. I can go from flying as high as a bird to crashing and burning when I see my friend’s trailer for sale and I realize just how much I miss her – still – and likely always will. I want to warn you – I have demons and dragons. I’ll likely be escaping them my entire life, or lives. I don’t know if they follow you from this life to the next, I’ve never stopped to ask. I’ve been too busy fighting for my life, for what I believe in, and everything I stand for. This time, it seems like life is good – really good. Not just superficially good. But good in a way I haven’t entirely felt before, and in a way that’s both exhilarating, inspiring, and more than a little bit terrifying. When I fuck this up, can I live through this again? What if I don’t fuck this up? What if I do? What if the issue is me – what if it’s always been me? What if I’m not seeing around the next corner or thinking too far or not far enough ahead? What if my father was right and I’m not good enough? What if I never will be good enough? Sometimes there’s a reassurance in solitude and a comfort in a fortress built around being alone that also brings with it a sense of security that allows all the friends in the world in – without ever needing to ever really let anyone live there.
The what ifs will kill you if you let them. And the worst one is the one that’s the what if you never took that chance. But they’re friends with my demons – the what ifs are – and I’m trying to keep them all at bay. The dragons, however, they just keep telling me to open my eyes and see that I always could fly – and suddenly – I’m flying again. So take that chance, the chance of the most important what if. Isn’t it worth flying for?
To all of you who believe in dragons, keep on believing. I believe, too. This is for you. Because I always have been and always will be that girl.
Sometimes the best things in life are finding those comfortable spaces where you just fit. I’m not talking about the space on your couch – though that’s comfortable too. I’m talking about those spaces where you fit with comfortable silence. You know, those silences when you’re just comfortable with someone that the conversation flows, and those gaps between conversations is filled with that comfortable silence that you don’t need rush to fill in with words because you’re perfectly content to just be.
Comfortable spaces are like those comfortable silences, but better. It’s the comfort of sitting next to someone at a bar and when your leg touches theirs, not recoiling out of habit but being comfortable having someone else in your space. It’s those days just sitting and doing nothing and fitting into the space in life where things are okay. Being comfortable and realizing that not everything has to be a challenge and finding those comfortable spaces is one of the great parts about life.
Sometimes, you find those spaces out in the woods by yourself, enjoying the fog on a cool-warm day between raindrops and melting snow. Sometimes you find those spaces out on the town with friends when you go just a little bit out of your comfort zone and have a blast anyway. And sometimes, you find those spaces sitting next to someone at a bar on a day drinking excursion that turns out to be an incredibly comfortable space that you just don’t want to end.
Who knows, maybe it doesn’t have to. Maybe it does. Maybe all things that seem too good to be true really are. Or, maybe there are things in life that are just that good. For a change, I’m trying to not overthink everything, and have a little faith that maybe sometimes things really do happen for a reason. Even if that reason was just that I needed a really great Saturday to find a comfortable space. All the while hoping it’s more.
After writing last week’s blog about living a great story – your story – it also got me thinking about another one of my sister’s great quotes that I have hanging on my fridge on a photo of her crossing the finish of the NY Marathon (yeah, she runs for fun, I run only when chased…idk some days how we’re related, but I digress). And even though I’ll never get the whole running thing, the quote – now that’s something I get. Right here, through to my core. No running required.
Be your own superhero.
Really, why not? It makes sense, and I realized a few years back that I already was mine. I think that’s why I find the whole dating scene so frustrating and often opt to forego that and go for good company and good friends and good whiskey instead. It’s far easier than explaining living my life. This life. Life as a superhero.
I realized this with the help of a dear friend and a huge inspiration to me. She was the oldest rider to ever compete and complete at Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event – the only four star FEI event in North America and at just over ten years my senior, I hardly consider her old. If you met her, you’d know her spirit is as youthful as they come and that lends itself to her successes. She’s always smiling, always takes time for others, and has raised some wonderful kids, one of whom I am also privileged to call a colleague and friend. I’d like to think some of her inspiration has rubbed off on me.
She sometimes refers to me as a superhero for all I accomplish. Funny thing is, I look at HER as a superhero without having seen it in myself. And then I stopped and thought about it, and realized we could both be superheroes. After all, X-Men didn’t do it all themselves. They weren’t all men either. And superheroes often have superhero friends. So why then is it so hard to find other people that understand that? Just be yourself.
Yes, being yourself is extraordinary. The very definition of ordinary is “with no special or distinctive features” so by being yourself – your true self – and living your great story, you are therefore, extraordinary. No one else can be you. No one else can live your story. So stop being afraid of what’s out there and go out and do your extraordinary things, whatever those things may be. Whether it’s defying odds and competing around one of the hardest event courses in the world on your home made OTTB, or starting your own company and fighting for what you believe in. Even if it’s just a matter of living every day better than the last and embracing your quirks such as painting the laundry room to 80’s music while singing off key and having a blast with your friend and her kids.
Being extraordinary is a matter of being you to the fullest. Sometimes I take a step back and look at everything I accomplish on my own, and realize, wow, I really did do all of this. And I’ll do even more tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that. And sometimes, I’ll accomplish nothing more than a day on the couch after a soak in the hot tub and that’s okay too. Even superheroes need a day off from time to time.
I can see it. Can you?
You may not be able to see it in yourself, but if you can see the superhero in someone else, it’s there in you too. You just have to believe in yourself. Be you. You already are your own superhero. Even without ever running the NY Marathon and don’t worry, I’m not ever running it either. But follow your superpower dreams and go live your own superhero story because being your own superhero is the best way to be.