I am a mountain. I am not entirely immovable, but change takes time, with good reason and strong forces. Forces of nature and truth and cause. I do not move on whims or niceties. I do not change based on perceptions or conversations. I change with forces. Forces of truth, honesty, authenticity, and integrity. I am hard. I am solid. And, like a mountain, I am sure that what I am made of these days is far stronger than stone with a heart far more forgiving than the ashes of the greatest love ever lost.
It makes me hard to love. It makes me hard to listen to. It makes me easy to be the throwaway girl, because throwing me away is easier than looking back into a face of stone and learning what life is when you spend decades looking at no one but yourself.
But I’ve lived that. I’ve done that. I’ve been that. I am not the throwaway girl anymore. I am not all the I’m sorrys and the I’ll do betters, and the I’ll tell the stories you want to hear to make the uncomfortable moments more comfortable. No. I am not that.
I am the stark truth, the in your face unforgiving of myself every bit more so than I will ever be of you. I forgive others. I give others grace, and space to figure things out in their own way, without anger or judgement or fear. Because I know who I am. I have spent decades alone figuring exactly that out, so that when I come face to face with people I love, I can stand there in front of them – all of them – without question without wavering and be exactly every bit of me that I have grown to be. My forwardness. My truth. My honesty. And I will tell the truth about all things about me and around me and all things I love without question or judgement because the truth is something that simply is.
You can accept truth, or hide from it. You can hear it from others or find it yourself. I am not the harbinger of truth. I just learned after many years and many lives of living hiding afraid of who I was, afraid of being too much, not enough, too loud, too smart, too independent, too pointed, too talkative, too much a pain in the ass – that you know what?
Take or leave it. Grow with me, or don’t. Walk with me, or don’t. Your choices are yours and yours alone, just as mine are mine and I will own all of them with conviction and courage and integrity and honesty. Do not hide me in your bedroom, or ask me to be quiet. Hush my voice lest my opinions be heard. Quiet my uncomfortable silences, hush my past or hide my scars. They are all every bit a part of me as the pretty facade with the perfect hair and the pretty crooked smile and the style and the look and the laughter that makes everything else seem okay. It’s not okay.
I am not your dream girl. I am the shouting of crows when you enter the part of the forest you shouldn’t have. And should you choose to continue, just know this. Know that the in the forest there is no space for hiding, for niceties, or prettiness, or rescheduled time and life and priorities. Out here in the wilderness you live life by what matters. Family first. Take care of the home, your loved ones, and understand that sometimes life is more like survival pieced together with cobbled pieces of broken dreams and broken families and when you stop long enough to look at each and every broken piece you can see, you see greatness in all of it. Every single piece is beautiful, but you can only see that when you can also see the broken jagged edges that will also reflect back at you all of your own faults and fears and challenges, and cut you the moment you think that just because these broken pieces came together that they are safe.
Life is not safe. Love is not safe. Nothing worth living for is safe.
Safe is staying home, repeating patterns and telling yourself niceties that really are subrealities that make up the lies of everyday lives and complacency over and over and over again. It’s how we gloss over the real stuff. The hard stuff. The truly uncomfortable silences that lead us to the uncomfortable conversations that push us outside of our comfort zones and learn that life is about far more than surviving or making a complacent commonplace life that looks good based on what society tells you.
That thought repulses me to the point of physical revulsion. It’s as much a turn-off as cheap shots, trash talk, or anything else that more than cheapens perception – I am repulsed by things that cheapen the soul.
I don’t care about monetary things. I can buy my own vacations, my own toys, my own home, pay my own bills, and find my own way. Money comes and goes. Sure it’s been tighter these past two years than it has been in a long time, but my heart has also been fuller and that in and of itself is worth every bit of financial strain. Because my heart is full, and when it comes to money, I can always make more. I cannot make more time, or more family, or more friends, or more love.
I value experiences over things, and if money can give me the opportunity to share even more great experiences with people I love, I love to share that too. But it’s not only about that. It’s about moments in the woods with no one anywhere but right here. It’s about sleeping under the stars with nothing but the dogs and the sky. It’s about hiking out on trails that feel like home with no reception so no one can find you until you want to be found (but the people you love always know where you are because you’d never abandon them either).
I am a mountain. I will always speak my truth. If it is reality – no matter how hard it is to hear, even about me, and myself (and trust me, I hear a LOT of that, and more these days lately and I welcome every single fucking moment), it is still truth.
I am hard. I am independent. I am unwavering. I am confident. I am fallible. I am giving. I am loving. I am sorry. I am strong. I do not give up, but I am also learning that when someone shows you the door or tells you they are done with you repeatedly, when to listen. I am listening. I am honest. I am me.
I hear what people say. I hear what you say. I forget little, and remember more than I should. I forgive more, and forget less. I talk more and trust less. I am hesitant to ask for help, because I’m afraid of the repercussions that always come when I ask, when I know it’s a problem I could have just solved on my own. Happy to help always comes with a price, doesn’t it? She asks too much, she talks too much, I was there even when she didn’t ask, I will be there, I will help. I just ask this or this or that in return, on my time, on my schedule.
Perhaps I’ve lived alone too long to understand. Perhaps I’d rather swing a sledge and fix a circuit board and drink that whiskey all by myself. Except I wouldn’t. I welcome a partner, a friend, a family, anyone really who will stand beside me and know that I will never ask of anyone anything that I am not willing to do myself, ever, at all, without question. It’s honesty and integrity and just who I am.
So if I wouldn’t ask of others anything more than I’d be willing to ask of myself, why not just do it myself? Well, for one, there are plenty of things I am not nearly as good at as others around me, that’s for damn sure. Marketing strategy? On it. Dinner on the grill? Done. Figuring out some weird ass wiring issue and troubleshooting shit that’s greek to most people? No problem.
Weld something? Yeah that’s my kid’s thing – he’s far better at it than I could pretend to be (and I don’t even know how to turn on the machine). Bake? I’ll let the other kid own that (her home made icing is to die for, just don’t ask her to make rice lol).
Trust? Oh shit that’s hard. Honesty? Easy. Because when I am honest, 99% of the time most people just push me – and it – away. I don’t make shit up. If it’s the truth, it’s the truth. Hear it or hide. But it doesn’t change the truth. I’d rather hear it – all of it – about me and my kids and my reputation (oh that’s always fun, the stories I can tell!) and deal with it. Oh there’s skeletons in my closet, but they don’t haunt me because I hang them outside on the clothesline for all to see. If you know my skeletons before you know me, then you also know there is nothing you can do to hurt me other than break my trust. Because you already knew all the darkest parts of me before you ever asked to be let into my life. Everyone knows them. Those skeletons. Because I’ve introduced them to the world right here, a million times over.
I love you. I am a mountain. I love with everything I have, and will give all of myself to everything that matters to me. Do not doubt that for a second. Just know that comes with a raw visceral honesty that will tear open every past wound and self doubt and questioning you have ever had making you wonder if you’re even anywhere close to good enough. Spoiler alert: you are, and so am I, even when it doesn’t feel like that. How do I know that? Because I am still learning and if you have the wherewithal to question who you are and what you stand for and how you grow even one iota of any second of the day, every day, then that alone is enough. You are worthy. You are enough. But I can’t convince you of that. You have to first believe in yourself.