polaris

back then

before you knew you were a star

they tried to cover your brilliance

shroud you in silence

dim the light

it didn’t work –

my darling it never could –

you are bright enough

to illuminate galaxies

and your fire cannot be quenched

by lowly storm clouds.

your scars are constellations

aurora borealis

in your eyes

the moon itself hangs inside your chest

I come to you seeking;

wondering at your midnight sky

sleepily I lay down my head

eavesdropping

the deepest secrets of the cosmos.

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playlist

I love you for

Endeavoring

To heal a heart

You didn’t break.

Keep trying-

It might just work,

It might just work.

Don’t Be Beige

Don’t be beige.

I scribbled the words excitedly in my journal like a 15 year old writing about her new crush.  So profound.  Or was it?  I can never tell with these thoughts that occur to me in the shower, or while driving around town, or while I’m half-watching Law & Order: SVU and half-making an imaginary grocery list.  (Does anyone else do that? I’d imagine it’s a normal part of life as a mom/household manager/toddler wrangler.)

Anyway… beige.  The walls in our apartment are beige. I don’t mind it.  It’s not particularly exciting, but it’s fine.  Beige is a neutral – one of the blending colors.  It’s a color that allows all the other decor to be seen. Beige is a good background because it isn’t memorable or noticeable. It does not stand out.

Don’t be beige is my new motto.  So what exactly do I mean when I say, “don’t be beige”?

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I mean show yourself.  Reveal who you are.  Don’t be afraid to live your life at full volume because you think someone else won’t like your song. In order to live a fulfilled life, you need to in full glory and magnificence, without any care for what anyone else thinks.

I think that people are comfortable being beige. Beige isn’t scary. I get that.  They feel beige is safe. It’s polite. It doesn’t offend. I tried to be beige, I tried to please people, tried to blend, tried to step back so others could have the attention.  While blending in and being beige may make others comfortable, ultimately living life this way ends in disappointment and regret.

Two major things I noticed while I was consciously camouflaging myself:

  • There is no benefit to me. – I gained nothing from stepping back, dimming my own light or quieting my passion.  Literally nothing good comes from silencing my voice so that someone else can speak.  I get no life experience, meet no new people, and receive no praise because no one sees me.  And ironically trying to please others didn’t make them like me more ore less.
  • There is no benefit to others. – The people who shine do that because of who they are. Colorful, magnetic, fun, talented. My beige-ness didn’t accentuate them. It only hid me. Worse, being beige causes me to miss out on contributing to the world in a way that only I can.

When I realized I wasn’t being my authentic self, I made a choice to be more colorful. I spoke up when I felt passionate.  I accepted invitations to parties.  I wore the sexy dress without worrying what someone else might think. Creatively, I have so much to give, and expressing that through writing, podcasting, and other venues allows me to contribute something tangible to the world.  My kids see me being silly and it shows them that they can be silly too.  I follow my own rules and beat my own drum and in the same way, peers and friends hear me telling my story and they are emboldened to tell their own.  It’s a beautiful domino effect.

These days, I have renovated my soul. There is no beige. I am memorable. I stand out. I am not a neutral, because I have a voice and I’m not afraid to be seen, and my home – and my whole world – is so much more colorful.

Hitchhikers

There was a meteor shower last night.

Did you see it?  Did you notice them?  Were you, like my family, standing outside, looking up, ignoring the icy cold in order *hopefully* catch a glimpse of something magical?

We stood in the parking lot, the four of us, looking up.  We laughed and talked and danced.  Yes, we danced to stay warm.  We counted twinkles, identified constellations, and hugged each other while giggling about the possibility that if we kept our gaze up long enough, our necks might get stuck this way.

We connected and played and enjoyed each other, imagining dragons as we exhaled smoky white clouds of breath.  We talked about distant planets and galaxies and the undiscovered life that might be staring up at us at the same time.  There were jokes about aliens, stories of great Roman warriors who now live among the stars, and scientific questions about just what those stars are made of and why they appear to twinkle.

I saw one!  I was looking in the right  place at the right time, and I saw a star go from here to there, ever so quickly and quietly.  Before I could point it out to anyone, it was gone.  I mumbled a belated wish to the heavens, but the truth is that in that moment, with my tribe, I was already living my best life. What else could I ask for?

The Gemenid meteor shower came and went, and we lugged our chilly bodies up the stairs to our front door and into the warm, welcoming space we currently call home. Each of us tiptoed like baby birds to our respective nests, and without any more mention of stars, prepared for bedtime.

As I lie in bed waiting for sleep to come, I realized the depth and importance of what felt in the moment like goofiness…

Moments like this are what make childhoods worth reminiscing on.  Moments like this become memories that will amuse us, comfort us, remind us for the rest of our lives of the happy, silly time we had “that night”, looking up at the sky, cracking up at what the neighbors must be thinking about us, musing that we might be waiting for our mother-ship to come and whisk us away to the next universe. (Did we bring towels?)

Yes, the stars showed up and twinkled brightly for us, but it was we who brought magic to the night.

Shooting-Stars

 

 

Losing What Never Was

Chemical Pregnancy.  That’s a term I’ve only learned just this week. What does it mean?  From what information I have read online in the past couple of days, it’s really just another term for miscarriage.  Some people use “chemical pregnancy” when describing the loss of a child in the very early weeks of pregnancy, because technically it is not the miscarriage of a fetus, or baby, yet.  Something about the word “chemical”, at least when I hear it, seems to imply that the pregnancy is somehow false or fake, or all in one’s head, and I don’t believe that is true.

When a woman has a chemical pregnancy, all of the expected pregnancy symptoms are there.  The list is wide and varied from woman to woman, but many of us are familiar with the most common early pregnancy symptoms:  nausea (morning sickness), sore breasts, and a missed period.  A lot of times (most times?) with a chemical pregnancy, a pregnancy test will result in a positive.

For women like myself, there are certain “tell tale” symptoms of pregnancy.  I have been pregnant a few times, but only carried one child (my son who is 5) to term.  However, each time I KNEW I was pregnant from the get-go.  My body does things in pregnancy it wouldn’t DARE do otherwise.  I get yeast infections (sorry) in pregnancy.  I have vivid dreams, many times of the pregnancy or child itself, like I am meeting him or her.  My boobs HURT like my bra is made of sandpaper.  I get tired.  I get emotional.  Very, very emotional.   Truth be told I am an emotional person by nature.  But when I’m pregnant, it gets ramped up to 11.  My feelings go to 11.  High five if you get the ST reference.

Yesterday ended a brief, happy, hopeful couple of weeks that evidently was a chemical pregnancy.  To be clear, miscarriage is real, and chemical pregnancies are not “made up”.  I am 100% sure I was pregnant, at least for a little while.  I spotted at implantation time.  I got a raging infection – seriously, I could not walk for a couple of days – around what would normally be ovulation time (and this is when I became sure we had conceived).  I began having dizzy spells.  My complexion was “glowing” and my step-mom randomly asked me if I was pregnant.  I wasn’t ready to think it possible yet, so I just said no.  My boobs… well, I already went over that.  They don’t hurt me in a normal cycle, and this time they were swollen, with blue-ish veins and lots of pain. My belly was a little swollen. I cried at everything.  Literally.  Happy things, sad things, all the things made me cry.  I had several dreams.  Mid-month, a dream that featured an “old-timey” nurse in a candy-striper outfit and a white hat, holding up two positive pregnancy tests and asking me “are you sure this is what you want?”  Another featuring my son’s soon-to-be-sibling, cuddled up next to me on the couch, my son cuddled with us, taking our first photo together.  My favorite grass-fed beef smelled and tasted funny.  (Meat aversion was something I suffered when pregnant with my son.)  I allowed myself to think.  Then to hope.  I prayed in the shower, “God please if you allow this to happen, I promise I will love this child and be the mother he or she deserves.” Then I began to get excited.  Yes, I was definitely pregnant.

Yesterday, I ceased to be.

I am sad.  Of course, sad does not begin to cover what I feel but I find this whole thing difficult to articulate.  I have cried hot tears and choked on my own heartbreak.  I prayed in the shower again, this time through sobs and snorts, a different prayer.  “God, I hurt.  Please heal my pain.  Your ways are higher than my ways and I know you want what is best for me. So, it is well.  It is well with my soul.  It is well with me.”

{side note: Not even an hour later in church, our worship pastor decided to “switch things up” and play an older hymn.  The name of that hymn?  It Is Well With My Soul.  The man who wrote it, he said, wrote it after and despite losing his three daughters.  He still wanted to praise God and say that God is still good.  Oh, my heart!  God was speaking directly to me and my heart received that message!  You must know, dear reader, that God sees all, knows all, and LOVES us with a love we cannot even begin to fathom.  He is a great father.}

Now, for several reasons I suppose I should have been with not being pregnant.  My son would be 6 when this baby was born.  That’s a large gap.  My husband and I hadn’t talked about, or prepared for, more kids (although I know he would be fine with it).  Financially, I don’t know if we could have afforded a baby right now.  Age-wise, I don’t know if I could handle the up-all-night sleep deprived routine again at 35 like I did at 29 (and survive without murdering someone). Body-wise, I know that pregnancy and birth wreaks havoc, and recovery was a long, slow road for me last time due to an emergency c-section that was NOT a part of my birth plan.  Still, the older I get the less I worry about my looks.  It’s what’s inside that counts, and what’s inside me right now is a heart that longs to be a mother to more children.  To love them, feed them, hug and kiss them, see my husband be the most extraordinary father to them.

I told hubs, who I had largely kept it secret from (until I got a positive test), and though I expected him to laugh at the idea of being parents again, he didn’t.  He comforted me.  My incredible, compassionate life-mate listened, wiped my tears, held and hugged me, and encouraged me to eat ice cream and sleep and be easy with myself.  He said we could try again, we could continue the discussion, we could even look into adoption, if we felt God leading us that way.  What a precious gift he is!  And he’s right about one thing: Our son is a gift, and even we are never blessed with more children, we have this amazing boy that God has entrusted to us, and each day we are with him is a blessing.  He is pure sunshine: bright and kind and sing-songy and darling.  Every day I am thankful for him.

Today, I am not crying, but it still stings a little, which part of me thinks is silly.  How can I be sad over something that never was?  How can I cry over a baby I “made up”?  I don’t know.  But I can.  And I do.  However, I have chosen joy.  I have chosen to be grateful for my life as it is, and for God, who does not make mistakes.  He even winked at me in church and let me know he is aware of my struggle.  I aspire to model his parenting with my own kids, no matter how many I have.

Sick With Guilt

I guess it goes without saying that this blog is not my “day job”.  I wish it were, and if “likes” were money I’d be getting somewhere, but for now I work full-time somewhere else.  I just started a number of months ago, after staying home with my son for 3 years.  The decision to leave him (that’s how it felt to me) and give up cooking, cleaning, running errands, and napping during the day was a difficult one.  I struggled with it.  I cried.  Oh, there were many tears. 

But this is what grown-ups do, I told myself.  And if I hadn’t told myself, there were plenty of people making similar comments under their breath.  For me, being part of the corporate life was never a dream I had.  I’m not ambitious in that way.  I am a dreamer – a true Pisces – and I always wanted to stay home and paint, or write, or … I don’t know, run a sea turtle ranch.  So the day my husband and I decided that this was what had to happen, I felt like I died a little.

Months later, my perspective has changed only slightly.  I work with nice people.  It’s not a difficult job.  We are paying rent.  See?  Lots of positives.  (Detect a hint of sarcasm there?)  Still, I spend my extra time working on meditation, prayer, hypnosis, anything that will help improve my attitude and our financial state and allow me to come back home.  My heart cries out that this is where I am supposed to be.  It’s certainly where I’m most happy.

In my experience, freely admitting that I am different causes others to lash out.  I’ve been accused of being lazy.  Even selfish.  Family members, coworkers, friends, have made me feel at one point or another that if I’m not willing to die for my job, I’m not committed enough.  And honestly, that’s fine.  I have learned not to take others’ opinions so personally.  As a mom and wife working in the home, I busted my butt, day in and day out.  I participated with charities and clubs and was able to cook meals for my family and spend time with my kids.  Some people think that’s worth giving up.  Some people think it’s normal to sacrifice it.  I don’t.  I just… don’t.

This morning I called out of work.  (Well, texted.)  And even though I’m typing on the computer right now, I give my word that I am actually feeling awful.  I am normally a punctual, responsible person, and I start to feel sick to my stomach when I have to call out of work.  This morning upon rising I was greeted with a massive migraine (with pretty colors!)  So I had to text my boss and let her know.  I felt like I could “hear” the disappointment in her reply.  I feel so judged when I call out from jobs.  I try never to do it.  This morning, I must have forced myself to the car a dozen times, finally bursting into tears.  (My poor husband, perplexed, watched me silently from the window.  I’m sure he thinks he married a crazy person. He may be right.)

The thing that gets me, is that I was fighting my body and my own will, trying to make myself go to work, in order not to let someone else down.  I knew how bad I felt, I knew that I could not drive, but I dreaded so much the judgment of my peers that I was trying to go anyway.  I felt guilty.  WHY should I feel guilty?   It isn’t right that I feel so obligated to go to this building, spend my best hours there, so they can (barely) pay me, so I can get up and do it in the morning?  Why do I care so much if they believe me?  Why do I feel like a criminal?

It’s madness.  Do you guys do this or have you been in a similar situation?  Is it just me?  Or have you already found your perfect place, your passion, your path?  I’m reading lots lately on being present in the moment and changing your reality by changing  your mind.  That’s what I’ll work on today, along with sleep, because it’s the only thing that makes me feel better.

Changes ‘Round Here

Hello World.  It’s been a while since my last post.  Not so long that I’ve forgotten how to type, but long enough that I feel a quick explanation is in order.

I am working.

It’s as simple and as complicated as that.  If you believe in the Law of Attraction, as I do, you know that this is something I chose, whether consciously or unconsciously.  My dreams are coming true in unexpected ways.  I find myself in transition again, which is positive, though my cooking, photography, and my blog have been neglected as a result.

Change is good so I’m embracing it.  I’m learning to be meticulous with planning and much more organized in my daily life.  I’m learning how much I like not being accessible by cell phone all day long.  I’m learning to trust.  I have been given the opportunity to give of myself, my time, my knowledge and my resources, which is crucial to a happy life.  I’m learning to let go.  I’m learning to be uncompromising and to take an honest look at my priorities.  [At the end of the day, I could care less what’s on t.v., all I want to do is kiss my son and hear him giggle!)  I am full of hope, gratitude, joy, expectation.

A couple weeks ago I started a gratitude journal, and it has opened my eyes, my heart, and my mind.  I highly recommend writing things daily that you’re thankful for, saying “thank you” out loud when good things happen, doing positive affirmations and visualizations, really putting your whole self into a happy state.  As a result of doing this, I feel like the future is right now and it’s looking good!

I say all that, really, to say that I’m still here and I plan to post some mind-blowing recipes this weekend, so stay tuned!  And stay grateful!