Tuesday, March 29, 2011

He's the air I would kill to breathe : Day Thirty

 It only took me a little over two months to complete the 30 days.  Now that you know me, I feel like I can start talking more openly about my life.  Get read for a recap of goals in the next couple of days, as well as new goals for April.

Day 30 – One last moment

I was in labor for a whopping 28 hours, 20 of those which had been hard.  I was exhausted, hallucinating, and not my entire self.  I pushed for two hours before my little man finally made his appearance.

He had released his meconium (for those of you who don't know, that's the baby's first bowel movement which is very thick, sticky, and tar-like.  When released in utero there is a risk that baby can aspirate it.)  So they whisked him away to suction his mouth and throat before they would let him take his first breath.  The doctor has gasped "he's clubfoot" when he had popped out, telling them to call in a specialist.

Then he cried.  It wasn't 30 seconds since he had been delivered, but those 30 seconds seemed like forever.

And then they handed him to me, swaddled in a hospital receiving blanket.  His big dark blue eyes looking straight at me, and I said, "Hi Aiden!  I'm your mommy!"  and I began to cry.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I wish nothing but the best for you : Day Twenty-nine

Day 29 – Your aspirations

When I had Aiden I gave up a lot of my dreams.  Where there used to be worldly goals and aspirations, there remained only the will to survive long enough to make a difference in this little person's life.  It has taken over 8 years to get to the place we are now.  Sitting comfortably, a full fridge, money to do fun things, reasonable happiness.

But then I take a step back, and I say "what about me?"  Which, yes, sounds very selfish, but for anyone who has ever had a child, or a pet, or just a tendency to put everyone else above themselves, it is necessary.  This of course is splattered with thoughts like "why not me" or "why me" or "when is it my turn" in which I compare myself to other people, namely my friends, sometimes strangers and for some reason I always come up short.  I want to try to stop this line of thinking, because I am worth everything I can dream for myself and my family.

So, what about me?  For close to ten years now, I have wanted to get in shape.  I have gradually put on a few pounds, sometimes more, each year.  I have led a very sedentary lifestyle, spending most of my nights too exhausted to do much of anything but eat crappy, easy food, and then to sleep.  Almost two years ago, I put a stop to that.  I started getting active, using my resources, and getting myself into shape.  I still have a LONG way to go in that quest, but I am more comfortable with my body now than I ever have been, and that's saying a lot.

I want to finish school.  In what field, it doesn't really matter to me.  Ideally, I would like to get a lactation consultant license, and be able to help new (and soon to be) mom's in doing everything they can to breast feed their babies.  This is something I am truly passionate about, but no one has ever really been able to tell me how I would go about something like that.  There is no degree for it, and I know most people who choose that path begin in nursing, which I have no desire to do.  Also, nursing is not a requirement.  So I guess I need to figure out where to go from where I am at now.

I want to write a book.  Probably a children's book, for children born with clubfoot.  It would be a book for children and parents alike, letting them know that they are not alone, that this is not a defect that should ever be allowed to slow a child down, and to let the child know that they are NO different from their peers.  In my experience, children roll with the punches.  It's the adults that need the lesson.  I have had this idea, and the start of the story in my head for years, but I have never really sat down to actualize it.

And finally, I would like to find love.  That all consuming, compromising, and beautiful love.  I have waited this long, that I am not going to settle for just any Joe-Schmo who walks into my life.  Quality over anything.  Must be kind, gentle, and tolerant.  I have no fantasies of marriage and a white dress, but someone who will love me forever will be enough.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Three times a week (old prose)

She tells herself that she will not be afraid any longer.  She will no longer step out of her warm bed and think that the entire world is out to get her.  She will be strong and beautiful and if no one else sees it, fine, at least she will.

She will write the lyrics she has dreampt of writing, and she will sing like an angel, and she will do the things everyone else always tells her are impossible, and she will not thank him.  She will not give him the pleasure of knowing that she still thinks about him every second of her waking hours and even more while she is dreaming, because she knows that eventually he will begin to fade and that he will finally mean to her what she has claimed all of this time.

Nothing.  He will mean nothing.

And she writes this as she lays in her warm bed with her cat beside her, and she smells like lilac and her hair is in a messy bun the way she likes it, and she swears that tomorrow will be the day that things will change.

Tomorrow she will take a shower and wear her hair down and put on the jeans she loves, because it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks.

Tomorrow she will write him off as another sad love song, and move on with her life.

Tomorrow she will smoke one less cigarette, and drink one less caffeinated drink.  She will write one more poem and sing one more song and love herself a little more.

Tomorrow she will be a different person.

But today she’s staying in.

It seems like years since its been here : Day Twenty-eight

Day 28 – Something that you miss

It's the tail end of winter here in Nebraska.  Even though it's officially spring, we woke up this morning with snow on the grass and our car windows.  We've had a few very nice days here or there, but they are overshadowed by all of the wind, the cold bursts, and the lack of sunshine.

I miss the sun.  I think I miss it more acutely now because there have been a couple of days I've been able to go out without a jacket and feel the sun.  I know that just around the corner I'm going to be laying in the grass in my swimming suit, soaking up the vitamin D. 

My skin will turn that golden layer of brown, my hair will lighten, I will sleep infinitely better at night.  I will smile more, and spend more time breathing in the fresh air outside.  I will swim at the pool, and hike at the park, and lay on a blanket while Aiden runs through the sprinkler. 

I will look forward to walking into the ice cold air of a superstore on the hottest days of the year, sipping iced tea, reading books out on my patio with an ice-cold beer in my lawn chair.

I wont miss the bugs, and the allergies, and the smell of cow manure wafting through the air.  But around this time each year, I ALWAYS miss the sun.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I promise I'm worth it : Day Twenty-seven

Day 27 – Your favorite place

I thought long and hard on this one.  (So long and hard it took me over a week to end up sitting down to talk about it.)  I have loved a lot of places.

I love the beaches in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.  It's along the Gulf, so the water is warmer than the Pacific, and so blue.  The sand is hot and white and soft.

I love the streets of New York City.  The hustle and bustle and people headed every which way at every time of day.  I love the smell of the horses outside of Central Park.  I long to go to John Lennon's memorial, and to just sit.

I love my parent's dinning room table, the conversation and the laughs.  Drinking champagne on Christmas, drinking a can of Bud Light on Sunday dinner night.  Laughing until we're crying.

I love my living room.  My couch is big enough for two people to stretch out on, to lay down side by side, or straddling each other (this is one of the things I miss most about B, laying on the couch on his stomach, watching television.) It's a great place to sleep, to cuddle up next to Aiden and read books, to play video games.  I love eating macaroni and cheese sitting on the red carpet, watching cartoons.

There are all places I love, but my favorite place in this entire world would have to be my bedroom.  My bed is big, and soft, and consuming.  I have blackout curtains over the windows so it's always the right level of dark when the lights are turned off.  My computer is there.  My television.  A bookshelf with some of my favorite books.  My treadmill (which I hate and would LOVE to be able to replace.)  I love my stacks of magazines, and my two body pillows.  I am in love with my splurge for a down comforter last spring, which has managed to keep me cool all through the summer, and warm and toasty through the cold winter.  I have a heating pad, and a shelf of movies.

A very large poster of Van Gogh's Starry Night hangs above the bed.  On the other wall is a Johnny Depp Rolling Stone cover poster.  On yet another wall is a poster of Johnny Depp in a bathtub scene from the movie From Hell.  There is a framed photo of Taylor Hanson running his fingers through his hair from the last concert I went to, taken by my friend D, and on it, it says "find the spark inside and let it burn."  I have a True Blood calendar that I record my weight and workout activities.

In my room, I am safe.  I am me.  No one is standing there telling me who I need to be, who I should be.  No one is telling me how to act, or how to feel, or how to be.  My son is comfortable crawling into bed with me in the middle of the night if he can't sleep.  It is a place we lay and tell stories early Sunday mornings, and it's where I fell in love with B.  It's also where I was able to realize that I can still love him without being with him.  It's where I hold most of my phone conversations, where I paint my toenails.

Even if it's not THIS bedroom in THIS apartment.  It's still MY bedroom.  Where I feel the most at home.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Please, use me up : Day Twenty-six

Day 26 – Your fears

I am terrified of spiders (though not afraid to smash them with a shoe, or squish them with a tissue), snakes (I will sacrifice Aiden, hurdle a fence, and run a mile to get away from them), and in being seen as unworthy.

A year ago, I was afraid that Aiden wouldn't read at an adequate level, ride a bicycle without training wheels, or be able to tie his shoes.  He's doing all of those things now.

I was once afraid that we would never be able to get our heads above water financially.  We currently have several thousand in savings, a hefty sum in checking, and we're taking an actual vacation this summer (YAY! Disney World!)

I was afraid that Aiden would never walk or run normally.  I was afraid that no matter how hard I tried I was always going to just keep gaining weight (though this is something i continue to struggle with every day, the fact that I'm able to get on the scale and consistently see a lower number, makes it a little easier.)  I was afraid that I was broken and would never be able to fall in love again.  All of these things have been proven wrong.  There is not a limit on a child's abilities, or number of times you can love and lose, or the amount of work you can put into any one thing in order to see results.

There are days that I fear for the path my son will choose to follow, or the people he will surround himself with, or who he will eventually become.  I don't think my own worries of my inadequacies as a parent are anything different than the fears most parents face about their own children.  No matter how hard we try, or how much we know initially, parenting is a new battle each and every day.  And eventually we will ALL fuck up in one way or another.  I think it's recognizing those faults in ourselves that help us learn and help us grow and help us become better parents.

I admit that yell too much.  I know that I don't listen at times when I should, and I know I tend to be too quick to judge when there have been behavior problems at school.  (In Aiden's case, most of the time this has more to do with his inability to sit still, not listening to directions, and talking when he's not supposed to.  Never is he BAD.)

There are nights when I'm afraid I wont be able to sleep, and there are mornings where I'm afraid I wont be able to drag myself out of bed in order to live my life.  I'm afraid I'm not pretty enough, thin enough, funny enough to matter to anyone.  All of this then is followed by my friends and family being incredibly supportive and loving people, and I know I do matter.  That I'll always matter.

So I'm going to stick with the basics.  Spiders, snakes, tornadoes, being stranded in my car alone on a highway (this is infinitely better since cell phones came around), ghosts, alien abductions, and being ignored.

But let's just stick with spiders and snakes.  They're gross.

Monday, March 14, 2011

You have so many relationships in this life : Day Twenty-five

Over the last week, I have been in a pretty dark place.  I've sunk pretty deeply into a depression that I haven't seen for at least the last couple of years.  I have been functioning at the most basic of levels, in order to keep myself and my child sustained.  I haven't let on to him how much internally I have been dealing with, but on nights when he goes to bed, it's all I can do just to go through the simple tasks before crashing myself.  I have no energy.  I feel myself isolating, and there's honestly not much I can do about it.  In these times, I used to be able to write, but now, I feel a total loss of words.  I am trying to get myself back.  So I thought this would be a good place to start.

Day 25 – A first

As today is Taylor Hanson's 28th birthday, I figured what is a better way to celebrate than to write something about him?  Or my experience with him.  My first Hanson concert.

The tickets went on sale when I was in Florida for a band trip, just after my freshman year of high school, so my mother, the great person that she is, waited patiently online at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning.  She landed four tickets (for her, myself, my younger sister, and my best friend and fellow Hanson lover, Nichole.) in the 56th row at the Red Rocks Amphitheater outside of Denver, Colorado. 

As a teenage girl, very little compares to being in close proximity to a celebrity you are "in love" with.  Nichole and I had spent all night the night before the concert making posters.  We talked endlessly about how we were going to meet, them, get them to fall in love with us.  This was 13 years ago, and though I will never forget it, there are only small details left in the back of my head.

It was 104 degrees in Denver that day.  When we got to the Amphitheater, I burned my elbow leaning on the rock, to this day there is still a soft scar there.  The venue itself is breathtaking.  Everything surrounding you is red rock.  Everything.  Around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, we got to the venue, and witnessed the boys unloading from their tour bus, running around like the young boys they were.  We were ecstatic.  Even though we shared that moment with hundreds of other people, it still feels like it was only us.

There was the bathroom, that we couldn't figure out how to work the sink to wash our hands.  There was the $3 bottles of water, and the hundreds and hundreds of stairs.  There was the "mom" section at the top, and the sea of little girls down below.  There was the sound, and the raw emotion of three boys playing the songs they had written.

Only two of our photos turned out.  The first is of us standing in the line of cars waiting to get in to park, where we are holding our signs.  The other is from the show where the only thing you can see are the stage lights, unless you squint and you're able to see the outlines of the boys in their respective places.

Getting back to the hotel that night, Nichole and I slept on cots while my mother and sister took the bed.  My throat burned from all of the screaming and singing.  I lost my voice the next day.  It was worth it.

Nichole kept her hair in tiny braids for the next two weeks.

I have now seen these boys live over ten times.  I have driven, and flown, and laughed, and cried.  I have shook Taylor's hand four times.  Had my photo taken, willingly, with both Taylor and Isaac.  This band has led me to more friends, and more memories, and more happiness than I could have ever hoped for from a band of three brothers.  I have friends scattered across the country, from east to west, north to south.  I have friends overseas.  People I never would have met otherwise.

I feel sorry for people who have never loved a band as much as I have loved this one.  They will just NEVER understand.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The heart of a woman will never be found in the arms of a man : Day Twenty-Four

I had one of the most incredible weekends.  Friday night Aiden and I spent with my good friend L and her daughter for her birthday.  We danced to Michael Jackson on the Wii, ate until our pants were too tight, and drank beer.  Saturday I spent in my pajamas cleaning the apartment during the day, and spent the evening with good friends eating and drinking again.  Sunday I got an hour long workout in, made mexican chili, and opened an email that has the potential to change and destroy my son's life and sense of self.

I can't go into detail about what all of this pertains to, not yet, not here in this public of a forum.  All I can tell you is that I am heart broken for my son.  That my breakup with B pales in comparison to the hurt I feel now.  That this is what finally woke me up and made me realize what is really important in my life, and it's not mourning over a silly boy, it's about raising one.

So I apologize for being absent.  I will hopefully finish up these 30 days before the start of April!

Day 24 – Something that makes you cry

Would it be pathetic to say almost everything?  Because that's about the truth.  There are very few television series that I have not cried at, even the comedies.  Most movies, even songs.  Miley Cyrus (who I HATE with a fiery passion)'s song "The Climb" can bring on sobbing so severe that I've had to pull the car over because I can't see to drive.  Taylor Swift's new song "Back to December" will illicit much the same response.  There are songs that I held in high regard in high school that will still make me cry when they come up in random play on my iPod.  This is seriously inconvenient when I'm trying to be all hot and sweaty in the gym.

The movie Forrest Gump.  I cry so hard I can't breathe, never fails.

Seeing photos of Aiden as a baby.  It seems like just yesterday, but such a long time ago, all at once.

Seeing photos of myself as a teenager, for the same reason.

Drinking tequila.  I spill all of my dirty little secrets and will cry all over you.

Hardships of friends, hurt of friends, pain to friends.  I wear my friends as my second skin.

I also have this one eyebrow that every time I pluck it, it brings tears to my eyes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Carry on my wayward son : Day Twenty-three

Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better

I love to get lost in stories.  Movies, Television, Books.  Any story that isn't my own.  I love love stories, and mysteries, and science fiction.  I love drama and suspense.  I watch television and movies to escape.  I love T.V. and I'm not ashamed to admit that.  I love the people and the lives, however unreal they may be.

I love books.  I fell in love with books a very long time ago, probably before I was even able to read most of the words in them.  I love to hold them, and to smell them, and of course to read them.  I read books like I used to smoke my cigarettes; slowly.  Taking every part of them in, not rushing through.  Good books I could read a dozen times and not tire of the language or the eloquence. 

I like to buy books, because I like to highlight as I read through a second and a third time.  I like to highlight lines and phrases that touch me so deeply, I can't even put into words how they make me feel.

I love my television stories for the same reasons, especially the ones with story arcs that go on for seasons, so you have to watch from the beginning to completely understand everything.  Supernatural, Dexter, Veronica Mars, Fringe.  I love the stories that could be real people who lived down the street from me, I love the stories that never in a million years could be real, but that doesn't stop me from loving the characters.

I also love to sleep.  Sleep generally makes me feel better about any situation.  Cooking and eating.  Also laughing with friends, my friends and I can take any situation and create a way to make it funny.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I gave you away (old prose)

"I give you the moon."  I whispered softly as we stretched ourselves between the earth and the stars.  There was nothing between the grass and my hair, so when I sat up, there were bits of green interlaced with the brunette.

I loved him so much at that moment that it hurt simply to think about it.  We lay there beside the water on the hill of our own future, and I had just given him everything I had to give.

He picked the grass from my hair ever so gently, and brushed his own masculine fingers through it.  He tucked the stray pieces behind my ear and whispered he loved me.  I am not sure, but right then is the time I stopped believing him.

He told me he loved me, and right then I did not believe him any longer.

I pulled his fingers away from my face.  I ran my fingers through his hair, and I looked up at the moon.  I watched it move across the big, beautiful sky so slowly that if you blinked, you would miss it.

I had forgotten what I had loved about him. I mean, I loved the way he smelled, and the way I would catch him looking at me from the corner of my eye.  I loved the way he woke me up with a soft kiss on the forehead when he stunk of his work.  (Even the stink I loved.)  I loved the way he looked in his tux he wore at prom, but in the time we spent apart in the last few weeks, I was seeming to forget how blue his eyes were.  And being as dark as it was outside right at that instant, I wasn’t able to remember how they seemed to match the sky.

Maybe he sensed the way that I could never forgive him.  Or maybe he just decided to take my gift and run. But right then he got up, separating the sky from the earth, and he touched my arm one last time, and he walked away with the moon.

The light never seems as bright, and the sky will no longer be a part of me.   The sky is so far away, and the moon.

I gave him the moon.

Remember how to put the lights back in my eyes : Day Twenty-two

Day 22 – Something that upsets you

Being ignored.

Most of my life I have felt like I am not good enough, for anything or anyone.  I have felt like the good things that happen to me are fate's way of screwing up.  I deserve all of the bad, but none of the good.  Most of this is unfounded, and I honestly know that.  I'm not good enough.  I'm not pretty enough.  I'm not smart enough.  I don't dress up enough, I don't wear makeup enough, I don't workout enough.  I am not enough.

When someone doesn't respond to an email or a text message from me in a timely manner, I take it personally.  I take it personal when someone doesn't answer their phone or call me back in a timely manner.  I know people get busy.  I know that I am on no one's list of priorities, however, I would rather be told up front by someone that they simply do not want to talk, than to be ignored.

In relationships especially, it gets to a point where I flat out tell people that if at any point in time I get too annoying, too needy, too anything, to let me know.  I would rather be told to back off, than ignored because of it.  I am able to keep this mostly in check, except when I know that someone is actively avoiding a conversation or a confrontation with me.  This turns me into a 14 year old girl who is going to call or text you repeatedly until you answer me.  I am also aware of how crazy this sounds.

I would rather be told, "go away" than to be told nothing at all.  Anything other than silence.  I also know that this is something I have to work on.

I know that people's minds do not work in the same way mine does.  I know there are people out there who are not planners, that they like to fly by the seat of their pants.  I also know of people who like to have a plan for the next five years.  Me, I like to know what is going on in about 7 day increments.  It is not uncommon for me to ask friends what their plans are for the following weekend on a Monday afternoon.  Most of my friends are used to this, and I am used to most of them giving me an "I don't know" answer.

I'm a planner.  I plan what I'm cooking, what type of exercises I'm doing, and what television shows I'm going to watch.

Most of the situations I've come across that I think people are ignoring me, that's usually not the case.  Most of the time something came up, life happened. Which is why I'm also very good at giving people the benefit of the doubt.  I am willing to wait things out, now, more so than I ever was only a few years ago.  The only exception to this rule is when I have made plans with someone.  If we have a phone date, or if someone says they're going to call at a certain time, there is a 15 minute leeway.  After that, you better be injured or dead.  Especially if you're someone who forgets phone calls on a regular basis.

Drives. Me. Crazy.