20 Day Challenge – Day 11

10 Persons I Can’t Live Without

The following ten people are people who exist in my real life. No offense to my blogging lovelies, this list could go on for miles. I had to put a limit on it, so I’ve limited it to those people in my real life that I have close to daily contact with.

  1. Xan:   Truly the light of my life.  He is all that I am and all that I am not.  I wrote Possibility and Ascension, and more recently, Clarity of Chaos for him.  He’s my best friend.  He’s my family.  He’s my husband, partner, and my soul twin.  Simply, I love him more than all of the words in the universe could proclaim.
  2. Beast:   Some mornings, Beast is the sole reason I get out of bed.  He encourages me to strive to be a better person, each and every single day of my life.  He is my darling, my baby boy.  He is my pride and one day, he will be my legacy.  It is up to me to be his mother.  And that means, I will wake up every single day, pull myself together, and if I do nothing else, I will be his mother the best that I can.
  3. MIL:   She is a friend, a mentor, and though maybe not maternal, a mother for sure.  She is always concerned, and is quick to respond in an emergency.  She’ll do anything to see that everything turns out alright.  She is generous and kind.  MIL is one of those women that will take a call from me at 3AM, and she has no obligation to do so.  She has given me so much advice and perspective into womanhood.  She’s positive, even if she’s racked with anxiety.  She can spread her positivity to others, and make them feel better about things.  She’s a nurse too, so she is good at taking care of other people.  She genuinely cares.  And I genuinely care for her.
  4. FIL:  He is a man that gets things done. He is full of wisdom and experience that he is eager to lend.  He wants to see everyone be the best person that they can be.  FIL is never hesitant to lend a hand, or even to go as far as to bail me out of a jam.  He never expects anything in return.  FIL is a true man, a man who has worked hard to become a self made person, but is still sensitive to the needs of others.  He always makes sure that we’re taken care of.  And, I feel he’s the best father-in-law that a woman could ever have to be a huge part of her family and life.
  5. Starr:  Starr is a relatively new friend to me, but still just as important, if not more important than others I’ve had in my life for many years.  Starr has shown me nothing but the strength and pride of being a woman.  She is absolutely, strikingly beautiful, and it’s hard for people not to notice her.  For most women, this would flare the green eyed monster.  For me, I am inspired.  I don’t even think she knows how strong and beautiful she is, like wild horses.  She is willful and wonderful, deep and insightful.  She’ll read this, and maybe not know who I’m referring to.  So I’ll leave her with this: “I get my disability check and POW!  It’s down to pant n’at!”  She’s a loyal and fierce friend, and I hope to have her in my life for many years to come.
  6. Dill:   Another newer friend, but Dill is one of those people that you can’t help but feel an instant connection to.  Dill doesn’t judge, and he shows me that life doesn’t have to be as serious as a heart attack.  Life is meant to be lived.  He has reinforced the lesson that age is seriously just a number, and the right frame of mind with enough willpower is all you need to live a good life.  And that’s exactly what he’s all about.  Happiness, beauty, and living a wonderful, peaceful life.
  7. Ruby:   Oh, my lovely.  I really cannot say what a lovely this woman has been to me.  Ruby feels like a part of my family, like an older sister I never had.  She has listened to me in my best triumphs and my worst bits of insanity.  She smiles with me and cries with me.  Everything about her is this chaotic perfection.  Everything fits together in this dialectic beauty.  And that’s her in a nutshell.  She has a beautiful everything.  A lovely soul, a gorgeous face, and the most genuine smile there is.  I want to thank her for being there for me, and being a part of my life.  And taking a chance on a little blonde weirdo from the internets.  LOL.
  8. LaLa:  LaLa, a maternal figure in my life.  I’ve come to feel like LaLa is like a wise, spiritual aunt I never had.  LaLa brings the best of my spiritual side out, giving me faith in the higher power, and reminders of the greater design.  She’s always been supportive, and has never left my side, even when I’ve been less than a good friend to her.  I want to thank her for her investment in me.
  9. Monday:  I’ve come to see Monday as an aunt as well.  She’s the aunt that is your best friend.  She wants all of the best for you, but will never hesitate to say what’s on her mind.  And that’s the beauty of it.  Sometimes, that’s exactly what you need to hear, because that’s exactly what’s been ringing in the back of your own mind.  She’s brilliant and one tough cookie.  She has proven this time again through her perseverance and stamina.  No matter what gets thrown at her, she’s a survivor of it all.  And she wants nothing more than to lend her experience and will to others.  I’d like to thank her for all of the attention she’s given me in the last year.
  10. Finn:   Last, but not least, Finn.  Finn and I have been friends for longer than my husband and I have even known each other.  Finn is so accepting.  He is another person who has seen me hit that bottom of the barrel.  He has seen me in various states of growth and maturity.  We’ve shared so much together.  And all of that time has bonded us in ways that only time can do.  He’s taken my calls at 4AM, given me advice, and been an intermediary between Xan and I (yes, I know about that).  Thank you for everything you’ve done that I do, and even don’t, know about.

More Than Ten Years : 30 Days of Truth

Part II

Day 10 (Part Three) : Someone you need to let go of, or wish you didn’t know.

Lea and Liz, the first entry, started to describe the nature of relationships I had with my three high school friends. It is the preface for this. In summation, we were a group of best friends, entangled in each others’ lives. Mistakes, grudges, and other forces created huge divides between us, leaving lingering hatreds spanning years.

Liz and the In Between, focused on my relationship with Liz.  It detailed all of the significant events within our friendship, and how it had turned ugly at times.  These were the years in between the first entry and this one.


Kat and I eventually buried the hatchet about five years later. We were both adults who had done a great deal of growing since. We did attempt reconciliation, but mutually decided that we were too different to have a friendship. We grew out of each other. That’s life.

It took Lea and I much longer.

I recall a Fourth of July party I was invited to many years after the incident. A mutual friend of many years invited me, and his sister, best friend to Lea, naturally invited her.

Before I knew it, only a large patio table separated us. We inspected each other, sizing one another up. She still had the same snow white skin, but now she donned raven hair in place of her usual highlight job. Also, she had become much larger than me, at least fifty pounds or more. It was a little more intimidating, but I didn’t care. I’d tussled with men twice my size.

I don’t know what she saw, but she looked fairly intimidated.  I was that same, fiery haired, piercing eyes girl she had known then.  I hadn’t aged yet, though many of the girls at that table already had.  The only differences were these.  I wasn’t staring her down behind a pair of Buddy Holly glasses.  I was 1/3 less than girl I was.  And, we were no longer surrounded by brick and mortar that was the all-seeing, all-knowing, completely crooked system that was our public school.

Yes, we were in the real world. Where there were real consequences to actions. If one of us did one thing out of turn, we’d face something that didn’t include losing two perfectly good school days to absolute intense boredom of a desk with blinders, essentially.

So, we were deadlocked, powerless to make each others’ lives hell. We were adults, not children thrust together in the same place at the same time. We had the freedom of escape, to be free from the tangled web of the high school social society. As much trash as we could talk, it didn’t matter. Too much space and too few connections let those words fall on indifferent, rather deaf ears.

So, it dissipated throughout years of silence. I was already married with a child. We were truly adults, lives so far separated from those emotions and the petty grudges generated from them. What did it matter anymore? Through the power of Facebook, we put it to rest through humor over the incident.


Liz and I had settled old scores. That was, until I started getting serious with C.S. I remember driving around our neighborhood, the one we grew up in, yelling at each other. I wasn’t making time for her at her demand.

“I’m engaged to a man who is really good for me, who really loves me. Can’t you even be happy for me?”

She retorted coldly, “You’ve been engaged so many times, I can’t even take you seriously anymore.”

There was no birthday reconciliation that year. Months droned on. It seemed to be over, and I was distraught, but infuriated. How dare she judge my relationship?!

I invited her to the wedding as an obligatory gesture. I knew she’d never attend. She should have been a bridesmaid, and yet, she would have rather carry on a grudge over my priorities changing.

Mid-summer, mid-pregnancy, I received a card in a letter in the mail. It contained a wedding gift and a phone number. I hesitated, but mustered up the courage to accept the olive branch. I announced my pregnancy. A boy. He even had a name.

She came to visit, and it was the first time I saw her in about a year. She seemed overjoyed, but deeply troubled. Liz, Liz, always something brewing under the surface.

She came the day after I had my son. Later in the week, she brought us dinner, on the house. And that was the last time I saw her face to face. It was almost three and a half years ago.

In that time, her relationship with Fox deteriorated.  There was always some contingency on him leaving his wife.  When you graduate college.  When you get a good job.  When…

They were fiercely fighting, and rarely seeing each other anymore.  They had opposing schedules, and it was becoming increasingly difficult for Fox to steal time away from his wife.  One day, he left his email open on his laptop, sitting on her kitchen table.  She flipped through it, and discovered a few very old, very intimate exchanges between Fox an I on the MUD.

We talked.  “I know it was years ago, but why would he even save this?” she ranted.

Time passed, things changed.  That was pretty much the end of their relationship.  Well, that, and when she got a confirmation that he and his wife just got a new lease on their house. It wasn’t my fault.  She jumped into bed with their mutual married boss and ditched Fox.

I’ve actually searched and searched for the goodbye letter I wrote her in one of my journals.  I’m thinking our biggest falling out was in 2010.  Liz was always one of those people who insisted that she came first.  She randomly called and announced that she was back in town.  She wanted for me and her to go out.  I explained to her that a person couldn’t just drop by on me.  I have obligations to my family, plans that I’ve made, and things that just need done.  She was furious, insisting that I never made time for her.  All of these years, she made time for me, and the least I could do was see her during the few days in the year that she was in town.

Finally, I fought back.

“In all of this time, I listened to you prattle for hours about a miserable relationship with a married man, the same one that I urged you not to turn your life upside down for.  You defiled his marriage, and he still didn’t leave his wife for you.  Then, as soon as the opportunity presented itself, you jumped into bed with his married boss, your boss too. 

Meanwhile, I am being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, my marriage – to a man who fathered my son, is falling apart, and my son is showing signs of developmental delay.  The moment I tried to open up my mouth to share my troubles, was always the moment you had to go.  I’m tired of being on standby and being expected to be here at your beckon.  I’m tired of you leading me around by the nose.  So, if you’re going to get pissed off and walk out of my life, it better be for good this time.  Because I’m not taking you back.”

We didn’t speak for about a year or so.  That was, until a random birthday card for my son appeared in the mail, containing a gift card.  I let it sit in my nightstand for a month, pondering what I should do with it.  And finally, I broke down and emailed her.

Back to the status that rubbed me the wrong way. Lea is pregnant, after several years of marriage. And Liz, who I haven’t heard a word from in at least six months, made a comment. “I’ll definitely be there! I’m so excited to see you!” I know she’ll be in town; she lives far away. And I also know that she won’t make any attempt to stop by, or even contact me.

I invited her, holiday after holiday, to stop by the house.  She always said she’d try, but there was so much going on.  I never did see her, not once.

I stumbled upon what may be one of the most heartbreaking revelations I’ve ever had. Liz and I were never friends. We were frienemies. Not from my end, but from hers.

I was a pace car. I was not a concept to admire, but envy. When I actually married the man she truly desired, and had the family she secretly longed for, I had unknowingly won. She couldn’t come around, because she couldn’t bear the sight of it.  I had become her superior in every way, and that is a fact she can never reconcile, nor bring to the surface. It’s too juvenile. But wasn’t all of it?

Clearly, she’s not an active part of my life. Her absence has not made a bit of difference. In a way, I wish I could have ignored that birthday card. She would simply no longer exist, and I could retain all of our funny, powerful, intimate, and warm moments. Instead, I am in some friend limbo.

So, instead, I think I’m going to start hiding both Lea and Liz’s feeds. I don’t need it. Sometimes a friendship is beyond salvageable. The remnants are too few. I don’t want to remain friends for nostalgia’s sake. I am not a keepsake. I am a human. If we really remained friends, wouldn’t she at least message me from time to time.

I place this in the sea and wave goodbye. For the last time.

Showing Mad Love

When I was writing Pendulum, I was blessed with many people who presented me with many awards.  Now that I’m writing SWACA (Sunny with a Chance of Armageddon), I wanted to be the one to start passing out awards.

I have not accepted this award myself.  I’d rather present others with it.  So, here it is.  The I Love Your Blog award.

 

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you:
  2. Tell your followers why you started a blog and why you keep doing it:
  3. Describe a usual day in your life:
  4. What was your best collaboration?
  5. What was your worst collaboration?


Nominate five other people for this award, and why:

  1. A Canvas of the Minds:  This is not a self-serving move.  In fact, I’ll be honest.  There was about a six month or greater period where it was just Ruby and the other authors (I won’t name names) that were keeping Canvas going.  Here’s the truth.  I couldn’t be more grateful.  Canvas has been like a child to me, and there was a very unfortunate time in my life where I had to put it in the care of others.  It was really all of the Canvas authors that made the blog so wildly successful.  Now, it stands as one of the best collaborative sites of mental health education, awareness, and help in our mental health blogging community.  Thank you.
  2. I Was Just Thinking:  Ruby, my pillar of strength.  She brings me joy through her blog, and brings me some much needed perspective.  It was her blog and her encouragement that kept me blogging.  She’s pulled me out of some of the worst times, and kept me here in the community.  Thank you, Ruby.  I love your blog, and I love you.
  3. Seasons Change, and So Have I:  Carla, I’ve decided that you need a nickname, because I don’t want to keep calling you C.  So, I’m going to start calling your LaLa.  It’s an honor to be nicknamed that.  A woman I worked with in the bakery was called that, and she was someone I really looked up to.  LaLa, you are someone I really look up to.  Your blog is informative, touching, and absolutely inspiring.  You’ve touched my own blog with your Confession Friday, and you’ve touched my life.  You, like Ruby, have pulled me out of the well so many times.  You’ve always stood by me, even in difference of opinion.  And I feel as if you treat me like I’m one of your own.  You’ve touched my life and my blog.  Thank you.
  4. The Mirth of Despair:  Angel, I love that I have a peer amongst myself that has encouraged me to pursue my goals.  You are breathtakingly honest, and you go the extra mile to really bare everything for your blog.  You are an incredibly writer, and you lead the way in soul searching.  Thank you for your insight and encouragement.
  5. The Quiet Borderline:  QB, you’ve been through so much.  But, you keep on going.  I love that about you.  You’ve inspired me to keep on going with my blog, even in times where I don’t know what to say.  But, especially in times when I didn’t want to say it.  You’ve offered me awards and encouragement along the way, which I couldn’t do without.  I am so glad to read your blog and to know you.  Thank you.

Only For a Season : 30 Days of Truth

Day 09 : Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

I carefully considered this question, and scanned my mind for any possibilities. I bounced it off of my husband and it came back with an answer.

I cherish everyone in my life. I will hold to them as tightly as I can, if they have any meaning. And, if they do drift, they were meant to.

The character Madea explained in the stage production of Madea Goes to Jail about the nature of relationships.

If somebody wants to walk out of your life, let – them – go!”

Some people are meant to come into your life for a lifetime, some for only a season and you got to know which is which. And you’re always messing up when you mix those seasonal people up with lifetime expectations.

Later in the monologue, she equates people to parts of a tree. Some are leaves that bud, grow, and blow away at the end of the season. Others are branches, some of which may snap and leave you flat on your back. And then, there are the people that are roots, unseen, deep in the earth.

A tree could have a hundred million branches but it only takes a few roots down at the bottom to make sure that tree gets everything it needs. When you get some roots, hold on to them but the rest of it… just let it go. Let folks go.

I used to have a problem where I’d clutch to people and force a relationship that was only meant for a season further. Eventually, I realized that I was doing myself more harm than good. This was before the wisdom of Tyler Perry through Madea. Sometimes I wish a Madea existed in my life a long time ago. Maybe it wouldn’t have taken me so long to come to my own conclusion.

Eventually, I started letting people go. And worse, there were some I had to evict from my life. My husband calls it, “Flushing the Social Septic Tank”. Anyone I determined was causing me harm for their own benefit had to go. My friendship, affection, and loyalty is worth more than that.

At first, this was a difficult process. I, too, have been evicted from the lives of others. Some of these separations were justified, but many were not. Rejection is not something easily brushed away. It is taken very personally. It often starts to erode my self-worth. I never wanted to be responsible for imparting that upon another being.

After a few major falling-outs, I came to a very important realization. It was often the fear of isolation that drove many of those friendships. And most often, it was the pain of severance, rather than the grievance of a lost friend. Those things shouldn’t be primary motivations for fostering a friendship.

After that epiphany, I refused to enable unhealthy relationships. In all likelihood, it caused me greater pain to pander for affections rather than their suffering after severance.

Many people are ships passing through my waters. Some dock, and others continue wandering in and out of the harbor. Then, there are those that come, dock, and are never seen again. I can’t be expected to board every ship, and certainly not to sail off into the great blue beyond.

In summation: Let folks go. Don’t spend a lifetime mourning their departure. We don’t mourn the passing of seasons. It is nature’s way.