Energies

My sister has a PhD in Geology. She also got married last weekend. Let’s just say she’s the younger, smarter, more successful daughter 😉 I love my sister,  but we are exact opposites. She’s tall, blonde, gay and a scientist. I’m short, brunette, straight and an artist. She’s analytical, I’m intuitive. She trusts facts, I trust feelings. Even on the Astrological wheel we are opposites (Pisces/Virgo)..

Speaking of Astrology, I guess I should finally out myself as a believer and a student. I respect it as an ancient study, and it’s as close to organized religion as I am willing to get.  I know how lame that sounds… “believer” is someone who joins cults and watches televangelism. Astrology gets a bad rap: it’s up for public mockery in our society. Psychics, mystics, gypsies, fortune tellers, mediums (remember Miss Cleo?) are often touted as crazies, sensationalists, and even worse: money-hungry frauds who prey on the vulnerable and ignorant. The sun-sign columns you read in newspapers and pop culture magazines are toilet fodder, time killers, titular pieces of entertainment, nothing to be taken seriously.

So why? I am college-educated. I know money doesn’t grow on trees. I’ve worked hard for what I have, and I pride myself on being smart, resourceful and self-sacrificing above all my other attributes.  The planets don’t pay the bills, I DO.

Yet.. I’ve always had an innate sense of just how small I am; how minute a human being is in the scope of the universe. I know there are things beyond my control. I’ve witnessed instances of the inexplicable. I’ve been the recipient of incredibly good luck.

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Twisted Juniper Tree (Sedona, AZ)

There are things that have not yet been explained by science, and some, like the gravitational pull of planets, suns and moons.. that have. Just like the tides, there are things that effect humans on a molecular level.. dare I say it, energetic level.

My sister and I were visiting our Aunt in Sedona, AZ this weekend. If you haven’t been there, it’s a hot spot for psychics, astrologers; anyone who is into “New Age” living. The reason? Supposedly the red rock formations that encircle the valley are home to Vortexes of Energy. According to local believers, you can see evidence of the energy in the warped growth of nearby juniper trees. I’m pretty sure any biologist will disagree with this theory, citing a number of scientific reasons for the shape of the trees. But I think there is something to the “energies” of the vortexes.

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Lean on

My friend is going through a break-up. It’s been devastating for her, magnified x1000 because she also suffers from anxiety and depression. It’s  bad enough feeling severed from something even in the best of circumstances, so yeah..I feel terrible for her.

My last break-up was with my babydaddy, and it was so traumatic that I refused to be in a relationship for 8 years after. I spent a great deal of time in mourning, but eventually became a cheerleader for the single life. As hard as it was to be a single mom, it was easier than the alternative: trusting someone. I soon realized I was the in the minority. Most people prefer being partnered. I didn’t. I understand now that it was probably due to the circumstances that surrounded the end of my relationship (raising a daughter alone, watching her father get married and have a baby with a new woman..etc). I had bad taste in my mouth about relationships for a LONG time. It also didn’t help that I witnessed many of my friends cheating on their girlfriends/boyfriends, and watched my own parents’ marriage dissolve into a baffling series of events (more on that later).

I generally regarded articles like this with a degree of scorn and superiority. The following statement just didn’t apply to me:

Someone with a partner would have a person to lean on during this time.

I mean.. when I was single I’d lean on my friends, and that was enough for me..99% of the time. They gave me enough support, love, acceptance and strength so I could get through my daily life. Sure, I had moments where I’d feel alone, scared, hopeless and miserable. But those moments weren’t unmanageable. I realize now that I was lucky as HELL. For some people, it’s not just about moments that pass.. It’s about EVERY DAY being made up of  thousands of moments of pain and sadness.

Now that I’m coupled, I understand the luxury of having someone to lean on. My friends were amazing, but they didn’t offer the 24/7 access to comfort the way my boyfriend does. When I’m scared in the middle of the night,  he’s there. He also makes it easier to deal with many things, like mentally checking in when he sees me going down a Cortisol-induced spiral. It’s incredible having someone to put a dampener on your inner voice, the one that tells you “OMG THIS IS THE END OF THE WORLD!!!”. When you’re single, you don’t have that. It’s just you on the front lines of your own mind.

But life’s not a suffering competition . Nobody’s pain is more or less valid than someone else’s. We all have feelings, and we shouldn’t try to legitimatize of someone’s pain based on what we think they’ve been through. Unfortunately, I did a lot of comparing when I was single. It was my coping mechanism. It helped me get through the struggles and sadness I felt.

Confession: It gave me comfort knowing another person might have failed, or fallen apart when I succeeded. It was a selfish, prideful, self-promoting feeling, but I indulged in it, because I was alone. Because my friends were coupled, and I didn’t have someone to learn on.

Well guess what? I’m not a rock, not a f***ing superhuman, and I’ve failed just as many times as I’ve succeeded. Being in a relationship forced me to confront my false perceptions and vulnerabilities. Being single let me build a bubble around them. My bubble needed to be popped..

But more on that later..

the last 18 months

So I’ve been trying to write again.. good lord a YEAR between posts, really? SHAME ! (GoT reference there) I must have a life or something outside this blog. Actually a life that in the past 18 months included: moving to a new state, new house, new job, in with a (relatively) new boyfriend, getting my kid started at a new school… you know…basically starting a new life (no big).

Oh and my kid is TEN now. When I started blogging, she was less than a year old.

Here’s some perspective:

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Then

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Now

BLOWS MY GD MIND..

I started this blog in 2007 because I had recently become a single mom, was struggling to find a place to live, and was generally overwhelmed with how I was going to handle parenting alone.

Is it cavalier for me to say that parenting was the easy part?

Yeah.. it’s relationships that are hard…

OK so parenting is hard too. But after being single for 8+ years, I was comfortable with it. I had gotten into a groove where I was competent at handling my job, child, LIFE .. etc on my own. In fact, I was good at it. By the time LB was 5, I had a decent paying job, nice apartment, excellent schools for her, and my cooking had been upgraded from cans and boxes to mostly fresh food.

Yeah, it was hard work, and there were times when I was lonely, but I eventually I began to really enjoy my life as a single mom. I also think I was very lucky, obviously being the recipient of white privilege. I managed to make a chunk of money on donating my DNA, which has floated me through emergencies and drama, and I’ve been awarded a good amount of free time while my daughter spends summers with her dad (Roofie and I are on civil terms now).

But best part of it was.. I called all the shots in my life. I made all the decisions, the choices.. AND I took all the credit. I was the hero of my own story.

And that is a glorious feeling.

But now I’m in a serious relationship…..and it’s hard. But more on that later friends 😉

 

 

 

Green Chile

Guess what? Yes, I know, I actually blogged, but more importantly….. It’s that time of year again in the southwest!

CHILE. SEASON. 🙂

I could feel the slow Capsaicin burn creeping up my fingers, making me smile at the pain that would linger on my skin for hours. This is gonna be a hot batch, I thought to myself with glee. Funny how a plant probably developed this chemical in order to keep humans AWAY from it, and yet we “put that sh*t on everything.”

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slimy green chile tentacles

Ahhhh the therapeutic ritual of prepping chile:

Peeling off the blackened, fire roasted layer of skin.

Stripping the seeds off the slimy vegetable flesh; reminds me of octopus tentacles.

Pulling out the pulpy green innards…

Straight up GUTTING, Yo.

I LoOOVEEEEEEEEE chile season. ❤

8 Things I want to teach my daughter

My kid will be 8 in June, which means I’ve been a parent for almost a decade. I remember when she was born, I counted how old she would be when I turned 30: six. Okay, I thought, that’s not so bad. I’m not going to be one of those old moms with grey hair who makes their 3rd grader listen to NPR on the car ride home, but I also won’t be one of those young moms who steals her teenager daughter’s clothes and gushes over Twilight together. A 30-year-old with a 6-year-old kid seemed like something I could wrap my head around.

I know, I was a self-absorbed, judgmental new mom. My world had yet to shift from myself as the nucleus to my screaming offspring as the center point. I read a lot about how some mothers go through a form of identity crisis when they get pregnant and have a baby; a moment where they suddenly realize that their life is no longer theirs.  A lot of moms would give a blank stare when I’d talk about this. Hostile, incredulous looks were common too. One taboo of motherhood is vocalizing that your bundle of joy takes away anything from your former life. Well obviously I’m not going to scream at my kid “You stole my identity! My freedom! My ability to wear a bikini!”  Because…well.. you suck it up. You aren’t the center of your own world anymore. You live for another person, a person who every day is watching you, learning from your actions, and absorbing your mistakes.

So here are a few things I want to teach my daughter as she grows up:

  1. People are stupid. And because people are stupid, they will treat you in ways you don’t deserve. Bad ways, good ways, ways that don’t make sense to you. They will be mean to you because they feel shitty about their own lives and they weren’t taught how to deal with their pain. They will hurt other people because they have been hurt. People will treat others a certain way because of how they look, how they talk, what clothes they wear, who they love, where they go to church, and what color their skin is.  It is your job as a human to treat everyone with respect, even if you are the only one doing it.
  2. Attractive girls will get away with bad behavior because they are hot. Boys (and some girls) will tolerate mean, backstabbing, obsessive, jealous, cruel, self-absorbed behavior because they like having pretty girls around them. DON’T be this girl, even if you are offered that power. Even if you know you won’t suffer ANY  consequences if you act horribly. It is your job as a human to treat everyone with respect, even if you are the only one doing it.
  3. Failure is part of learning. You grow through experience, and sometimes that is difficult, disappointing, scary and positively soul crushing. Don’t let it stop you from trying new things. You are capable of learning ANYTHING. Don’t go the easy route just because you know you won’t fail. Don’t get mad when someone tells you the answer is wrong. Don’t blame them for your failure. Own it and build something better on top of it. It is your job as a human to treat everyone with respect (including yourself).
  4. Good music has the same effect on your brain that drugs do. Music is love. Music is power. Music is life. Choose music. If the song gives you goosebumps, then it’s a good song and you are getting a natural high.
  5. If and when you start to try drugs (including alcohol) do your research. Be aware. Understand that doing drugs will make stupid people seem smart, not-fun things seem fun, ugly things seem beautiful and bad music seem good. NEVER trust your judgement when you are high.  Always assume that the ideas you have are never, ever good ideas. Remember your wasted brain is not the brain you have sober. Prepare yourself for situations where danger is present, and always protect your body, mind and emotions. It is your job as a human to treat everyone with respect (most important, yourself).
  6. Your body is beautiful. Your body is not a sex weapon. Your body is not a sex object. Sex is amazing, wonderful and fun because you are amazing, wonderful and fun. If the other person does not respect that, then they do not deserve to have sex with you.  You are not a bad person if you don’t want to have sex. You don’t “owe” sex to anyone just because they are nice to you. It’s not a form of payment. Its your job as a human to treat everything with respect (including the act of sex).
  7. The world is a scary place. There are guns everywhere and crazy people to shoot them. You can get shot at school, at the movie theater, walking down the street, in your home.  It’s a scientific fact that having more guns around doesn’t make us safer, but people still believe the opposite, so therefore you have to live in a place where your chances of getting shot are higher than every other 1st World Country. I honestly don’t know how to protect you from this, but you need to be aware of it.  I really, REALLY hate that you have to live with this,  but still.. it’s your job as a human to treat everyone with respect (not only people who have guns).
  8. I love you. I respect you. I will be strong for you. I will believe in you. I will try my hardest to follow my own advice and do my job as a human to treat everyone with respect, even if I’m the only one doing it.

A lot of moms don’t like to think about these things. Fear is probably why the “let them stay little” crowd cries at the thought of their kids growing up. But this is the world we live in, the people we live with, and the future our sons & daughters are faced with. I just want to give them tools. I’m just trying help. Or maybe I’m just trying to make peace with my fears, because being a parent is f**king scary.

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Positive Affirmations

Positive Affirmations

Yesterday was all doom and gloom. Today will be better! Skeletor says so himself!

When someone doesn’t love themselves

Have you ever met someone online? Not romantically, but through common interests. Like you started following their blog, or joined a message board/forum, online community or support group, and eventually decided to meet in RL (as they call it)? I’ve met people from the blog world once I figured out they were in my city and seemed cool. But the most lasting relationships I’ve made were from a pregnancy chatroom I stumbled upon 8 years ago. Yes, these women came back to the same chatroom every day for 8 years (some even longer). I’ve known these ladies so long that they’ve had 1, 2, 3 more pregnancies since we met. I’m the only one who hasn’t continued procreating. The majority of us haven’t met face to face (other than webcamming), but there are a few who I wanted to make a “real” connection with. For me, online chatting was great but there was only so much you could really know about someone. I was close, but I didn’t know what these people were really like beyond their keyboards and Dropbox accounts.

Taurusgirl came into the chat  when she was pregnant with her son, almost a year after I’d had my daughter. She must have been chatting from a library or public computer because she was obviously lost, desperate and homeless. She was asking questions about paternity, and if legally her son’s father had the right to be in the hospital room or not. I was going through my own personal custody battle, and I wanted to pass on any type of help I could to her. I felt it was my duty as one single mom to another. I too had been homeless while pregnant, spending days in libraries, trying to read up on any pregnancy book I could find. My heart really ached for her, and I did everything I could to pass useful information.

She had the baby, and we didn’t see her for a long time. Then one day she was back, saying she had moved from Las Vegas to Colorado and was living with her mom. We kept chatting, learning that we both shared a love for dance music, snowboarding, roller derby, drawing and generally being creative. She wasn’t like the other moms in chat. She didn’t spend all day talking about what dinner she was going to prepare for her “DH” (husband in the online mommy world). She talked about The Ramones and spinning records, how parenting was the most insane thing she had ever done, and how she struggled with the same things I was going through. She made me feel less alone, in a chat universe where I was the only one working for a living and trying to raise a kid by myself.

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