The bath water is hot. But, somehow not hot enough. I usually like the water to slightly singe my skin, while soothing the pain. My candle nearby is a favorite and familiar scent, apple something…reminds me of my childhood and my mother, every time I light it.
Truthfully, I can’t smell it. Covid took that from me recently, although I do believe it’s slightly coming back. But, that’s not what matters right now.
My bath water is hot, my heart is….whole, and maybe for once in a long time, I’m understanding the way the universe plans our “ah ha” moments. Our moments of brilliance, of realizations.
I remember my great grandmother and grandfather telling stories about the crazy that was their childhood. The challenges of raising children, affording anything, and being poor. I remember nearly feeling bad for them. And now, my realization at 32 years old brings me to remembering those stories. Is the struggle the plan for every person in my family?
My blue collared working class family.
My grandparents and their grandparents were farmers, workers, and most likely worked until their hands bled.
Today, I don’t work in the fields. Thankfully. I’d imagine I wouldn’t survive, mostly because childbirth gave me a bulging disc and SI joint dysfunction. But, I would have been right next to them, had they needed me.
Today, I’m a designer by day, hell….actually I’m more of a professional design guru who gleefully entices people to spend money investing in the company I work for (and happily, I have been to hell and back in the art field).
But, I have the most beautiful children, a husband and high school sweetheart of 16 years. One of which knows me better than any human on this planet. (But, I’ll go into that later). And from the outside looking in, my life looks like any other.
The struggle didn’t stop with my parents, or their parents though. It merely changed its face.
The same life’s struggles come to all of us, in one fashion or another.
Love, heartbreak, acceptance, loss, fear, emptiness, depression, forgiveness, self acceptance, self questioning, mourning.
It happens to every human.
Isn’t that interesting? No matter how much time has passed in millions of years, the human race relives the same life lessons in every life, every decade, every millennium.
Some may argue that it’s because of Eden. I’d like to argue that there are a very specific requirements to getting to the afterlife, and maybe experiencing these things…get us there? Ah, maybe not.
Either way, my life experiences have nearly broken my spirit multiple times. It’s brought me to my knees and made me ask God “why”. I have been through many of the human pain experiences, like so many of us. Sometimes I manage by self sabotaging with drinking, binge eating, or drinking alcohol. Sometimes, and more recently, I go into this dark place of questioning life, feeling empty and not understanding what the fucking point is.
Until recently. When I finally put my foot down and decided to stop the voices telling me NO.
Those second guessing thoughts that live in your mind, and challenge you to say “but will you be able to do it?”
Those feelings making me pull back and tell me that I can’t. That I won’t. I decided to fight back with fire, in saying I can. But, maybe also saying that — if I can’t, then that’s OKAY. Because in failure, is growth.
Read that again. Because in failure there is growth.
This year, I have moved 2600 miles. Burned an obscene amounts of money, feared for my children, second guessed my marriage, belittled my husband, had thoughts of suicide, seemed out help from a counselor, quit counseling, moved again, squished my little family into a tiny apartment to find solace, found a great job, re-found depression, got Covid….bad….and then; and only then, got so scared that Covid was going to take my life like so many others that I decided this:
- Life will never ever be perfect. It will be messy, even if you spend all of your energy perfecting. It’s an oxymoron and you’re actually fucking it up by pretending that perfection exists.
- You will have to leave people, if they are abusing you. Even if you love them and you don’t even know how. You’ll have to walk away, without anger and resentment and claim back the power that they stole from you and convinced you was all your fault.
- You can and will be able to rise to the occasion and get out of the shithole you’re living in and convincing yourself you’re happy with. It takes two words. I’m done. And then you have to DO something about it.
- Life isn’t definitive. It’s short for some and long for others, but it will never last forever. And regardless of what you believe, you will never be in your same body again. Be bold. Accept the imperfections as pure beauty and keep going.
- The voice in your head guiding you – stop ignoring it, and give in on the side that tries lifting you up. And ignore the side that’s pulling you into deep waters that you are already second guessing.
- YOU ARE CAPABLE. WORTHY. AND RESILIENT enough to chase after the simplicity or the most chaotic parts of life. Decide and then believe in your choices.
In conclusion, I want to say tonight that this isn’t my first time starting a blog. Matter of fact, I think I’ve started close to 25 blogs. I’ve left and rejoined social media too many times than I can count, and every time I have compared myself to every other woman in this world, while constantly second guessing my existence if I didn’t get enough attention for my art, writing or photos.
I killed that part of me. And I’m done second guessing my worth. Now it’s about walking through it, and inviting others to do the same.
Every damn ugly beautiful thing about this life is worth talking about, but I will no longer get lost in trying to be something the world wants me to be.
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
— Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit