Yelling at Monsters is Cheaper than Therapy

The blog I wrote called, “90 Days to Follow Your Bliss” was my first post written after drinks with M and JC, a soulful night that inspired each of us to commit to a diet that included living in our joy and finding true bliss. We decided over clinking martini glasses that following your bliss has to be an authentic process, a choice to live from joy, an inner and very personal set of truths that needed to be rediscovered, a road map to lead us home. I listened to M and JC quietly and I knew I had called this experience to myself, that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I never have been a girl who believes in coincidences.

I had been thinking a lot about my life lately, in the quiet moments of my day, driving to work, after the girls are in bed, at the gym. It was a process of becoming aware of things I had been hiding from myself, and it was hurting me, like waking to a raging hangover, searching for Advil only to find bright sunlight, irritating thoughts, and misplaced sunglasses. Truth became like water, and I was looking everywhere else to quench my thirst.
I am a lover of life, laughter, and fun. Inspiration calls me and when I am in my magic, I am fearless, creative and awake, my days filled with chill bumps, colorful characters, and a deep sense of peace that all is right, not because the people in my life say so, but because I say it. I am living in my truth and my cup overflows.
The hurting has come here to help me, while I have been cursing and kicking like a spoiled child. It is my way, this rebellion, and I don’t like its questions, assumptions, and my ego says it has no place in my life. And yet, even a rebellious prideful woman like myself eventually breaks, remembering that I am a lover of the light, a fact I never have been able to escape.

Embracing light means making friends with the hurting, asking it to show me what I am here to learn, a humble and desperate breaking indeed. I have been shown that so much of my life has become one of survival, a daily routine where all my decisions stem from fear and chaos. I will myself through long hours for cash tips, worry over car troubles and bills, find release at the gym from the daily anxiety of a family shattered, holidays that lost their joy, a mother who lost her will to live, a daily reminder that the woman I loved the most may never come back to me. There are days I watch her just disappear before my eyes. I had closed myself off to the real possibility of love, dating men who I knew would never break me wide open, a fact that made me feel safe, and yet, always alone. I had made the decision that my dreams for my life had lost their time, a life of hard work was what I must deserve, and the joy I have in my girls kept me going, their beautiful faces making it worth getting up to start all over again.

Until now.

I listened to JC and M describe what they need to follow their bliss. As they talked, a funny thing happened. The hurting stopped. I felt a wave of hope and relief, and my old friend inspiration was finally back, stopping back to ask me on a 90 day diet, asking me what makes me dream, telling me to be as selfish as I want, to not hold back, to be fearless, to remember who I used to be and always will be, to let these women witness what you have dared to dream, hoped to one day become.

My bliss for me meant writing every day, pursuing the Creative Circus for photography, which would take balls to even think I could be accepted, much less get the financial aid I need, the help for my kids, and to work. I would need to make daily goals and see them through, to stop seeing the closed doors and look for the window, to start believing my family will heal, to let go of the control I never had to begin with. To follow my bliss means to open my heart as well, to have spontaneous fun and believe in love, to be raw and honest, to face my fears, and have some overdue mind blowing sex.

I have been very surprised at what I have discovered, probably only 30 days into our 90 day diet.
I started writing this blog.
I have made a lifetime friendship with Clyde.
My family has supported me and missed me, revealing how easy it is to sabotage life when we make assumptions and sacrifices, believing it will bring approval.
I have had every ugly fear rear its head with full force, non stop.
I have a blind date.
I am being paid to photograph a wedding of a friend.
And lastly, with my stomach in knots, today I will be officially be handing in all the requirements, a process in itself, and will be waiting an answer from the Creative Circus, a two year program I believe will change my life personally, professionally, and financially.

I believe now that I am following my bliss, dreaming big, and I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, what will result, or how I will change. I am opening my closet door to the monsters, yelling at them to come on out from under the bed, waiting for the sky to fall and lightning to strike. As far as the hurting, I am amazed that the thing I hated and tried to kill always came from a place of love. I have tried to escape it, beat it, kill it, numb it, and may always will, but the beat only gets stronger, the message more powerful to deliver. When I feel it now, I try to place my hand over it, knowing it is part of me, a part of God, and the thing that I thought might kill me, well, it just might set me free.

It just might bring me home.

Dreaming

To know someone deeply is to know what their dreams are made of.

I have been thinking a lot about dreams, yours and mine, the ones I have carried my entire life, tucked securely away in the pockets of my heart.

We don’t know if we can endure the pain, fear, doubt, and failure, but we learn to persevere, to hope, to climb.

It is the best part of being alive to see our dreams come into existence, to have that baby placed in our arms, to find the partner you dared hope for, to have that diploma, that business, to be the reason a child reads his first book.

I remember being a young thing in Charleston, the place I love with all my being, riding in the car with the man who would soon be my husband. We were driving over the Folly Connector, the windows down, my feet out the window, his hand on my knee.

The sunset was more beautiful than usual, leaving us to our thoughts, and he looked into the rear view mirror, back at me and smiled.

Soon you are going to be my wife. Can you believe it?” I took a deep breath from excitement.

“And one day,” he said, “we will be on this same bridge, but we are going to look back and see not just one car seat, but two.

He said it more like a fact and although it was a concept I couldn’t conceive of at the time, I nodded happily, placing my head softly on his shoulder.

And so here, with this thought, began the birth of our dream.

The birth of that dream brought two beautiful girls, friendship, family, pain, joy, death, love, destruction, and transformation. It was our dream, and God did we fight for it, both of us stubborn and neither willing to admit defeat, not to something we wanted and created in the first place.

We didn’t know yet how to let go so instead, there was kicking, screaming, fighting, crying, pleading, avoiding, and ultimately, leaving.

I realize now I was almost willing to die in order to keep a dream alive.

I am learning to dream again and I feel a lot like a lost little child trying to find her way home. It is a painful beautiful process to know myself deeply.

For all the dreams I have lost, I want to tell them they were beautiful, that they mattered, that they made me the woman I am today. I have new dreams to make, some bursting at the seams, others just forming thoughts or questions in my mind.

I want to tell all my new dreams that I need courage, perseverance, and a lot of hope. I am done dusting away the old, and in my heart, on top of a lot of tears and finally a smile, have placed one big welcome mat.

The Flip, the Switch, and the Crazies.

My intention with this blog was for me to write about my demons, the censored parts of my life that I need to purge to feel healthy, without judgment.

I wanted to be fearless in my writing, to bring all the dark places within me to the light, to throw the f bomb around if needed, to journal my deepest wants and needs, to write about all the people who have blessed, cursed, hurt, contributed, and loved me on the journey.

I’m not so sure it was a good idea to publish it on facebook. And yet, I’m not so sure it isn’t. For one, the blog I wrote titled “The One Who Got Away.” actually ended up being read indeed by “The One Who Got Away.”

I used to call him Hurricane as one of his many nicknames.

He had so much energy and power and enthusiasm for life that it was like he couldn’t help but start electrical storms every where he went. And so, the blog was published on facebook, which he read, and he asked me to please come visit him and he would pay for the plane ticket. I think I am a little bit in shock over this.

What am I going to do? I have no freaking idea.

And of course, there are issues surrounding my father. I want to write about him because he is my ultimate teacher, the catalyst of all that I have learned through pain and destruction, forgiveness, and self awareness.

He has taught me what I am made of, how much I love, how secretly I hurt, how deeply I give. He has forever changed me for the better but in sharing those details, I fear that I will hurt or anger people I love by putting the ugly details of our family’s dirty laundry on public display. I am still working this out by constantly reminding myself to trust the process. I tell myself often to stop asking for the acceptance and validation from people outside of me, to live and speak my own truth and ultimately, to trust that my good intentions do actually matter.

Clyde isn’t even close to being ready for a committed relationship, and on most days I am good with this, enjoying being in the moment with him, our friendship still feels like fresh air, and I am hopeful it always will. We have so much effin fun together.

I knew from the beginning that his heart does not belong to me, but to his ex, and I still find this to be a bitter pill to swallow. Love is absolutely ridiculous and unfair, isn’t it? The love one of us would dream of having another would just give away. He’s trying to let her go and meanwhile, I’m trying to let him go, all the while trying to remain fearless, unguarded, and hopeful. This to me is what I call the flip, the switch, and the crazies. On a high note, photography is coming into focus and I will be finding out soon if I got into the school of my dreams, if waiting tables will soon have its end, if I have the courage to go face everything that makes me weak in the knees and faint at heart. I believe I’m doing well on my 90 day diet to follow my bliss. Some days I think my heart may just break wide open, and what you see come out will look a lot like this: