How are you? Are you okay? How are you holding up? Are you drinking enough water? Are you making sure to eat? I really want to know. I know what’s going on with the weather. Yes, I saw that crazy political post on Facebook. Yes, Target was out of toilet paper again. I don’t care for small talk. I want to know the honest truth of how you are. I don’t care how ugly, obscene or “inappropriate” your truth is. I want to know it all. I am here. I see you. I am you. I know how much you love your babies. I also know the sound of their voice is like nails on a chalkboard right now. Which I am sure you have in your home because you are now their teacher. So, not only is their incessant chatter driving you to the brink of insanity you are now responsible for their education. You are amazing. I know you don’t feel amazing. Your hair is greasy and you have indistinguishable stains on your cute loungewear. Those little fuckers. You would think with all the hand washing going on it would be nearly impossible for there to be stains anywhere in your home or on you. A mom can dream right? I know how hard you work to keep your home picked up and tidy. I am fully aware that those dishes are piling up and in spite of your best efforts the sink will never be empty right now. That’s okay. Your home is messy because your children don’t ever leave right now and your sink is full because you are cooking three meals a day. And we can’t forget about the snacks. Oh, those fucking snacks. I know you are wondering if your child is an alien because the amount of food they can consume is a phenomenon. Rest assured, they are little aliens. You love them anyway and you find yourself on Pinterest searching for the healthiest snack and the cutest way to present it. Girl, throw some celery and peanut butter their way and let them create something. Count it as art for the day. One word: DOORDASH. You’re amazing. I hope you are beginning to see just how amazing you are. I know how much you love your husband. I also know that some days you want to throttle him because he left for work and left you home with the tiny aliens. And if you have teenage aliens? He’s an asshole for leaving for sure. 😉 You know he has to go. You are even thankful. But you are also a little resentful. That’s okay. I know as much as he tries to understand he just doesn’t. He’s not a mom. The weight he carries on his shoulders is so much and you honor that. The load you carry is just as heavy. I hope you honor that. You carry that load along with the multiple loads of laundry. Can we talk about the damn laundry? How is it possible that you have as much laundry as you do and these tiny aliens haven’t left for months? Another fucking phenomenon. I know your partner worries about you sometimes and wonders if you are depressed because you are tired a lot of and express that often. He’s just worried. The truth is you are fucking tired! You remind him you are raising and educating his children during a global pandemic. It’s okay to be tired every damn day right now. It’s okay that some days your motivation seems to be missing in action. It’s not. It’s playing hide and seek with the tiny aliens. It will surface. I promise. I know how much you miss going out and getting dressed up. I know it sucks that no one gets to see that sexy shade of red lipstick you purchased on a wim at Target. I also know that the highlight of your week is heading down to Target. I know that seems depressing to you. It’s okay. Girl, get you an iced coffee and strut up those isles like it’s a catwalk and you are the star of the show. Because you are. I also know how much you miss your friends. You crave connection. Your children and husband cannot provide the type of connection you need. You need the women in your life. I long for the same connection. Please make sure you make that time for yourself. FaceTime is a wonderful tool. I have been spending a few days a week chatting with girlfriends and it’s life giving. For both of us. I know how fearful of the future you are. I also know that you are fully ready for whatever comes your way because you are a damn Oracle and you are in tune with your intuition. What a phenomenon. I see where you little aliens get their magic. You don’t know what the next year will look like. Hell, you don’t know what tomorrow will look like. That scares you a little and it’s incredibly overwhelming. But your faith is beautiful. Your perseverance is something to marvel at. Your ability to rise with the sun each morning and choose to see the goodness life has to offer is inspiring. Your light is luminous and your spirit is breathtakingly magnificent. Even on your hardest and darkest days, especially those days. For there is a woman who allows herself to just be. In all her obscene, messy, raw, and vulnerable glory. That is the woman who is teaching her children how to navigate 2020. And more importantly, life. I love that woman. I hope you do too. She’s fantastic. She is the woman who will check in on her friends even when she is struggling. She knows sisterhood is everything. She doesn’t like small talk. She craves real and messy. She is you. She is me. You aren’t alone my friend. I am here. I always want know how you are. You will be okay. We will be okay. We can do hard things. Hang in there. I love you.
When turmoil hits I often think of that proverbial puzzle. You know, the one we liken our lives to once we have it all figured out, once all the pieces fit together leaving us with a picturesque view of the ocean or a snow laden mountain top. So what happens when life happens? When our life is blown into smithereens right before our very eyes? Our once perfect picture is stained and unrecognizable. We don’t know where to begin. We try frantically to create a new picture. To find new pieces to fit together to give us the same sense of security and hope we once felt. We see the pieces that once were and we shutter. They are ugly. They are painful. They are grotesque. They are dark. They are hopeless. They offer nothing to us. Except the painful reminder that life will never be the same. No, those pieces will never be what they once were. So we begin to move through the rubble of our lives and attempt to re create. To reinvent. To reestablish. But can we? Can we actually piece back together something that is irrevocably damaged? Can we recreate it to be exactly what it once was? No. Our lives will never be the same. We will never be the same. So what do we do? We start over. We take a step back and survey the wreckage before us. The shattered remains. We realize that the puzzle will never again look as charming and delightful as it once did. We begin working. We begrudgingly grab the remains and wonder to ourselves how pieces so small and so ugly could actually create something worthwhile. Something whole. As we move and work we notice that the puzzle we are creating is coming together. Piece by piece we are creating something new. Something abstract. Something different than we have ever known or seen before. We step back and admire our work. And that is when we get it. We understand. We acknowledge that our work was created from the rubble. And it is with this recognition that we see. We see our new reality. And we are full of gratitude. Why? Because we know that our beautiful, abstract puzzle is whole. And we have an even deeper knowing that our ruin and destruction is what created this beautiful masterpiece. We understand that if our life had never crumbled beneath us we would not have been able to create such a piece of art. I think that is the answer to life’s biggest puzzle. Finding beauty in the ashes. Choosing to see that the heartache we endured was meant for our highest good. Choosing each day to wake up and to continue trusting and having faith. Understanding that life was never meant to stay the same. Change is bound to come. Some change gently arrives and then other times, it violently crashes into us swallowing us whole into the waves of grief and loss. During tumultuous moments we need to remember that they are just that. Moments. Sure they can last years, but when the shift happens and our hearts have expanded we will sit down with a cup of coffee and take a deep breath. And with that out breath comes the acknowledgment that we survived. We made it. We are renewed. We are whole. We are changed. We are grateful. And we laugh. A hearty, full laugh. Why? Because we had the audacity to question our strength.
I love you. Je T’aime. Te amo. Three of the most powerful words in any dialect. Where does love begin? Love seems to be the universal word for so many feelings and emotions. I said “I love you” romantically for the first time when I was 18 years old. For privacy issues, the young lad in question will be known as “Steve”. I met Steve at the church I was attending at the time. We were both volunteers. Our romance was a whirlwind. It was quick and it was messy. I was desperately looking for love in any form at this stage in my life. We exchanged “I love you’s” after a few short months together. Along with my declaration of love, I gave him something that I vowed to hold onto. My virginity. Thus began the haze. I knew we wouldn’t last and I knew he was the wrong person for me and yet I plunged headfirst into the deep waters of infatuation. I convinced myself that our love would last and that his pending college acceptance to a university miles from home would have no bearing on the outcome of our relationship. I mean, the only reason he would ever think to leave me would be because long distance relationships are so difficult and he needed to focus on his studies. Right? It couldn’t possibly be the fact that I was an emotional vampire who sucked the very life right out of him. Hindsight is always so very 20/20. Much to my dismay, our whirlwind romance had come to an end. I was devastated. I incessantly called him, begging him to take me back. Which ALWAYS goes over so well. There were many factors in the demise of our seemingly picturesque partnership, but the one that I choose to shed light on today was my deep rooted need to be loved and my quest to find it. I would love to tell you that Steve was an asshole who just fucked me and then left, but that would be a lie. Steve didn’t stand a chance against my journey to find love. The poor, unfortunate soul was swallowed whole into the rose colored abyss. So what went wrong? We cared for each other, we were attracted to each other and we had fun in each other’s presence. We LOVED each other. I didn’t know what happened until years later. At first I blamed him for the crash of 2004. And then I was angry. And then I was ambivalent. I chose to detach myself from the knowledge that I had ever known him. He didn’t exist. If he didn’t exist I didn’t have to face what went wrong.
That was almost 12 years ago. I am in the twilight of my twenties and will be 30 in a few short weeks and I can confidently tell you that I know, unequivocally, where things took a turn for the worst. It was the moment that I chose that I was not LOVE in its purest and most powerful form. It was when I looked outwardly for what I had already obtained. Love begins with me. Love of self. Recognizing that I am the love that I had set out to find years ago. I look back on that time in my life and I am so full of gratitude. The ending of that relationship was a beginning. The soul exchange I had with Steve was crucial to my spiritual development. It was this experience that paved the way for me to truly learn what love is. It is Me. I AM LOVE. To Steve, thank you and my 18 year old self apologizes for the unrealistic and unfair notion that you were her end all and be all. I hope that wherever you are that you are happy and that you recognize your own nature. LOVE. We are all LOVE. We cannot love and experience love in the way that we deserve until we fall in love with ourselves. That is where it begins. They don’t call it “falling in…” on accident. Go ahead my darlings. Fall hard into the Divine LOVE of your very being. Much love.
I have been married almost 9 years. My husband and I are very different people. He is the pragmatic, analytical, and sensible one. I am the wild, carefree, and untamed one. Most days we balance we each other out. And on the days we don’t it’s every man (and woman) for themselves. I have learned a lot about my husband in the time that I have known him. I know what makes him tick and I know what sets him off. Most of the time I see it happening before even he does. That’s how familiar I am with this soul I decided to do life with. But as the years have passed I have become enlightened to the fact that just knowing how he takes his coffee or that he prefers light starch to heavy when getting his clothes dry cleaned does not mean that I love him or even know him. It means I am simply observant. Which any one can do. Hell, the servers at our favorite Mom and Pop restaurant know that he loves cinnamon with his oatmeal. So how do we really love our men beyond daily mundane tasks and familiarities? How do we connect with these men that, on a core level our so vastly different than we are?
Let him be a man. Men are masculine in nature. They are virile, rugged, robust and at times can be rough around the edges. Let them be men. Let them grunt, sweat, fart, burp and then when you’ve done that turn around and do it again. Love their masculinity. Love their brawny, testosterone filled, and red-blooded ways. Don’t nag him. If he pulls out a new roll of toilet paper and doesn’t put it on the actual holder you have one of 2 options. You can shut your mouth and just put the damn roll on the holder realizing that his hard work made it possible for you have that ass wipe OR you could hold the lonely TP holder in between your tits and ever so politely ask him if next time he could remember to refill it. Don’t whine at him. He had a mommy. You are his partner. In the words of Miranda Hobbs, “No one wants to fuck mean mommy.”
Accept him. I realize that this is a hard one. Especially when you know that sometimes the change would make him a happier, more fulfilled version of himself. Trust me. I know how hard it is. But we must accept our men. Their journey is singular and completely separate from ours. There will always be one person in the relationship who is meant to hold space for the other. And more often then not at some point throughout your lives together he will be holding space for you. Our men are our teachers and vice versa. Love them. Be gentle with them. Because simply put, they are your mirror. In being gentle with him you are being gentle with yourself. It’s a win win. When you accept this man for who and what he is he will blossom.
Let them be fathers. The worst thing our society has done is make our men think that they are incapable of caring for their children. We see commercials, ads and ridiculous videos all the time about it. Let them give your preservative free kid double stuffed Oreos. Fuck. Eat them with them. It shows your husband that you trust him and even more it shows your children that there is balance to everything in life. Let your men be silly with your kids. Let your man be the soft place for your children to fall when you have had enough of them and they most certainly have had enough with you. Demand your children respect him. Even if you hate him. Demand it. Undoubtedly you will hate this man at some point in your partnership regardless of whether you decided to procreate. But if you did create life with this man count on it. It will pass I promise. No matter what he deserves to be respected.
Fuck him. Men need us in a raw and carnal way. No ifs, ands or butts. Maybe butt. But I digress. You want to inspire your man? Fuck him. Don’t blush or laugh. And if you are offended by my vulgarity maybe you need to fuck your husband. NOW. Go do it. This goes hand in hand with accepting him. If you want him to help out more around the house than you need to screw him as if he is Mr. Clean himself. I am being silly to get your attention. Now that I have it. Listen up. Make love to your husband as if he is the highest, most fulfilled version of himself. He will become it. Give yourself to this man. Heart. Mind. Body. Soul. Be vulnerable. Allow him to see every part of you. Let him know that you trust him with the inner most parts of your soul. This will inspire him and give him the courage to face what lies outside the walls of the home you built. Together. And one more thing. When your guy is an asshole do not withhold sex from him. I understand that for some women that after being hurt the thought of being physical is completely out of the question. That is how I am. I have to cool down and talk about the offense before I can feel ok. I just always check my intention. Is my intention to hurt him in return or is my intention to connect by communication first? And just so he is clear I usually say something like this, “When you remove your head from your asshole I would like to speak with you about your dick head move. And no, I do not want you to mount me. But please know that my lack of carnal desire has nothing to do with my love for you or the fact that you completely turn me on. I am hurting. Your actions hurt me and I want to talk about it.” Sometimes I scream it and sometimes I say it like I am the fucking Dalai Lama.
Dream with him. Whatever his dream may be, envision yourself there right a long with him. Get excited with him. Research with him. No matter how silly you think it is. Even if he thinks the end of the world is on upon us and reminds you of Christopher Walken in “Blast from the Past” you buy the best tuna on the market and make sure to make Anthropologie jealous with the candles you make. Go all out. And if everyone tells him that his dreams are unrealistic you be the voice in his heart reminding him that if he wants it he can have it. And if you get the opportunity to watch your man’s dreams unfold stand by him. Be his biggest fan. The work will be hard and toilsome, but you will get the rare honor of watching your man in his element.
Give him space. Be together and be separate. Give him the space to pursue what makes his heart sing. It does not mean he loves you less it simply means he loves himself more. And that is OK. If he loves himself first then and only then can he love you in the way you deserve. We live in a society where men work without much thought of vacation or time off. They are expected to produce and provide. Encourage him to take time to himself. If he can’t make it happen for himself make it happen for him. Men need alone time too.
The past is just that. What is the use in bringing up past hurts and failings? It robs you of the present. I know that sounds so cliche, but it is the truth. You want to feel completely disconnected from this man? Bring shit up that happened in the past. This next thing I am still fervently working on. If you are angry with something that your lover has done sleep on it. If you are still upset in the morning talk with him about. Otherwise drop that shit!
I realize in typing this short list up I appear to have just stepped out of the 1950’s. Rest assured that I live and love in 2016 and am so very thankful for the powerful women who have gone before me and fought so hard for our rights as women. It is because of their fight that I am able and have the courage to write my thoughts for public viewing and use words like “fuck and bullshit”. I think somewhere between June Cleaver and the modern day woman we have forgotten our nature. We are women. We are powerful. Let us not fight our feminine nature. Let us love our men. We will not lose our power in their masculinity. In fact, in fiercely loving these sweaty, virile, rugged and sometimes rough around the edges men we will find just how powerful we are.