To the mama in quarantine,
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.
Signed a fellow mama in quarantine
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.