Monthly Archives: March 2011

First crush

My first crush was in first grade: a boy named Brian. I invited him home one day (he got to ride on the bus with me!) and I proceeded to adorn myself in my mother’s frothy “honeymoon bathrobe.” He was unimpressed. Probably a bit horrified, I imagine now! My mother tells me that we played separately for the rest of the afternoon.

This is something I can absolutely see my almost 6-year-old daughter doing, and it breaks my heart a little to look back and see myself with the same innocence and longing to be seen that I recognize in her.

Crush #2: a boy in my second grade class named Danny. I mostly ignored him, but liked him because he was “cute.” I ended up dating him in high school AND in college; also because he was “cute” and, probably more importantly, my parents liked him. A lot.

Crush #3? My camp counselor, during the summer between fifth and what should have been sixth grades, but my parents were holding me back because I was small. (Small? This doesn’t make sense to me now. I was also switching back to public school – hooray!!! – after three years at a horrid Christian school, where I imagine subjects like math and science were not as rigorous as they should have been. But I digress. I am happy I was held back.) So yes, my camp counselor. My female camp counselor. In my limited, moth-eaten memory, I think of her as a beautiful lithe butch girl; probably high school or college. She was a bit gruff with me, and I remember being paralyzed with complete awe for her. This memory burns much brighter than any of my other early crushes. It was the first time I remember recognizing that feeling of being “other.”

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notes on what i want

These are notes I started writing in response to the question of what I want. They’re pretty random and jumbly; not originally intended to be published, but I find myself wanting to put them out there anyway.  More imperfection, eh?!

I WANT

to explore more:
places beautiful + desolate, near + far + in-between
nature + city + all combinations thereof

to feel more:
the whole spectrum of human experience
i realize this opens me to the possibility of great pain, but i will certainly have pain whether or not i embrace it, so why not do so?
it also opens me to the possibility of joy beyond my wildest imaginings.

to connect:
it used to be that i wanted to meet more people; as many as possible, to understand the world better, but that want has sharply subsided.  instead, i want to connect with people who use their brains + hearts to their fullest capacity, or are on the path to doing so.  i want to feel inspired + supported + uplifted by those around me.  life is too short to be dragged down or to kept on the same straight path by the influence of those around me.

i also want to connect more with my sweetheart.  she is one of the brightest spots (sparks!) in my life, and loving + playing + learning with her is deeply fulfilling.  even when it’s hard to communicate… to be seen… to be well-enough differentiated, i adore the process of working through those stimulating challenges in order to grow more into ourselves + come closer to each other.

i want to make enough money on which to live (this means paying for food + clothing + shelter, but also enough for travel + play).  
i want to have good friends. number does not matter; only the quality of the friendship(s).  
i want to help grow my daughter in the best way possible, for her (and those around her). i especially want her to feel loved by me. 
i want to have a kind, loving, vibrant, funny, evolving woman by my side.  
i want to have good relationships with my family.  
i want to embrace + feel embraced by my community – preferably the one that i live in.
i want to live in a place that feels beautiful, and not too far removed from nature.
i want to feel fulfilled by how i choose to fill my days.
i want to eat good food grown by my family or community that sustains our bodies + spirit.

sounds simple/basic, but perhaps not!

i’ve been so frustrated lately by my lack of drive.  simultaneously wanting + not wanting to just DO something!  other people DO things.  they have successful careers or grand life missions and are busy with the carrying-out of those goals.  but it could be that i am just trying to compare my (possibly very different) insides with their outsides.  i’ve come down such a long, exhausting, rewarding + heartbreaking path recently, and i think i just want a fuckin break, already.  i’m trying to catch my breath and put the pieces of myself back together — in different/better places.  therapy has been so very helpful with this, but dude – it is seriously hard work!

i am able to picture how things will happen… in that place that connects both head + heart, and oftentimes, those things DO come to pass.  which is simultaneously alarming and reassuring.  i think it does keep me from fully expressing myself to people; afraid that i’m sharing too much of what might not, couldn’t possibly, and hasn’t yet happened.  i doubt myself.  my thoughts aren’t exactly linear, and aren’t made up of words, so it’s hard to explain, anyway.

so, yes.  another thing i want is to be seen + heard for who i really am. to be able to express that more fully.  to be someone who wants to be seen + heard. finally.


I found Happiness* last week

… in a paper bag at my train station.  It was left by a dyke with beautiful salt and pepper hair, which I took  as a sign that I should rummage around in said bag to find my next fix.

*There’s a book swap at my train station; one of my most favorite things about it.  You too can find Happiness, here, among other places.

And is it making me happy?  Absolutely!  So far it’s a dark + amusing read.  Perfect for the train ride and at my desk during my “lunch break.”


A move to banish perfectionism

I’ve begun and then abandoned dozens of posts here (and in the shower, and on the train… ).  Which causes me to feel pretty fucking pathetic.  Also on that list of pathetic?

I am not a perfect woman, mother, lover, friend, sister, daughter, neighbor, ex, writer, employee, human, random passer-by.  I still don’t know what I’m going to be when I grow up.  And I didn’t realize I shouldn’t have gotten married to a man until it was much too late.*

*Except then I wouldn’t have my growing toolkit of relationship skills, accumulated while living with + loving someone who never quite fit with me.  Always searching for my heart’s balm; convinced it was out there.  And I wouldn’t be acquainted my amazing daughter, who has grown + stretched every part of me (heh) beyond all my imaginings.  And I wouldn’t be where I am right now; right in this spot.  Because even though it’s an uncomfortable spot, I am pretty god-blam sure it’s where I’m supposed to be at the moment.

Back to the point that I wanted to make:  I haven’t been putting my thoughts out into the world because they weren’t perfect enough.  Which I know in my head is ridiculous.  (What is perfect?  Would I even want perfect?  No, thank you.)

So I will attempt to release my addiction to perfectionism + just spew forth the perfectly imperfect.

For more excellent thoughts on perfectionism, shame, ordinariness, earning approval + acceptance, and vulnerability, please see this awesome TED Talk by Brene Brown.  And/or this short interview with her on HuffPo.