eclectic taste in music
This afternoon I’m working moving numbers as usual, but instead of the usual silence or listening to Joseph Prince I got out some old CD’s. It’s fun to look through them, and marvel at the artists whose work is classic, whose work is forgotten and the ones still making music.
To say I have eclectic taste in music is about as accurate as it gets: everything from Eagles (my #1 all time favorite ever for always!) to Whitesnake, Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross, Bill Withers, Beach Boys, Shania Twain, Cheryl Crow, Los Lonely Boys, Cheap Trick, Lou Bega, Savage Garden, Third Eye Blind, LeCrae…. and the list continues. Suffice to say, music is a big part of my world.
On any given day, I most often pop in Eagles greatest hits. Why? Because they’re lyrics speak to my soul, as does most music. Not in some ethereal heebie jeebie kind of way, but it meets me wherever I am.
I remember when I was in the process of getting divorced, the song Already Gone was my anthem. I’d play it loud and sing just as loud.
“So often times it happens, we live our lives in chains and we never even realize we have the key.”
“When you look up in the sky, you can see the stars and still not see the light.” That’s right.
Next on the play list is Rod Stewart greatest hits, Forever Young. If you think about it, age is only a number, it has nothing to do with who you are.
Let’s all get the key and unlock our shackles, notice the brilliant light the stars offer us and remember to enjoy life and have fun.
I am grateful
This afternoon I had lunch with a friend who I now know is as genuine as I ever believed she was. I feel such a sense of relief, like some type of weight has been lifted off my shoulders that I hadn’t even realized was there. She’s still as beautiful inside and out as she ever, maybe even more. The experience of life adds a dimension to beauty that can only be granted to those who walk the earth decade after decade.
We’ve known each other and been friends for over 34 years now and I am grateful in the depth of my soul that she is who I believed her to be. I almost feel giddy! She is another real soul, a woman journeying through life, learning, growing and becoming all she can become each day.
I am so grateful, did I say that already?
…share my truth…
I’ve got to be honest; for the last few days I’ve completely lost sight of why I started this blog. I sat last night staring at the screen feeling empty, incomplete and purposeless. Then today, a few moments ago I remembered.
I’m here because I’ve been on one hell of a journey to be able to be comfortable in my own skin, to think my own thoughts, to share my own truth, to say what I want to say, to be true to myself. This journey needs to be told, because if it helps one, only one person on the entire planet, then all the heartache, blood, sweat and tears will be worth it.
Very shortly, I’m going to eat lunch with a friend. 15 years ago, I would have told you she was one of my dearest and closest friends.
We went on an annual shopping trip and on our 40th birthday’s (which are 28 days apart) we went to Manhattan. We stayed in the Roosevelt Hotel and had the greatest time! We went to a Broadway play, rode the Staten Island ferry, met and chatted with several policemen who were gregarious and full of life, rode the subway to the Bronx and saw the old Yankee stadium before it was torn down. While on the subway a group of 3 people about 25ish in age, started singing impromptu – they were fantastic and the experience was spellbinding! We walked everywhere, shopped, went to Macy’s, Tiffany’s and was great vacation!
For now, fast forward through details, my divorce, my move away from my sons for 2 years which coincided with my immersion in a bottle or two or 100 of tequila. Those facts along with our professed Christianity and I was left the scapegoat, the black sheep, the bad guy, whatever. (Sidebar, I believe Jesus died and rose for me, and I believe my Father in heaven loves me unconditionally. At the same time, I cuss like a sailor at times, and am a very real imperfect woman.)
Fast forward again to today. I’ve been back for just about 10 years, and I’ve run into this friend and we’d say hi, and exchange pleasantries. I learned very quickly that most people who I ran into after my 2 year absence would be so “happy” to see me and that I was back “let’s do lunch” did not mean what they were saying at all.
To be honest, I never knew where I stood with this particular friend. She seemed genuine enough, but was always too busy for lunch etc., that is until this past week. We set a lunch date today in about 35 minutes via messages on Facebook. I believe she too is looking for some authenticity, that the game of pretend has made her weary as well. At least that is my hope. I could be completely wrong. Either way, I know today will answer many questions.
So, for now, I’m off to lunch and may honest, authentic conversation reign.
terrifying, yet liberating…
On July 13th, 2017 I finally let go. It was terrifying, yet by the end of the day…. liberating. A couple of months ago, someone gave an opinion on my life. I’ve known this person less than one year, had a total of 4 conversations that were nothing more than small talk and yet through 3rd party gossip they felt they could make a judgment about me. That judgment was, “she just can’t let go of her sons.”
This person, on one hand, is about as wrong as they could get. Their view is tainted and so inaccurate its laughable. I let go of my oldest son long ago. I had no choice. I love him, and believe he loves me. But the sad truth is our relationship is tentative. I never know when he’ll decide I’ve said the wrong thing and not talk to me for a while. There have been several occasions where he was open and we had honest heart to heart amazing conversations and I thought we were finally in a good place and starting to heal. He has said what great relationships he has with me, with his dad: that he shares his life with us and gets our opinions on things. It’s then that I start believing that we’re finally in a good place and moving forward. My deepest hope is that someday one of these open honest conversations will be the catalyst to our healthy and whole parent – adult child relationship.
On the other hand, they were right and I realized I hadn’t let go of my youngest. That is until yesterday. In one instant, through some extenuating circumstances the only sound was the slight hiss of the blade cutting through the air. It was done, I let him go. It’s odd how it can happen so fast, so instantly. One minute life looks one way, and not even a full second later it’s completely different.
He and I have a relatively good relationship in spite of everything. After my 2 year absence and I moved back home, he told me he always believed I’d come home. This belief he had in me was so powerful. At the time I had no idea, but I do know that was the guiding force that brought me home. I’ll forever be grateful. He’s brilliant and has a beautiful mind and heart, but I’m not sure he knows that.
I don’t know what the future holds, who does. I do know that my home, my heart is always open to them, and I am hopeful for healthy relationships with them, eventually their wives, and their families.
Yes, I’ve let them both go, and while there might have been a tear or two, there’s also anticipation of what’s to come. Because in so many ways, I’m just getting started….
Sometimes when we’ve got our hatchet out, the reasons are legit and we need it. We’ve got work to do, and the hatchet is the only way to get the job done. When the job is done and we don’t need that hatchet any longer, sometimes we hold on to it just in case. The problem is we get used to the hatchet and it becomes comfortable to carry it around. So we carry it around…. everywhere. After a while it starts feeling heavy and it’s tiresome, but now it’s become such a comfort how could we ever let it go?
Then one day, quite by accident we leave it in a coffee shop and go about our day. On our way home we realize the hatchet is missing. WHAT?! How did this happen? We race back to the coffee shop to grab that hatchet so fast our head spins. NO one else can have that hatchet, it belongs to us. As we pick it up, we realize this blasted hatchet really is heavy, but we persevere and take it back home with us. It’s ours after all.
We get up the next morning and realize what a splendid day we had yesterday. It really was nice to get some shopping done, eat lunch with friends, and simply enjoy the day without the hatchet. We know that the work was done a very long time ago, and the hatchet served it’s purpose. As we look at our hatchet, we realize what must be done. We open our back door, dig a 6 foot deep hole and drop our hatchet into that hole. We cover it with dirt and go about our day feeling lighter and happier. That night as we lay our head down to sleep, we feel peaceful and we are glad that hatchet is gone.
…that which wrenched my heart…
Pain. No one I know likes the word, I know I don’t.
A few years ago, my youngest son and I were watching an anime series titled Naruto Shippuden. If you’re not familiar with it, regardless of your age, I highly recommend watching or reading the series. One of the mini plots centered around 3 friends who as young children lost their parents in one of many wars, endured horrific childhood trauma and emotional pain that some never know their entire lives. As adults, they’re determined to end the world and at first seem evil and malicious. That is until the story unfolds and the truth is told, they simply want the pain to stop. In their opinion ending the world means ending the pain. One of them is even named Pain:
As I sat watching their story unfold, tears fell many times. My heart hurt for them, their innocence lost as children, their loss of faith in humanity, and so many more details which I won’t go into here. There are blogs about Naruto and the show itself is worth your time.
What I’m diving into here may take some time to unfold. I’d like to start at the beginning and have this nice, neat, orderly blog that’s chronological, logical, and perfectly sequential: each post building on the previous. However, anyone who’s lived longer than a couple of decades knows that’s not real life. Oh, it’s chronological all right, but the rest – HA! (Fighting the battle to keep life logical and rational and in sequential steps is a subject for another category on another day.)
So here we go. Yesterday I was thinking about what I wanted to say to my youngest son. The emotional trauma he has suffered in life, has led him to make the decision to numb his pain with weed. If I’m to be honest and forthcoming, a pretty large chunk of that was due to decisions I made and things I did and did not do as his mom. (We’re going to take a side bar here and get one thing perfectly straight: I LOVE MY 2 SONS WITH MY ENTIRE HEART AND SOUL!) In thinking about the pain my youngest son has endured, about my role in it, about his decisions for numbing it, I decided what I wanted to say to him was, “I love you and with all the pain you went through I don’t blame you for wanting to numb it, for smoking and I don’t hold it against you.” So that is what I said to him.
The thoughts continued about the pain I caused my youngest son. This isn’t to say that I did not cause my oldest son pain, but today I was specifically thinking about my youngest. The thoughts of how he’s used weed to numb the pain of what he’s endured ran around in my mind. I remembered missing his 5th grade Christmas program at school and the heart wrenching, gut wrenching pain it caused me and the over 3 liters of margaritas I drank that night to numb the pain. How it must have hurt him all those years ago. How can I condemn him for numbing the pain I caused him? I’m not talking about normal childhood pain, I’m talking about abandonment, neglect, and enmeshment, codependency… you know the ugly stuff no one wants to talk about. I’m talking about a mom who left her 10 and 14 year old sons with their dad so that he’d step up and be a dad. (No, I am not going into that now. I’ll dissect that another day.) Yes, I came back exactly 2 years later to the day, but the damage was done.
I thought about my pain as a child of an abusive, often raging violent alcoholic dad and my mom who did nothing but witness the abuse. This is when the light dawned, my worst pain that which wrenched my heart, my mind, and my gut was for the pain I’ve caused my sons. This is the worst: hurting people you love and realizing it. All I endured from my dad (and mom by default) humiliation, degrading names, yelling and screaming at me, his beatings… none of that compares to the agony of hurting my 2 sons. It doesn’t come anywhere close.
So why put all this out here? Because I believe as a society we’re going down a slippery slope attempting to numb pain instead of navigate pain. When I numb pain, I’m not treating the wound and the pain comes back if nothing heals. When I navigate pain, I treat the wound and it hurts, BUT IT BEGINS TO HEAL.
NO. It is not easy, but I have to decide do I want to numb my wound(s) and never treat them? Or, do I want to treat my wounds and eventually heal?