I do a lot of driving.
It’s the price of doing business with my current family, home, and my own life as a person being in different places. And I’m happy to do it.
Because I this, I listen to a lot of podcasts.
My tastes run the gamut: popular ( Welcome to Nightvale, Serial), intimate or offensive (Dan Savage and Kevin Smith), obscure and nerdy (Sawbones and Dan Carlin’s Hardcore history), and movie-minded and political (Bret Easton Ellis).
And then, because the universe knew I needed it, I found Conversation with Alanis Morissette.
Yes. That Alanis. Judge or smirk or eye roll. I couldn’t care less. I was in college in 1995 when Jagged Little Pill changed things and gave us a voice we hadn’t heard. (That and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) But the respect remains. Anything that Alanis speaks or sings or writes, I will attended to with urgency and full consideration. And thank the gods and goddesses I did.
There’s been some shaking up in my world. My acute focus in the settling dust has been to learn as much as I can about myself and find the happiness there that i know is present and abundant. For many years, I pushed away learning. That was where the scary lived. That’s where mirrors that showed you ugly truths about your character dwelled. Trying to control with shame and engulfing and avoidance were much more pleasant. Only now have I learned, just how detrimental that it. Letting go of control and accepting the learning as it is presented is the only way to grow.
Listening to the astute authors and therapists on this podcast have brought a clarity and distillation of truth that I needed. Especially her conversations with Dr. Margaret Paul. This woman…I would lick her brain to absorb that goodness if I could. Her work and methodology on Inner Bonding captured my intellect and started showing me a path to heal my heart. For real. Lick.
I’ve lived in my head for a long time. Because of that discomfort and insecurity with myself, I became a selfish sponge of those around me. I missed amazing opportunities. I passed chances of learning and experience. I shrank from wisdom. And I pushed away love with both hands. Good love that could have sustained and supported and grown. But, who wants that, right? Not this crazy broad.
So, on this gorgeous day of light, while I sit inside next to a snuffly and feverish kid ( the universe does enjoy its humor), I’m compelled to account to myself what I am incredibly thankful to have. Because despite being a giant, nightmare asshole to people close to me and my heart, I’m still being given more than I could ever deserve. Such as:
- The aforementioned snuffly kid. He is my heart and makes me a better person every day. I still can’t believe I get to be his mom.
- The ex who created this amazing boy with me. We have managed a life apart but intermingled, where we can respect our past and bring love to this present family. So few have such a gift.
- I have a job that pays a living wage. Because of that, I can mange my family’s life and provide what we need and more. We have a home and more books and shoes and t-shirts and Star Wars toys than anyone needs to fill it.
- I have a generous mother that fills in when I cannot. In ways of time, money, support and love. Even if she drives me to head-banging distraction.
- There is a small circle of friends that I can reach to for support. Not many and not far. But, when you have people with whom you can share wildly inappropriate texts and stories, it lifts you. Mistakes can be forgiven and they are willing to do it first until you can do it for yourself. And if you’re lucky, they will also tell you when you are wrong, and being an insufferable dick and that you should give that boy a break and apologize. And then they give you a hug and a drink and a recommendation on a good vibrator.
- I have health care. With a hefty monthly premium and an absolutely outrageous deductible. But, it’s still there. It affords me luxuries like only moderately expensive medication and some access to therapy. Healthcare for everyone is still very much not a thing.
- I am afforded the space and time to play. With people of limitless talent and creativity. There is space for me a writing group of delightfully offensive and brilliant women. I’m constantly grateful that there is a place for me at their work table. And then I get to sometimes play make-believe in the most glorious ways. Last night, for just a moment, I got to be Mark Antony. And Brutus. And Caesar. I’ll likely never do that again. But for just a glimmer, I was. Let slip the dogs of war, indeed.
- Without stepping too far outside my comfort, I can acknowledge that I have some talents. To be a mother. To provide. To manage it all. Not cooking. I can’t cook for shit. But, I could write you a monologue about it. And if I did that monologue for an audition, I just might get a call back.
- The thing that hovers over all this, is that I’m in a place now where I can see all these things. It’s a place I’ve not traveled through much before now. Most of my days and nights have been spent locked in my brain, safely guarded against any gnarly feelings that might try to come out and bite me. But, for this moment, I’m not there. I’m here. Body and self. Really here. Seeing. Feeling what I shoved in my boxes. The good and the really, really, hard stuff. Which is really, really hard. And it really, really hurts. But I know it won’t kill me. I won’t stop functioning. I won’t lose my grip on sanity or my hold on myself. I’ll be fine. And someday, maybe, I’ll even be good.
Looking at that list is an incredible gift. Everything I will ever need is right here, in this space and in me.
Yes. That sounds so lame. I imagine a scent of pachouli and a gentle clinking of crystals tumbling as the background soundtrack. The chanting begins at sunrise.
And okay. Yes. There might be crystals. Rose quarts. One my bed, next to the love candle and another around my neck right now. There might be. Who ever really admits these things?
What I do know is that having light suddenly in front of you, and seeing it all around and touching everything is truly changing. There is warmth and illumination. It won’t stay. The evolution of us and our world prevents that. But, having seen it, I know it exists and that it will come back.
So, for this minute, I’ll set my mind in today and be present in my body and throw my arms with love around my snuffly kid.
For today and again for tomorrow and for the ones after, I’ll keep looking for the light.