Tag Archives: Growing up

Have You Ever Tried To Bathe A Cat? Turning Thirty Is The Opposite Of That.

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Today I’m thirty years old. Yesterday, I wasn’t. I’ve taken it upon myself to organize a celebration in the form of pajamas all day. Holla! 🙂

The onset of middle age isn’t anything I expected. The deep pontifications of growth, time, and change haven’t hit me like I thought they would. I woke up in the same foggy-brained body in which I fell asleep and my coffee tasted no more bittersweet than usual.

So what makes these birthdays– the ones with a zero in them– such a big deal?

I’ve felt thirty since I was twelve. Maybe that’s why it feels so uneventful to turn thirty; maybe not. I’m an infant by comparison to almost all of the people I care about and it’s always been that way. My entire life I’ve stood on the outside of something greater than myself, stretching to see over some metaphorical fence to find a place I belong, a crowd that makes sense, some collective group of like-minded people who might provide my brain a reprieve from the monotonies of living. It’s why I started this blog, even.

And over the course of the past year since it began, I’ve certainly found my niche. Here in this space, I have an entire world of compassionate and intelligent people at my fingertips. I found a brother (Sprinklin Thoughts) and a few powerful people who I’ve come to consider friends (Wayward Spirit, Travis, Alarna Rose Gray, Jennifer Stuart, Sean Bidd, The Loon, Lucas A. Draeger, and many wonderful others). Not only have I found a place to build my bonfires, I’ve discovered company in which to stay warm and inspired beside them. The kind of kin that only the internet and a burning desire to be part of something could provide.

Thanks, WordPress. Happy birthday to me. 🙂

So while I’m playing in my flowerbeds and making dinner in pajamas, maybe someone can shed some light for me. What’s with all the fuss about “getting old”? Am I the only one who likes it?

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Conversations With a Crazy Person

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Have you ever had one of those moments when it suddenly dawns on you that your brain is having a conversation with itself without any conscious effort on your part?

It happens to me every time I stop and pay attention to what my mind is doing.

My thoughts think for themselves. If I don’t have something demanding my undivided attention, my attention divides itself into a million pieces and gives each piece a full inspection. I know, it sounds crazy. See what I mean though? My brain can barely finish processing one idea before it flies into an over-analyzation autopilot.

I’ve always been this way. You know the type. I’m the girl who can barely get past “How’s it going?” without a fifteen minute pontification of the potential significance of the abstract patterns the syrup made on the waffles at breakfast. I think too much about too many things entirely too deeply and it matters a lot more than it should.

As a child I would hold mock trials in my front yard. My friends never objected. You think I’m being ridiculous and I won’t argue, but yes. It really happened. Regularly, and often.

It hasn’t changed much with age, either.

I married a lunatic, which wouldn’t say much about the point I’m trying to make except that his lunacy is deeply tied to his obsessive-compulsive need for structure. Predictability. Order. Patterns. His world falls apart if he’s not at least an hour and a half early to wherever he’s going. You think I’m exaggerating; I’m not. His job requires him to be on site by eight o’clock each morning; he’s there by 6:45am every day. In all the years he’s been employed, he has never been later than 6:45am. Not once.

He isn’t paid hourly.

We’re as opposite as two human beings can possibly get. I traveled like a hippie in the gypsy-freedom of my 20’s. I stayed awake until the sun rose regardless of the day of week, sleeping the mornings away in a tent (or simply on a blanket when I didn’t plan ahead and bring the tent, which was more typical) in some various mountainous terrain, where I had intentionally gotten lost the night before, learning the basics of another language or reading an autobiography or working on a term paper or studying for a final or swimming alone all the way across the lake, drinking coffee with dinner and dancing to the silence until I had to return to work or school. Even while working full time to put myself through college, double majoring at that, I never sacrificed the opportunity to live life to the fullest.

Him? He built his credit and trained himself to become the best he could be in his trade. Made sure he kept his lawn obsessively manicured and his vehicle ludicrously detailed, spotless.

Boring.

My philosophical mind drives him batshit crazy. The more curious I am about the why of things, the more OCD he gets about the how of them. My wonder is gasoline to the furious flame of his irritated ambivalence. It might be hilarious if it weren’t so totally crazy to live out in first person.

This particular wavelength I’m riding all started after a knee-jerk reaction I had to a flippant comment he made, the last time our polarities collided in a fury of spontaneous combustion. I told him he’s miserable because he takes himself way too seriously. He told me I make him miserable because I think too much and I take my thoughts too seriously.

His ‘crazy’ has a way of rubbing off on me; I digress.

I take my thoughts too seriously? Oh please. I take them as they come: all at once, all the time, all over the place and that’s that.

But as I continued to mind-screw his mouth-garbage, processing what was actually being said, an epiphany hit me. This is why I think too much (too deeply, too constantly, about too many things): my brain is searching for patterns in a patternless insanity.

I could’ve peed my pants with a “YES!”-type “aha” feeling when I stumbled upon this video; it hits the nail on the crazy man’s head: …Madness! WATCH IT THROUGH TO THE END.

What makes us who we are? Do you see a pattern?

How To Get High. Really High. On Life.

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How To Get High. Really High. On Life.

Much of humanity suffers in denial and dismay for the simple lack of allowing the self to be human.

We resist much of what comes naturally to us: grief, sorrow, disappointment, melancholy, introspection, honesty, awareness, and pain (to name a few).

We waste such a great portion of our lives doing mindless trivial things to stimulate an empty entertainment of our happiness-hooked brains; when most of that time would be easily manifested into a genuine and lasting experience of joy —simply by embracing life, as is.

We spend our adolescence rushing towards an overly romanticized adulthood, and spend adulthood chasing after a fantasy of the childhood we never actually lived. We want our french fries and we want to eat them too. At three am. On a school night. We want our bicycles back and we want to ride them too. At three am. On a work night.

What can we do to transform ourselves? How does a person evolve from the mindless pursuit of immediate gratification to an existence filled with lasting satisfaction?

We must develop a sincere recognition of our feelings, and bravely acknowledge them — in spite of the discomfort and awkwardness they present for us. We must step boldly in front of ourselves with eyes wide open. We’ve got to establish an unshakeable confidence in our own personal power; a deep abiding trust that no matter how the circumstances may seem, we are a people who are going places. We might get taken under, on occasion, by invisible currents we weren’t prepared to swim against. But even still, we are headed somewhere. We are a force in motion. And so:

We keep on keeping on.

This is an excerpt from my comment in response to a post of Robert Hookey’s. You can find him (and said post) at http://youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com …’The Hook’ is a published author with an approachable point of view. For direct access to his blog, please view the first comment below; there you will find a ‘clickable’ hyperlink.

All that we see or seem…

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All that we see or seem…

“When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut, but I want to land on a star.”

“…Honey, stars are big balls of burning gas. They aren’t solid.”

“I know, Grammy. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible, it only means we can’t imagine it yet. And I also want to be an Archeologist in Egypt. And a Marine Biologist. And I want to find out what words look like to people before they know how to read.”

She just looked at me and smiled her usual ear-to-ear smile, and hugged me with her usual five minute hug. She loved me half as much as I loved her. And she loved me a lot.

I think back to the quieter moments from my childhood, the ones where sunlight had a certain melodious way of sending a sense of sweet sorrow into my soul as it began to set outside my Grammy’s living room window; the ones where the ticking of the massive grandfather clock set my mind in motion with a certain angst and longing for the inevitable passing of time to somehow skip over me & my Grammy’s summer days so they could last forever… Even then, I somehow knew the pain of loss before I’d ever had to meet it face to face.

My Grammy always cried as she waved goodbye, the tail-lights from my dad’s pickup truck casting an ominous glow against the fading palm of my Grammy’s loving hand. I understood at a youngest age why she cried. Every single week. Every single time I had to go. I knew the day would come when saying goodbye would only be a distant memory.

It’s funny how the memories can be so incredibly specific that way. I remember her smell so well that it floods over me — even fifteen years later — when I simply close my eyes.

I dream about her tomatoes. Picking them. Her, and me, and all of my boys out there with us. These dreams are not a slumbering escape from the reality of her being gone; they are an awakening reality of the slumbering life I lead without her in it. These dreams are more real than the long-ago memories we once created; they are the memories we’re creating now.

I can’t say I believe in ghosts, or that I know somehow that it’s not just my imagination coming alive when I dream. But I can say — without reason or justification — that my Grammy does, in fact, visit me. We have moments together now, after all these years, when we truly do pause time. We put the world on hold and we sit back, holding hands, sharing love like a cup of fresh lemonade. Making jokes about bitter old men. Laughing. Talking about all of the things I worried I’d never have the chance to discuss with her: motherhood, marriage, growing up… That sort of thing.

In many ways, I became an astronaut and an archeologist and a marine biologist and I most certainly have discovered what words look like to people before they learn how to read… Although I don’t travel to Egypt or make day-trips beyond the Milky Way or spend long weekends deep sea diving; still, I’ve found the most unique opportunities to develop these fascinations into a deeply useful, deeply gratifying use for my meager existence.

Motherhood has a way of doing that.

I miss my Grammy much like we all miss aspects of our childhood, I’m sure. But mostly I’m just immensely grateful to have been given the opportunity to know and love and be loved by such a magical human being. I hope you each have such a profound connection, such an indescribable blessing at some point in your journeys. Whether in Egypt or on the moon, or in your very living room.

what marriage really feels like

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We lost sight of ourselves
In the blink of an eye
Kidnapped in rouge
Red with anger and my

Tightly woven escape
Became his quick foray
One moment one word
And then suddenly rage

Wrapping tightly its grasp
Around all that we had
Become, now undone
Just as simple as that

Little whispering lie
In my hot fragile mind
And the chaos then multiplied
Madness: unkind

Question marking our moves
Deaf to love dead to soothe
The callousing feeling
And having to prove

That I laid down my guard
So I softened my stance
Humility proving
That stillness can dance

Not a two step beside
Not a slow lullaby
But a back and forth rhythm
In which I’d abide

Within him and I
Grief could not mark its prey
Too far yet from dying
Too prideful to say

I am sorry
Me too
Yet the words would not do
Without being needed
…We already knew…

It is simple and kind.
Compassionate. Blind.
Merciful. Candid. And human inside.

Love knows not the forms
We perceive it to have
It wisens us all
To its infinite task

We breech and come back
In erroneous ways
Of life-burdened living
…But it’s life that will save

There is room in this shoe
For your own point of view
You’re welcome to wear it, he says…
And me too.

I step right inside.
Familiar in size
I like how it fits me
(Between you and I)

My perfect-most love
Imperfect, undone
The winning is found in the losing

…We won.

One war at a time
One flesh with two minds
And all of that passion
Within him is mine.