I’m Not Your Catalyst

This is not PMS. This is not a broken heart. This is not martyrdom. This is a huge FUCK OFF I discovered in a seedy bar or on my couch or in my bed or in the morning haze of school bus chaos or in the cup of a shitty cup of coffee. I found this voice. This truth. And it’s about fucking time it’s talked about.

You know that hippy bitch? That one that says she’s all love & peace & transparency & selflessness? She’s not necessarily the gal who’s wearing tie die panties. Nor the one who is all about crystals and her chakra-awareness. Or the sexually expressive goddess who flaunts her girly parts as the art discoveries they are.

This is about all of those women and more.

This is about a girl quite like me. Quite like you. And I’m tired. We’re tired. We’re fucking spent.

We’re the women who make your lunches and kiss your fucking beautiful faces goodbye in the morning. We’re the gals look the other way when you notice her asses that are a bit more tight than ours. We’re the ones who answer your texts at 2am when you’re drunk and alone. We’re the ones who are there for you when you’re broken up about your crazy girlfriend. We’re the gals who kiss away your insecurities when you feel less than whole. We’re also the friends who patch up your bleeding sores when he hurts you over & over again. And the ones who touch our foreheads to all the horrible pains in your heads.

You know that girl you use? She gives because she believes in love. She believes in saving all that’s fucked in the world through her hugs, her kisses, her love, her ART, her beating heart, her money, her ass,  her 2 am answered calls, her borrowed devotion.

Borrowed you ask? Yea. It’s a borrowing of sorts when you take something that doesn’t really belong to you. What you don’t get is she gives because she loves LOVE. She loves and gives and spares and lends and extends whatevever you need – because she needs the same fucking thing. But she won’t say that. She won’t say, ‘I need to be hugged’. She won’t confess the need to hear, ‘You’re beautiful Love’. She won’t beg to hear the words, ‘You are perfect just as you are’. She won’t break and fall apart. She will never tell your secrets. She will never sell you out. She will never try to take credit for your new love. She will never take credit for all the good shit she’s due.

She’s sold her soul to the Devil for YOU. To make you feel better. To kiss your aching soul. To absorb your pain and your demons.

Maybe she’s your Witch. Taking in all your pain in attempts to produce magic.

And what do you give her?

Funny. She’s not looking for payment. But when you’ve found your freedom, happiness, love. Maybe do two things.

Say a fucking thank you to the Gods for Her. And maybe try to never use her Goddess Love more than once. She’s Mortal. She can’t can’t handle giving and giving and giving. You will devour her power of Love.

Say thank you and move on. And when someone needs the same validation of Love, you can return the energy.

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Messy Love

messy-love

My husband and I met, nearly thirteen years ago, on a completely random whim. A set of circumstances that we like to think were put in place by the ‘gods’ or universe or a very chubby cherub with too much time on their hands. Our first kiss was when his shy lips found my neck. One of the sweetest memories I have. Within hours, we said our first ‘I love you’. Whatever storm was going on, we were enjoying the ride without an umbrella.

Moving in together, step-children battles, first baby five years later, job gains, job losses, moved, moved again, and again, joined the mini-van club, first mortgage, lawn mower repairs, bills and more bills. Our cherubic-blessed union had become a battleground of stress and kids and burnt dinners and arguing and mistrust. It was split wide open and susceptible to even the slightest damage. We hit a ‘had-enough’ point and I moved out with our then four-year-old.

It was odd and strange and confusing. My condo, though trendy and cute, became a nest for grieving and mourning my seven year marriage. I was restless, unable to get on the other side of a rainbow. He was still in our home, partying and confused in his own way. It was clear, we weren’t over each other.

We had the occasional dinner out, determined to co-parent in our own clumsy-friendly way. The divorce papers were ready to be signed. Sitting there in a folder, silently screaming, ‘I’m a stack of nonsense. Do not sign me’. Still, we carried on thinking this was best decision for everyone.

Until that day, enroute to a playdate, I realized I was nauseous, several weeks late and had this uncanny ability to smell chocolate from a mile away. Oh shit. I grabbed a pregnancy test from the drugstore and used it in a bookstore bathroom. Exactly one impatient minute later, my future plans came to a shuddering halt. I called my soon-to-be-ex-husband and we both sort of stuttered in disbelief.

At that moment, our plans to disassemble our marriage had been challenged and eventually were dissolved. We realized a love like ours is tumultuous and creative and stormy. One not meant to falter under pressure, but rather to be refined with each thunderous moment. We reconciled after nine months of our time apart. Our ‘miracle’ daughter was born seven months later, her middle name aptly graced with Storm.

Every marriage, every relationship, has its hurdles. Some love isn’t meant to last, some is too explosive to survive the aftermath – but sometimes, it’s meant to become even stronger, even more wild, even more inspiring. i’d like to think ours was a love meant to survive. We’re both survivors from our rocky pasts individually; how could our love be any different? Things can still get shaky, days when I glance at my suitcase and wonder…..what if. Then, my Storm bursts into my room, reminding me of how our love was first born on a whim thirteen years ago, and then reborn through her very existence. And will continue to be reborn over and over again. This life, this love is a journey.  Our daughters are just one of our magic superglues. They brought us back together and taught us to love again. Our daughters are more our teachers, then we are for them. For which we will forever be grateful.

I appreciate what the universe has blessed me with, the lessons life teaches us, the opportunities for growth – but I also like giving that chubby cherub plenty of work to do. We are some of his best customers.

I’m obsessed with this whole derailing of my need-to-be-perfect trip lately. And taking a huge step back from what I think my marriage was/is supposed to be, and rather accepting the beauty of what it just IS. Enormously … relieving. I like messes. Messy is sexy and wild. Messy pasts, messy hair, messy beds, messy love.

Go with the flow. Accept and embrace whatever stage your relationship is in, and trust that it will thrive, or sweetly takes it’s bow, or evolve – however it’s meant to, in it’s own messy, stormy time.

Love ya,

Wild Child

My Mean Mommy Morning

CrazyMommy

I sit here feeling disoriented and shameful, moments after I get my child frantically onto the bus. She probably is on the bus, still tear-stained, plotting on how to lock her mother in the closet when she gets home, whilst she eats my dark chocolate and watches Monster High on replay. I can hear her wickedly cackle as I’m clawing at the basement door with bloody hands. (Ok, this has clearly gotten out of hand. I am not Carrie’s Momma, I am not Carrie’s Momma).

So rather than pout and self-loathe, I’m here writing and drinking coffee with my, ever-so-ironic, ‘MOM’ mug. *shame is wiggling just right in*

The gals went to see a late movie with their Dad last night – which is probably where my mean-mommy stew starting gettin’ cooked up. A whole decadent three hours to myself?? Gym, yoga, meditation, art, hot bath, reading. Oh yea. Know what I did? I paced, I had a glass of very unfulfilling wine, I texted my husband a million times, I got dressed for the gym to find out he had my sneakers, tried to take a hot bath only to enjoy a whole two inches of hot water – finally laid in bed way too early, scrolling through Instagram and hating myself more minute by minute. This could very well be a common syndrome of mommies the world over – not knowing how the hell to relax with precious free time given to us on a silver platter. At ten pm, my soda-jacked-up children burst into the house and another struggle-filled hour later, they pass out.

What. The. Hell. The rush of self-disappointment rushes in this morning: I am world’s worst mother. The older gal didn’t get her homework done. I didn’t lay out her clothes. It’s gym day; where the f’n F are her sneakers?? Oh you want me to pack your lunch? Sure, let me sloppily throw together a pb&j with old bread, some poison-dyed jello (courtesy of my very 80’s-nutrition Mother), leftover movie soda and cut strawberries someone had heaven-sently put in a zip baggie. (The shame is a-buildin’). I SUCK.

My gal is crawling and sleepy-eyed. I’m yelling like a coked up White Rabbit with an evil streak, ‘It’s Late, It’s Late’! She’s getting more and more upset and is now crying rather than rushing to get ready. I give her the answer to her last math question. Brush her very tangled hair in a not-so-nice way. Brush her teeth with adult-mint toothpaste because theirs is no where to be found. Throw dress shoes on her; how strenuous can gym class be? Ok. Stop. Crying.

I quickly transition from Sgt. Asshole Mom, to Hippy Earth Mother. I grab two homeopathic stress gummy tabs, her organic vitamins and sit her down. I am totally back-pedaling at this point and have sneaking suspicion, she’s silently calling me on my shit.

‘Honey, you know you are responsible to put her sneakers away where you can find them’. ‘Honey, you know your homework should have been done before the movies, not this morning’. Honey, Honey, Honey. I say in the sweetest, calmest voice. I can hear, ‘Mom, cut the shit. I’m now going to plan to run away from your crazyass-betty-crocker bullshit’. I say, ‘I’m sorry I was mean’ and kiss her cheek. Get her outside and wave goodbye-kisses until her bus is out of view. I do my own walk-of-shame back to my messy house, with my  messy hair and crusty eyes, to drink my shitty coffee and pout.

Do vote for me for Mom-of-the-Fn-Year, will ya?

And I breathe. And I’m not perfect, nor do I want to be. And I apologized to my bitter 9 yr old. And I kissed her. And I write for clarity. And I learn, to prevent this fiasco from happening again.

We’re human. YOU are human. Life is messy. Parenting is messy. Our houses are messy. It’s all one big ol’ mess we’re all swimming in, trying to do the best we can. Trying to love our children and not set them up for a lifetime of therapy. Trying to, at the very least, sanitize the important parts of our home,  lest child services get involved. Trying to not pack our shit and run away when things get hard. Trying to love our very clueless husbands and give them some ‘special’ time when we just want to curl up into an exhausted ass ball. Add to all of this Trying, trying to keep trim, enjoy life, smell the goddamned roses, not lose ourselves in the sea of diapers and pb&js. Don’t forget about self-love on top of all of our to-dos. Sure, I will get right on that.

The thing is, this craziness, these wretched mornings, these days where you just want to spend another 20 minutes in the bathroom, not because you’re pooping,  but because it’s the only semi-private time you have to yourself – THIS IS LIFE. And would you really want a perfect Instagram family life? Where everyone is happy happy happy? No boo-boos, no struggles, no fighting, no lost sneakers, no crusty sandwiches? If that’s what we had 24/7, how would we ever be able to appreciate the beautiful times?

When our husbands lovingly caress our hips, knowing he’s not expecting anything more? When the sun glitters off our child’s hair, as if she were truly heaven-sent? The hilarious moments when your four year old innocently calls your cat a ‘pain in the ass’. The family summer picnics in the park, when you watch your gals run about happily, as you and your husband nibble food and secretly, each other. When your dog curls up for bedtime story with your children, not knowing he’s any different. When you just can’t get enough kisses or inhalations of your daughters’ cheeks?

These moments of sunshine could not possibly be noticed, treasured, absorbed if that’s all we had. It’s like the glorious sun after a storm. The chaos creates this beauty, this joy, this bliss.

So when shit hits your Mommy-fan – just breathe. Acknowledge. Learn. Hug your children. Tell them you know Mommy was a turd, but you’re trying and you love them very much and are very sorry. Kiss often. Hug often. Try to sneak in a hand grab with your mate. Call a fellow Mommy to commiserate and relate with. E.g. my darling bestie just texted me, ‘Which would you rather have? An Over-Medicated, Numb Mama or a Real & Angry but Loving Mama’? (she always knows how to make me laugh at, rather than loathe, my imperfect self).  Which is most important! Love, laugh and forgive yourself. You are allowed to be not-perfect. And have FUN. Our children seem to teach us a hell of a lot more about life, then we do for them. Play. Giggle. Screw the dishes, they can wait. Take-out dinner won’t poison your children. Messy hair and the lack of sneakers on gym day won’t get DHS called.

This is life. A beautiful, chaotic messy life. Love every minute. Every tantrum. Every struggle. You can’t Instagram that. This shit is for reals.

 

Love ya,

Wild Child

 

Be Decadent & Get on the Other Side of Sh*t

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If you took this very moment, would you tally up all the sh*tty things wrong in your life? Would you calculate all the distresses, the problems, the conflicts, the pains, the aches, the to-dos and the wishes?

I do that. I do that remarkably well. But lately, I’ve been trying to let go, ya know, embrace my Pollyanna and brighten everything up a bit.

The thing is, we’ll always have sh*t. Always. There will also be some bill, some argument, some tantrum, some kind of poop to clean up, some broken appliance, some asshole friend. That’s being a grown-up baby, I tell myself.

I’ve created a Comfort Box, among other healthy coping methods. This box (an Eiffel Tower little number), sits atop my dresser, and contains lovely little gifts to myself. I visit this box whenever I hit bottom, when all the regular life boogers come flying at me. When I like I’m failing, or lost, or empty or sad or just not-good-enough. It’s not the items themselves exactly, it’s the ritual of self-love, of self-care, of taking a moment to bring me back to self and to revel in a little much-deserved kindness and decadence. Beautiful earrings (yes, they were clearance but lovely nonetheless), cruelty-free pops-of-color nail polish, $6 dollar chocolate that could be easily swam in – all accompanied by a mini journal with notes that my strong self knew my weak self would need at the right time.

Or a hot bath with Epsom salt, Pandora and sleepy tea. Or a mini massage from these lovely gals who remark how ‘very tight’ my shoulders are every time. Or whatever comfort you can rely on; make it your new ritual. When things get crazy, go to something that will bring you back to a place of calm and love.

I say all this butterfly-crap because my go-tos were anything but healthy in the past. The shit-bar down the street for Jameson or endless glasses of box wine (yes, the only kind they poured). Or eating a pie and thinking I had the right to expunge it from my belly. Or hurting myself at the gym. Or other dark bits I’m not in the mood to share. My coping skills were pretty trashy and provided momentary ‘relief’, only to pretty  much loathe myself/my actions shortly thereafter.

New mantra: Don’t numb. Heal.

Whatever you can do, to endure a particularly troublesome f*ck or cluster of them, with the intent of healing your mind, body & soul – not destroying or disrespecting them.

Call a close friend you can trust. (Side story: It’s beautiful to vent & be vulnerable, as it can lead to so much connection with others. However, choose someone who is WORTHY of your stories. Brené Brown (bless her beautiful heart) stresses this. That we own our stories and deserve the right to share only with those we can completely trust with them. Otherwise, sharing (with the wrong sorts of people) can not only be counter-productive but also downright destructive).

Get out of the house. Yes, that blasted fresh air medicine. Peruse in a bookstore. Treat yourself to a flaky 500 calorie croissant and $8 latte.

Make it your ritual to cope; something gorgeous, delicious, healing.

It’s getting on the other side of sh*t. The sh*t is over here, and I’m making that CHOICE to go meander over there. The place with really good wine, bath salts, ‘ears’, chocolate or journaling.

The sh*t will always be there, in some form or another. But it’s really, really, really important to remember that it’s not YOU, it doesn’t define YOU, it doesn’t control YOU. You are lovely & beautiful & amazing and more than good-enough. And it’ll pass, and you’ll be left a little strong, wiser, happier, calmer.

Love ya,

Wild Child

Enough

Enough

I was four months pregnant and I just left my soon-to-be ex-husband’s house. He told me he wasn’t sure he wanted to reconcile from our separation. I couldn’t drink it away. I couldn’t cut it away. I couldn’t shove my fingers down my throat again. I couldn’t even think about suicide for the second time; not with this life my husband and I created squirming inside of me.

I drove through town, as if someone had injected a grey cloud into my brain. I stopped for a milkshake, simply because. Then I drove on auto-pilot to a tattoo shop. Yes, wretched of me to get a tattoo while pregnant. But the other options to handle my pain weren’t really options.

I sat in the car with a pen and a bank deposit slip, and started numbly scribbling single words to ink into my wrist. About three words in, I had it. ENOUGH.

Twenty minutes later, my 5’1” frame allowed me to softly dangle my feet on the tattoo chair, as I sipped my milkshake like a child, hiding my newly pregnant belly. I sat there as the sweet bliss of the needle dug into my skin. It wasn’t a sick kind of pleasure. It was a relief. These six letters etched into my flesh were telling me what I had to do.

Four years later, I still get asked what the tattoo means. My answer is never the same, for it speaks to me differently, at various shifts in my life.

I smile and say, ENOUGH of the Bullshit. ENOUGH to my bulimia. I am ENOUGH. Sometimes I say all three.

Most understand me. Some almost shudder at my honesty. And some seem completely confused as if I said it in Pig Latin.

I don’t mind the reactions. It’s mine. I own it. It saved my life; literally and more than once.

I know how I got here, to this place of incessant struggle with being enough. I grew up in your typical dysfunctional family, except mine was saturated in a religious rain of disapproval and unacceptance of individuality. It wasn’t god’s fault. It wasn’t really even my parents’ fault. They loved as much as they were capable. Not knowing my worth or who I was, I married young to a ‘religious’ man-child with a mean streak. Five years, a plethora of bruises and a shattered soul later, I finally divorced not only from my marriage but also from the confines of religion.

To make the transition even more of a mind-fuck, I received a letter from my father on my birthday. He had a charming habit of sending his most damning letters on yellow lined legal-pad paper. I could feel his disgust as my fingers unfolded the three yellow pages. I could feel the impressions of his all capital-words, as if he pressed his pen deeply with anger. Three pages of ‘Holly, I’m so disappointed you left god, sleeping around, ashamed of you, had better hopes for you’ etc. I knew he had leukemia but as I read his letter through streaming tears of guilt, anger and shame, I wished for his death. Twenty days later, I got my wish. I watched his once terrifying presence be reduced to a small frame beneath starchy sheets on his deathbed. He lost lucidity, therefore having a last breath chat with how much he hurt me, just never happened. As he expelled his last death rattle, I whispered ‘I love you’. An hour later the morgue took my father away in a black body bag. A black fucking body bag, contained my ‘god’. He was gone and I was left with his ‘gift’ of never-good-enough. Left with an empty bewilderment. My ‘god’, withholding his love and approval, is now gone. What the hell am I supposed to do?

So for the next ten years, I answered that question by sifting through my childhood, my abusive marriage and broken self with boozy nights, angry canvases, my raw bulimic throat, shamefully shameless sex and bizarre journaling.

Funny thing about abuse, it likes to linger like an insecure motherfucker. When would this stop? This invisible demon wagging its finger at my tear-stained face, saying, ‘Who the hell do you think you are? You’re nothing. You’re pathetic. You’re fat. You’re ugly. You deserve nothing. YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH’.

Just typing those words, the tears well up from my stomach to my eyes. The core beliefs I was taught never really took her graceful leave. These past few years, I’ve rewritten them. I’ve recolored them. I’ve redefined them. I’ve done self-work; I’ve done the fucking work. But I’m not done. It’s like ripping up a letter (on yellow lined legal-pad paper) and throwing it up to the sky. Some shreds may drift away in the wind and some still fall back down on us.

I’ve created a mental scrapbook. Each age, each story, each mistreatment and how it impacted each subsequent year and relationship. Just because I created this scrapbook with a measure of psychological awareness, maturity and clarity, it doesn’t mean I’m fixed.

My husband and I did reconcile and continue to fight for our love. That unborn child who accompanied me at the tattoo shop, is now nearly four. I’m also four and a half years ‘clean’ of my bulimia. Suicide hasn’t occurred to me again. My scars on my left arm are now pale from healing. I enjoy wine but not until I pass out on the floor with Tori Amos on repeat until dawn. Enough of the bullshit.

I still have my dark moments, ok…weeks. I still allow assholes to hurt me. I still trust and get burned. I still want to throw up. I still struggle to stop after the third glass. I still miss the soothing pain of a razor blade. I still cry. I still wish my Dad loved me for who I was. I still feel not good enough.

But my tattoo is still there, even though the ‘O’ has a cut image of a cross. But it’s perfectly damaged. I am perfectly damaged. I love and accept all my scars, all my memories, all my not-so-great-choices. To hate any moment of my thirty eight years of breath, is to hate myself. Which I am tired of doing. Enough. Enough of hating. Ok, two steps back, I get it. I’m not perfect. But I’m perfectly damaged and I own that shit. I own all my pain, all my horror stories, all my tears.

Our wedding bands are inscribed inside with, ‘Love me with all your smiles and tears’. Life, love, relationships, our bodies, our minds – they can’t exist without light and dark. They just are. I just am. They are enough. I am enough.

‘Please stop Holly’, I beg. Please stop reader. Work through your pain. Work through your crying. Work through your divorce, and job losses, and eating disorders and breakdowns and all things ugly and imperfect. But work through them with a silent acknowledgement of getting on the other side of shit. That’s what this year has been for me. Realizing, Goddamn woman, you are on the other side of shit. You made it. You’re here. Congratulations. You were hurt but you’re no longer a victim. Your bruises have healed. You are not laying at the bottom of the stairs any more. His boot is no longer raised above your head. Your dad’s letters are fading. The scars on your body have paled. Your children feel the kiss on their foreheads and know they are loved and accepted and safe. Your husband loves your silly ass and you needn’t fear him. Food is no longer the enemy and it’s damn yummy. You’re a healthy gorgeous weight. You have your dark, boozy, jazzy nights but they no longer end in a tearful bloody drunken mess. Damn woman, you’re on the other side of shit and that is enough. That is more than enough. You are enough you lovely, beautiful mess you.

Do You Know You’re Beautiful…Just as You Are?

koda

This is my oldest daughter. I have two. I’ll look at them and I catch their innocent, unaware beauty. The silver flickers in their ocean-blue eyes. The way the sun reflects off their hair’s natural highlights. The dimples flashing on their chubby cheeks. They have intense beauty to me and hopefully to themselves.

This is an issue when awareness of one’s worth and beauty are not present. By ‘beauty’, I mean that deep, ‘I don’t give a shit’, ‘I am lovely & amazing’, ‘I am lovable’, ‘I am enough’ – kind of awareness.

Women don’t seem to know how beautiful they are. So many of us see ourselves in these manufactured fragments. The scale’s numbers. The mirror’s reflections. The cruel jokes photographs can play on us. The food we consume, the food we deny. The size of our jeans. It seems our natural happiness, joy, awareness – of our beauty –  have been hungrily devoured by the world’s and media’s message, that we are not and never will be enough – just as we are.

I must object with my favorite line of ‘The Diary of Bridget Jones’, when Mark Darcy tells Bridget, ‘I like you, very much. Just as you are’. I keep this quote in my heart on rainy days, to remind myself that I indeed, am likable, lovable even, just as I am.

This has been a struggle of mine since I was a child. I was never good enough for my dad,  no matter how hard I tried. Decades later, I realised that it wasn’t me, this innocent child – it was him and his terrible inability to love himself, therefore everyone else. Add to this hurtful dysfunction, a devastating accident with my Mother had just about shattered my sense of stability, my world, my self.

I look back on my childhood and can firmly accept two things: #1 To reach back and love my parents for their inabilities, insecurities and own damages that left them broken and incapable of giving us the love, reassurance and acceptance we deserved. #2 Awareness to not repeat the damaging patterns with my own children. I’ll admit #2 is a constant battle, but for every mistake I make, I give double the amount of hugs with a resolve to try harder every day.

This brings me back to what I see with women especially, everywhere. I’ll be at the grocery and see a frazzled Mom with anger all over her face, her kid screaming in the cart and it saddens me. When’s the last time someone told her she’s doing a great job as a Mom, that she looks stunning when the sun shines on her face, how amazing her dinner was, how she is the glue that keeps her family together?

Or the young girl who’s awkwardly wearing a minuscule amount of clothing to feel attractive; does she get a hug from her Dad, telling her a beautiful ‘just as she is’? That her beauty is defined by her smile, her laughter, her humor, her kindness. That she is enough.

And the saddest of all, the older women I see who’s face and lines are so hardened by the years of caring for others, perhaps by men who weren’t always kind. Now only to be bitter and old and ignored by her children she once gave her life for. Does she get a phone call telling her how much her mothering is appreciated. Or is she sent flowers for no reason at all, other than to say ‘I’m thinking of you’. Or to be randomly swept into a dance in the kitchen, by the man who promised forever and always to cherish her.

I feel as if I can’t do much to impact the sadnesses around me. I take care of myself and my own. My husband often reminds me the world’s problems are not mine. But if they hit my heart, reminding me of my own internal struggles, my own Mother’s pains, my daughter’s potential self-acceptance issues – then it does become my responsibility to help.

A smile. A kind word. A compliment. A touch. A gift of any kind. I found that by reaching out, getting out of my own pain – has an enormous impact. That mother’s angry face softens when I identify with trying to shop with a toddler’s temper tantrums but how sweet her son’s curls are. The older woman’s sad eyes who twinkle up when I offer to help her with her groceries and to enjoy the beautiful day. The insecure girl’s awkward blank stare, turning into light when I smile and make a silly and very un-cool joke.

We tend to forget that we’re all on the same team. That we all need each other. It IS our problem when we see someone is in distress or pain. Helping others helps ourselves. Validating another’s worth and beauty, validates our own worth and beauty.

The next time you see someone with their head down, or tears being held back in their eyes or stress frowning their smile – say something kind. Anything. Even if it’s silly.

When I’m down, I say, ‘I need a phone call’, I need to connect with someone. Sure enough, as if by radar, I get a kind text, or a lovely quote on my Facebook page.

When Bridget Jones tells her beloved friends what Mark Darcy confessed, they replied: ‘Just as you are? Not thinner? Not cleverer? Not with slightly bigger breasts or slightly smaller nose?’ To which she replies, ‘No’. Her friend Shazzer remarks in a disbelieving sort of happiness for Bridget, ‘Well…fuck me’.

Loving and accepting ourselves is a necessary and on-going project. Loving others, strangers even, is a responsibility as a woman, as a fellow human being.

I think my Husband is a Super Hero

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There were always subtle signs my husband had unearthly qualities, but it never really sunk in until this weekend. The weekend I discovered my husband was a Super Hero.

We were driving home from a 4th of July weekend, packed with picnics, friends and swimming. Driving on a three lane highway, about five miles from home, my husband apparently put his cape on without my notice.

In the far left lane, a pick up truck cut us off, reducing our speed. Then the truck swerved to the middle lane, leaving Eddie with two STOPPED cars several feet in front of our Jeep. He didn’t slam on his brakes, scream or curse or do any other instinctively-foolish driving maneuver. But rather, effortlessly slid to the middle lane. We virtually avoided; rather prevented a potentially fatal, multi-car accident. The culprit was a slain, small deer in the far left lane, making a few drivers apparently squeamish at the thought of bloody-ing up their cars.

The girls weren’t even aware of the near-miss with catastrophe; one sleeping peacefully in her car seat and the other playing her Kindle princess game. We both continued home in jaw-dropping silence mixed with sporadic bursts of, ‘Oh my god’. We could have…not made it home alive.

I had a flood of emotions. Some upset over the poor little Bambi and the general over-population of deer in the Lehigh Valley. Some shock over what-could-have-been. And complete and utter awe at the realization that my husband is a Super Hero. I was grateful; incredibly grateful to have him in our lives, to be our protectors, to be a safe and alert enough driver to pull off what he did.

I suddenly started recalling all the amazing attributes my husband has, and how they all weaved together from the past eleven years I’ve known him.

Loyal to a fault. Temperament and self-control of a saint. Strong as an ox. Passion of a starving artist. Basically, I realised I’m married to Clark Kent. He even did a project in art school of him exposing his Superman t-shirt underneath a suit. His saintly patience would be severely tested were I to insert the photo here. Suffice it to say, it was amazing and I can’t believe I didn’t put two and two together.

All the typical griping a wife does over the years, (you don’t understand me, you never pay attention to me, you never do the laundry, blah blah blah), was such wasted energy. I got so busy getting caught up the ‘never-does’, that I didn’t see the Prince Charming, the Knight in Shining Armour, the Superman. The man doesn’t over-indulge, doesn’t over-drink, doesn’t smoke/do drugs, doesn’t screw around, doesn’t linger at sports or tata bars, doesn’t hurt anyone in any way.

It was a total, ‘Holly, you’re a dum dum’ moment.

He has been the rock. Never moody, never volatile, always solid. Even in the face of the most unthinkable devastation and loss. The fancy driving techniques that literally saved our lives, were a true testament to what Eddie is all about. Sharp, controlled, even, strong.

Damn. I’m married to a Super Hero. Guess I should ask him if he has any capes that need mending.

Love,

H