Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 261

I really need to exercise and in order to do that I would generally turn on Project Runway to watch as I move.  However, due to the amazing way in which I now feel, I am loathe to turn anything on, but Pandora tuned to the MoTab station.

The talk I gave today wrote itself yesterday morning.  Well, I should really say that the Lord put the words in my mind and my pen flew across the page almost faster than I could control it.  I wrote out every word.  I don't ever do that.  An outline is sufficient and then He will provide the rest.  In this case, He provided every word, every transition, and let me tell you, I felt like Handel writing the Messiah.  I don't mean to be uber dramatic here, but I will never forget what He did for me today.  I felt peace.  I was so calm.  L and I were both speakers and our talks were perfect companion pieces.  I taught the doctrine and she taught us how to implement it.  We never talked about it once.  In fact, up until right before the meeting, she had no idea that I was the other speaker.  We both just followed the promptings we received and everyone was astonished at how we on the "same page" without any redundancy or prior orchestration.

We both taught some doctrine that perhaps some may have felt was hard to hear.  I felt such love for the brothers and sisters out in the congregation that it didn't seem that way to me.  I felt the love the Lord feels for each of them so very strongly that while the message would generally have felt like a chastisement, it instead just felt so tender to my heart.

When the spirit is that strong, I see what the scriptures mean about seeing with our spiritual eyes.  We all felt it.  L and I were just pinching each other, we couldn't believe it.  I had to share this so I myself never forget it.  Don't be afraid of speaking, of teaching, of serving in ANY capacity because if you are willing and exercise your faith, the Lord will NEVER forsake you and he will qualify you in all labor He asks you to perform in His name.

Of this I testify...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 260

Summer is winding down.  Fast are the days of sitting out in the warm evenings talking to friends as the children run around barefoot.  I caught a last few hours of the chilly night talking to S as our children attempted to run barefoot, freezing but not being willing to go in yet to face dinner.

I was offered another job.  It will be good to know that when I'm ready and my family is ready for me to be gone a few hours a day, I just may be employable.  Of course, I said no.  Things are way too crazy for that right now.  One month down of school????

I'm speaking in Sacrament meeting on Sunday.  When the member of the bishopric asked me he was so concerned.  I got concerned too.  "What's wrong?  Who needs my help?"  He looked at me strangely.  "Oh, I was just going to ask you to speak Sunday."  Oh, is that all.  I was so worried something bad happened to someone in the ward, that I was relieved.  Sure thing.  I keep forgetting though.  I hope I remember long enough to ponder it this week.  The best times seem to be as I'm yet again sitting in my car for carpool. 

I've decided I'm done picking my kids up in Draper this year.  My friend I lives 5 or 6 min from the school and next year when little C is out of Kindergarten, I will drop her kids off in the morning and have her pick mine up from the school and then just pick mine up from her house.  That is how much I hate it.  I feel like it's the carpool gestapo there and I'm in third grade again getting in trouble if my kids aren't out fast enough and of course if I feel like I'm getting in trouble, my rebellious streak comes out and then I get fiery and have to come home and lie down with a book and a bag of chips...ya, its been that sort of a day.

I had to grade grammar papers in C's class today.  I didn't know the right answers.  If I had to do the work he has to do, I would cry every day that I didn't want to go to school.  They diagram sentences like maniacs.  I mean they have it down to a science and do it scarily fast.  I gave up pretty quickly.  I'm much more comfortable making Native American headbands for little C's class anyway.

When I came down here to write, I felt like I had all these profound things to spout and now I find I can't get anything to come out.  I wanted to write how these were the days I feel like Nephi was talking about when he talked about "living after the manner of happiness" because I know no matter how busy and bustling things are, I'm going to look at this time in the life of my family with joy.  I can sense the importance of this year.  Every day I see that what I am doing, dropping oil into my own lamp, making sure I teach my kids so they know where to get and add to their own lamps is vital. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 259

 final part from previous posts...

I know the grammar is heinous and the dangling participles are something from another world, but I'm pretty much just putting this out here to see if i can flesh things out better-bear with me...

I began to feel as if I had been pressured into this whole marriage thing, but I felt like I had no choices.  I would never go back to my parents and I felt if I got divorced I would be failing.  I already felt like I wasn’t good at the whole being a member thing.  I didn’t go visiting teaching and the temple stressed me out.  Sometimes when I was first going to the temple I would come home and cry so no one could see me because I felt so stupid for not “getting” it and not enjoying it.  I bet that’s a revelation, isn’t it?  Considering how its my air now.  Yes, I didn’t take to it immediately or even for awhile.

And then we had C.  And we were on Medicaid at the time.  And T didn’t have a job and I had post partum even though I didn’t recognize it and didn’t get help.  The job losses chipped at T until he was a bloody mess and I chipped away just as hard.  There were two camps of thought at that time:  We were cursed and sinful because this happened or else we were translated and like Job.  Both camps of thought made sure we understood this and we lost friends over it.  The bishop came to our house and told us he felt prompted that we should sell our house and belongings and move into my parents’ basement.  The rug was pulled out from under us, but it had been moving for a long time anyway and we numbly moved forward.  This was the same time C felt off of the counter and was miraculously healed and I fell down the flight of stairs and was hurt by the man who hurt me.  As I’ve already gone into that whole story on my other blog and talked about my TOS ad nausium, I will refrain from sharing that again.

What does it do to a marriage?  Where were those two kids who had life by the tail or at least one half of them did.  What does this do to love especially if one half is still struggling with wondering if she does love or if she’s just used to or just consigned to this fate?  There are so many little details here it would take several pages to share and we all know the details are what are hard.  There’s what happened to our cat, our “baby” before C was born that pushed a further riff between us, there’s the fact that T thought I was crazy for saying I was in so much pain when the docs could find NOTHING and when you are in horrific pain, the line between pleasure and pain is exactly the same and that’s a can of worms that’s best left undisturbed.  The people in my ward were understanding, but they didn’t want to be our friends because we weren’t legitimately there and did I mention the money that ward oozes with?  We were the black holes in a glittering milky way. 

T got hired as Christmas help at DB.  Lest you think I am using this platform as an exercise in humiliating or calling out T, it couldn’t be further from the truth.  This man had to swallow any and all pride he ever possessed, something I have yet to see more than a mere handful of individuals ever achieve.  He was the Christmas help along with teenagers.  He also threw boxes at Macey’s with all the pre RMs.  He also dug ditches and taught the other workers English along the way.  He did whatever it took to keep us afloat and everyone around us (this was before the recession) was the same as always.  Friend’s husbands were getting promotions and making more and more money and T with the lofty goals and high desires was eating slops in the pigs’ trough and his wife was in a chair because it hurt to exist. 

It wasn’t that we fought at this time because I didn’t have the strength to get angry anymore.  It hurt too much to have that strong of an emotion.  After working T would go to school at night to get his Masters and I would still be up because I didn’t sleep during that year and he would eat the dinner my mother made and we would watch Trading Spaces until he couldn’t keep his eyes open anymore and would go in and go to bed…alone.

I don’t know what he thought of me during this time.  He needed me to get better, obviously.  Life at this time is blurry.  I think I’ve established my conversion during the process I experienced.  T got hired full time at DB’s corporate office and worked with all the Mormon “superstars” we all experience every General Conference.  It gave us insurance which we needed to send me to Denver and the paycheck we needed to get us out of my parents.  With all of these spiritual perks the job afforded him, the pay wasn’t great and he would move on.  He tried to be supportive of me with my issues and I tried to be supportive of his.  My issues drained our bank account and devastated any nest egg we could hope to have.  Want to know what living 3 months in Denver will cost you, two major surgeries and over 10 years of rehabilitation?  That’s why T and I aren’t wealthy.  I cost too damn much. 

And with him trying to be supportive of me and me supportive of him, we were pretty sloppy at it.  Why didn’t I get better faster?  Why didn’t he have a better job?  It’s a dance we did and people would say to us, wow you guys have had it pretty rough.  A friend of T’s even mentioned to me he thought we might be cursed.  He didn’t laugh when he said it.  I think T believed it himself.  We almost broke up several, many times.  But now there was C to consider and we would have never done that to him.  I was worried about what other people thought, so I always nixed the idea, but T would have never left me.  If there was discussion about it, it always started with me.

And then we had little C.  And here were these two little miracles and they were from us.  Our fire, our flaws, our futures.  I started feeling some improvement.  The anxiety from the drugs and scalpels that left scars on my eyes and nervous system after the surgeries and the anxiety we both felt that at anytime we could lose everything again were a constant we were always trying to overcome.  Things were severely tested the day I called T and told him I felt like I needed to go to a new PT and do Pilates because the honest truth was how would we ever pay for it?

T got depressed.  How could he not?  Imagine what he had been holding for so long.  Now if we ever talked about splitting up he didn’t fight it.  Sometimes I knew he imagined what it would be like not to be saddled together with only the two miracles as a blessed buffer between us.  I remember one fight where words were hurled like vomit and I had a clear impression of “be careful.”  I knew we were supposed to be together because in moments of spiritual clarity it was the answer to all of life’s questions.  That this passionate, loving man was supposed to be mine and for whatever reason, I was supposed to be his.  He always knew this, but I the late bloomer had to come to see it for myself.

And the truth is, there’s no one else.  No one else who could have put up with the crap he endured in his early life, the hardships he’s experienced now as he looks forty in the face and could anyone guess what he’s overcome by looking at him?  He has a naturally sunny disposition and would drop anything to help anyone out.  He just keeps trying even at those times when no one has believed in him, and to my eternal regret, that has included me.  He just gets up and dusts himself off and keeps dreaming and striving. 

I’m still learning about love.  T knew how to love early on.  I don’t know the mind or will of the Lord, but somehow we were right there in each other’s paths.  I guess what I missed out on in quantity, I’ve found in quality.  And this road I’ve traveled, I wouldn’t change it with anyone else.  The sum of my choices and even lack of them have led me right here to this spot, with this testimony, with this truth, with this spouse, with this set of skills, with this weakness, strength and everything in between.  T and I are infinitely flawed, but we’ve overcome some tough tough things and still flirt with each other.  We fight and make up and keep chugging along.  Do I love him?  Do I trust guys now?  Do I feel beautiful and desirable and get why it all went down the way it did? 

Why yes, yes I do.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 258

continued from a previous post...

I didn’t want to be mean to another boy.  Punish them for feeling like their entire sex had ended up hurting and disappointing me.  He wasn’t tall and he was so different.  He talked more than anyone I had ever met and I could tell he was one of these guys who would have thrown his jacket over a puddle so I didn’t have to cross in the mud.  The short thing bothered me…so.much.  I didn’t make it easy for me to my everlasting shame.  I didn’t want to feel anything for him.  I had written off boys so I could focus on my mission.  He was so smart that I felt like I couldn’t possibly contribute anything to the conversation and when he talked news and politics and history and music and any subjects with his friends, I would just clam up.  He talked a good talk.  He wasn’t laid back.  He had a temper and when a really big tall guy bumped into me at Homecoming he chased him down and looked up to him and demanded he apologize to me.  I was disconcerted.  I would find him gazing at me and it was intense.  I hadn’t had too much attention and now here was this guy who seemed to love me enough for both of us.  I tried to break it off several times.  I wasn’t ready for all of this.  It certainly didn’t feel like it had with Alex.  I wasn’t running through a field of daisies and that’s what I thought it should be.  And why couldn’t he be taller.  I blamed his parents-just a few inches surely.  He was so good to me.  He would have blasted off and gotten the moon if I would have asked him to.  I knew he wanted me to be madly in love with him.  It seemed really difficult and he wanted it to keep moving forward until we were talking about marriage before I really understood what was happening. 

I didn’t want to hurt him.  He had such a messed up family and had already been hurt so badly.  Whereas I had not dated very much, he had dated PLENTY.  He had so much experience and I lacked it in spades.  Why did he choose me?  Why did he keep saying I was the most beautiful girl in the world?  What was wrong with him that he would think that?  He received an answer that marrying me was right and I didn’t receive any answer at all.  It came down to only one thing.  Did I want him in my life or did I want to walk away?  I didn’t know for sure, but I know I hated for him to feel sad and he felt sad at the thought of me not being there.  I wasn’t good at making choices then, let alone owning them so I felt as if I let the moments sweep me along until at last I was kneeling across from him at the alter.

Once I met T, I buried the hatchet with my father.  I got up in sacrament meeting during testimony meeting and I apologized to him and felt the anger and hatred dissipate from my heart.  Though I can never recapture that closeness to him now, I have never felt animosity for him since that day.  Now I can hug him even though its uncomfortable and find a fondness there, but I am regretful for all those many lost years because now I understand that he had no idea how to be a dad to me.   I will say this though.  I was the kid.  I have to say that because I can’t take the guilt on myself.  I can only pick up my own pieces.  I leave everyone else to pick up their own.  It’s taken me all this time to be able to say that.  My parents stones are their own to carry around, just like mine are and my kids will be.

My family took to T immediately.  He was everything we were not.  Everything.  We were lazy with our feelings, T took them seriously.  We were lazy with our words.  T talked us all under the table.  We didn’t have strong opinions, T did.  We didn’t have any lofty goals, but T sure talked about his.  I often think they would have adopted him over being stuck with me.  T was just as kind to me when no one else was around as he was with me in public.  I remember thinking that if this was just based on a righteous priesthood holder who treats me like a queen then what do I have to lose?  Eternity felt like a long time though and my youth and inexperience were like bright red welts on my heart.  There was nothing in my life that felt for sure.  I had just started going back to church and my testimony next to his was small and feeble.  So I coasted on his coattails for a lot.  And I gave a lot of my choice and power to him.  Take care of me.  I’ve never felt taken care of or safe.  This wouldn’t serve me well in the long run, but it was where I was at at the time.

I was glad to be out of the house.  I loved my family.  At least I was used to them.  If I sound as callous as I think I do, I don’t mean to.  I just detached from them at a pretty early age.  I was such a strong willed little thing and realized that I didn’t feel like anyone had my back and I just found the world I chose to live in on the outside.  I suppose this is a post for another time if all this internal exorcism is not enough.  T must have been so happy.  I was the dutiful wife.  Our age difference was so apparent and I listened to everything he said and slid back into the shadows.  I lived for him and his dreams.  Whatever he said, it was law for me.  I wouldn’t even pray aloud for our couple prayers the first few years we were married because I felt I was so lacking compared to him.

He interviewed for the CIA.  He really wanted it, but it was not to be.  He got an internship in Washington and it was the most exciting thing as we embarked across the country.  I had to grow up quickly.  I had a road map and nothing but a big smile as I drove all over looking for the two jobs that would sustain us since his stipend was so puny.  I took him to the “slug” station early mornings where essentially everyone hitched a ride to work with complete strangers and then went back to our heinous basement apt where we lived below crazy people and got ready for the first of two jobs that wouldn’t get me home until 10 pm after he had gone to sleep.  It was a hell of a way to start out, but I think we were happy there together.  I felt so capable and he was happy in Washington.  It was the stepping stone to his goals.  He got a real job, but the pay was pitiful.  A studio apt. was going for $800 back in 1996 and I would have had to keep working my two jobs indefinitely to be able to survive.  Washington DC and Virginia are no place for young marrieds starting out.

We made the decision to come “home” and looking back I wonder if we made the right decision.  Personally, I think we should have stayed.  He would have if I would have pushed it or maybe even said why not?  We wanted to start a family, but how could we have known it would take another 5 years to do that.  We were all alone there.  No family to lean on.  It was good for us though.  It was good for me to see T in an environment that he excelled in.  Now I would see the opposite and it would be bad.  I still was swallowed up in his life and came back to work while he entered the work force and slowly, slowly, slowly I began to see things were not working out well.  And the more disillusioned I got, the more resentful I got and the more my anger showed itself.  The anger had been a defense mechanism since I been a tiny child.  It was the only way I felt I could try to control my own life. 

I know he was surprised.  Where was the dutiful wifey?  Where was the sweetheart?  Who was this anxious nag who worried about money and position at work?  I felt trapped and didn’t want to just “follow” him any more, but I had given so much of my self over to him that I didn’t trust my own instincts anymore.  He drove, he did bills, he did all the hard stuff and he was chivalrous and willing to do it and I leaned on him, remember?  There was a slow burn smoldering underneath the surface with me.  I sent him out into the world like he was an extension of my self and I was too afraid to stand on my own and I felt like he and I were both failing at it. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 257

continued from a previous post...

Add that to the fact that I changed schools all the time because we had to move constantly and it made for a nice delicious adolescent stew that tastes burned at the bottom.  I graduated with a gaggle of girlfriends who all leaned on me for support and stability and got a job at a local grocery store while I waited to leave for college with one of them.  I remember going over and interviewing with two of them so we could all work together.  Oh, and all my best friends were the popular beautiful kind.  Being funny and a good listener helps break down all social walls in girl world.  They got hired on as checkers and I was sent to the back of the store in boot and jeans land.   

The store had just opened and the pay was lousy so we were all teenagers, even the managers ended up being since any legitimate employee would quit soon after being hired.  I wasn’t active in church at the time.  I felt like a black eye on the perfect face of the ward I belonged to.  I didn’t share their past, their inside jokes were lost on me, and I’m not sure they knew how to handle this new kid on the block.  So I worked Sundays and quietly slipped off of radar I’m not sure I was ever on anyway.  I liked the kids I worked with.  We were from all walks of life, members of the church, non members, hard drinkers, kids heading to college, ones finding themselves, we were a melting pot in produce and dairy and non foods.  All the blue smocks seemed to equalize us.  It was the first time since I moved into this state, that I felt at home.  We would sometimes hang out after work.  One of my friends, a beautiful one, would ensure that any guy in the place would be glad to hang out with us.  I started to find out these boys were content to just be friends and that friendship with a boy was a commodity that I had sorely lacked.  It was enough just to have a few laughs and get into a few scrapes and the camaraderie was what I understand that everyone else had always had and now I finally did. 

More and more of these friends who were boys would spend their breaks back in boots and jeans and I would pretend to sell them dinner sized belt buckles or we would try on real leather upper ostrich skinned boots and they didn’t like-like me, they just liked being with me because I was fun or funny or newly confident or something.  I was used to being popular among the girls, but now I just felt popular.period.  It was heady for an eighteen year old girl who should have known better.  Maybe I could be compared to a Victorian novel character who was just “coming out” into society or something.  I wasn’t dating anyone, but I could smile and look at a guy.  Wow. 

One night we went out with a guy and his cousin.  The guy was a flashy one and all the girls drooled.  I didn’t.  I was way beyond that by now.  I found I didn’t even look at a guy in terms if he was desirable or not because why bother?  I took my usual step back and all the girls flirted up a storm with him and his cousin.  We took two separate cars and I was in the cousin’s car.  Two of my modelesque friends were there two.  They leaned into to him and admired and all the like.  I listened and was content just to be.  The next day, the cousin, I will call him John, came back to boots and jeans.  He had been there before as one of my “pals,” but now he asked me out.  I had very very few points of reference for this.  Why did he ask me when my friends were throwing themselves in his direction? 

I will call this guy Alex.  I loved Alex, everything about him.  He had played football all through high school yet had a grace like a dancer which he would kill me for mentioning.  He wasn’t a member of the church which shocked all my friends, but he tried to be supportive and even came to church with me a few times because I asked him too even though I still wasn’t going regularly at the time.  He didn’t listen to his CD’s with the parental advisory lyrics at least when I was in his truck and I never mentioned it.  I won’t go into all of it because the fact is it doesn’t matter.  It’s the same story everyone has about their first love.  The only thing was is that there were a lot of people in the store that thought I was dating someone else.  There was a college boy named let’s call him Steve that had been going to ask me out, but Alex and I were an item too quickly.  It would take me a long time to realize that he may have been a smarter option, but as it was I only had eyes for Alex.  Looking back, I didn’t realize that Steve had feelings for me, but if I had been more savvy in the world of boys, I would have realized that he was always there for me and it must have been hard to have our heart to hearts everyday and not have me understand his feelings. 

Anyway, I was going up to Ricks college with all my friends who went to church each week and my parents were EAGER to get me away from Alex and up to the Zion of the North quickly.  The night before I left we stayed out all night and almost got arrested.  I cried all the way to Rexburg because I couldn’t forget his face watching me drive away. 

It was for the best.  I broke a lot of rules jumping over the fence of my dorm and there were literally times I know the Lord intervened and carried me away from situations that would have had irreparable consequences, but I was spared.  I am still eternally indebted to Him for that, but I certainly wasn’t trying to be wise, but He had always had a way of protecting me even from myself.  Once I made the decision to stay up there and not come home, Alex and I were no more.  It was painful, but it was he who ended it.  He could see the writing on the wall even if I refused to.  Later in a crazy twist of fate, his mom would be my boss and I know she was instrumental in that breakup and it was a good thing.  I heard he was sleeping with the next girl he was with and all I could think of was that I was so grateful it wasn’t me.

After that everything changed for me.  I made up for high school in college and enjoyed the dances and attention I received.  I only dated one darling cowboy from Wyoming consistently who sang to me and who ended up not going on a mission and wound up living with his next girlfriend.  I had to think, they left me and ended up getting into trouble…hmmm….

If was the first time in my life I felt pretty and the other girls were always raiding my closet so my confidence was vastly improving.  I came home intent to work my way into a mission since I still had no idea what I wanted to study and the Y was a daunting prospect since I had no desire to marry until I had finished education, mission, blah blah blah.  I dated people and there was just nothing there.  I just didn’t feel a connection.  RM’s scared me and I was hard on guys.  I wasn’t the best about returning calls if they didn’t float my boat, and I said no sometimes or if they did something that made me mad, I would just walk away no questions asked.  I got a great job and had another strong support of girlfriends which had always been my saving grace.  To be honest, I still didn’t really believe anyone would want to marry me.  My relationship with my dad had not improved and the walls I had built up around myself were thick.  I had become active in church again at Ricks, who could help it?  I attended a student ward now and the shark tank feel there was not my bag.  My friends started getting married.  I would laugh and be grateful it wasn’t me.  I was thinking about putting my mission papers in.  I went to singles’ dances just to laugh at it all and because that’s what friends wanted to do.  I wasn’t impressed with anyone there, probably mostly because it was my defense mechanism from getting hurt. 

 I met a tall smart RM who wanted to be an accountant and was going to the Y.  He was so into me and I couldn’t be.  He called and called and called.  Finally, I felt bad and thought I should give him a chance, but he didn’t call again.  One of my “friends” had told him to forget it.  So it was me feeling guilty about that situation that caused me to say yes when a certain T would chase me around the next dance I went to and asked me out.

to be continued...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 256

I need to thank you, A. 

 When you emailed me you mentioned the word “cryptic” in regards to my writing.  I have rolled it around in my brain and it has been the most helpful word I have ever received.  I realized that most of the time I’m hiding even here, even in my most prolific form of communication.  I realized that that is the single reason I prefer short or even flash fiction to novels because it’s easier to hide that way.  Leave out the details that don’t have the punch or pizzazz, but more importantly hide the simple truths.  Yes, I can narrow down a moment and take some breath away, but what were the moments leading up to that, the ones that aren’t allowed to cower and play second fiddle?  The truth about myself in non fiction pieces, let alone the truth in fictional ones.  And If I’m afraid to speak my own truth, my characters are sure as hell afraid to speak theirs.  So, I’ve been writing non stop for the past hour and a half and here’s where it stands:

I haven’t had a great deal of experience with members of the opposite sex.  If you’re not close to your father, it goes one of two ways.  You throw yourself at every man who shows any interest to make up for never knowing where you stand from the male role model who teaches you how to interact with all men or you clam up and believe that because the most important man in your life ignores you or finds you lacking, then that’s the way all look at you.  And it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  The more you clam up, the more invisible you become.  And the ones who notice, at least in my life, were the tall dark quiet types who didn’t dare let me know they’re feelings anyway.  Great.  I got that at home too.

I skated through it OK.  I didn’t have any interest in boys or at least I told myself I didn’t because if they treated me the way I felt with my dad, I was dodging a bullet anyway.  The first boy I liked reminded me of the husband I now have.  I should have known even at age twelve, that the boy who won my heart would have to work at it and take me places I was less than comfortable with emotionally.  I was in a van going to the beach.  YM/YW activities are dreamy when you live in Southern CA.  A new boy had moved into the ward.  He was 16 and ancient compared to my baby innocence.  He was smart and had a mouth on him and gave me a hard time.  It wasn’t the usual stuff, the mean stuff though that I was used to.  It was a mental challenge and I found I could give it right back.  He wasn’t that tall; wow a clue to my future.  He had freckles and auburn hair which compared to the red mop I had looked positively brown. 

He was sardonic, a language I understood, had always understood.  He liked me, a language I didn’t know.  The last time I had a boy wrapped around my finger I was eight and times had changed.  I didn’t know what to do with this one.  This one was so much older and wiser.  I was an actor at heart, he was too.  I was funny and he made me laugh.  I found out at a young age the rarity of humor in others.  He was aggressive, but not overly so and for his age may have been almost as innocent as I felt.  The night he backed me up against the wall at road show practice, all it would have taken would have been the slightest movement from me to initiate my first kiss, but as I’ve mentioned before, I had no idea what to do with him.  I didn’t trust my own feelings, let alone his.  I ran away.  Later there was a dance just for the cast and I stayed home on purpose because I knew he would be there and want to dance and ask about me, which he did, but I couldn’t face him, those feelings.  Soon I started to ignore him and ultimately he moved away.  I wonder sometimes if I had been the girl who threw herself at everyone to make up for lack of a male presence in her life where I would have been.  I know the answer.  I would have been promiscuous and pregnant.  The rebellious reckless streak in me would have come charging out and I would have jumped into that world too quickly.  In quiet moments, I reflect that perhaps even though a part of me wishes for more experience, for that first kiss at twelve by a boy four years my senior, that the Lord was protecting me.  Just like we make our big decisions based from a million little ones, that’s how I feel about my own love life or even lack of it. 

And I don’t talk about this ever.  I am ashamed. Like I am less then because I don’t have all the stories and the ones who pined for me.  And the truth is, I wish for that.  I, like any other girl out there, wish to make a man fall to his knees with longing.  I wish I was more than I was, that I was so beautiful that I would have turned heads, that I was so desirable that I didn’t have to pretend to not be there so that I wouldn’t stand out in a boy’s mind and he would find me lacking.  It was later I would find out the boys in high school who liked me, the new girl always never giving them an opening, they thought I was stuck up or not interested because those were the vibes I screamed out through every pore.  And when you aren’t asked out or to dances or go pick out a pretty dress it closes a door on your femininity and then you have to tell yourself that you don’t care in order to survive.  You call yourself a late bloomer and you have to become the best friend to every girl our there so that they don’t spend any time asking you what’s wrong with you because they and you are too busy focusing on them and their lives and how they are wanted.  And then you’re protected from boys wondering what’s wrong with you because your just the friend of so and so and you’re just so dang supportive.  And you don’t talk about boys at least not when it relates to yourself.  And people stop asking you about it because they have their own love life issues.  And that’s how you fly under the radar for so long and all the things that immature boys who mothers say really like you, but you understand the cruelty behind their words and that they have to punish all the girls they find different or unique, stick to your psyche like grey gum under a park bench.  And you sit at that bench everyday.  “Do you know how flat you are?  She used to be cute last year, but look at her now…Do you want to dance…just kidding, who would dance with you?”

to be continued...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 255

When you don't breathe enough, you yawn.  The body is attempting to get air and when you yawn as your on your back hoisting up your own body weight on a Pilates reformer, your eyes leak out the sides and it makes for a charming picture.  I haven't breathed since approximately 2:10 pm this afternoon when I stuck my foot, ankle, and entire calf into my mouth.

My friend M's son is dating my son's teacher.  I was excited about this.  M and I talked about it Sunday.  Cute, cute, cute and all that yakkity yak.  I was the last to know, but I'm all about finding common ground and making a connection.  I stride purposely and confidently into the classroom and say how great it is that they're dating and how much I love the family, etc, etc, shut up already and she looks at me and says, "so and so just broke up with me..."  She then proceeds to burst into tears and there's the entire class lined up and ready to go to recess.  My heart drops to my knees.  I awkwardly put my arms around her as the class asks her over and over what's wrong.  Great I'm the mom who makes the teacher cry!!  She puts on a pair of dark glasses and instructs the class to go out to the playground. 

This is how I roll.  I wish I could say I take a less is more approach.  Maybe perhaps I could have walked in quietly and waited for her to mention something about her love life (as if) before I proceed to walk her down the aisle with the boy I once taught Sunday school too.  That's right.  I taught this guy years ago when he and his friends made my job one where I was on my knees in my closet praying for relief.  They were testing me, trying me, and I hung in there with them, didn't back down and they ended up being my favorite's EVER.  Still my favorite calling ever because it was such a challenge and because it yielded so much fruit.  Teenagers respecting you=cool.  Teenage boys respecting you=priceless.

Anyway, he let a good one go here.  She's a doll inside and out.  But if its not right, its not right.  Let me just be the one to bring it up in the work place.  And because her mom works there too and I know she knew what had happened I felt the need to apologize to her too.  And now I have a dull ache between my eyes and there's a metal bar between my shoulder blades.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 254

Hey Firewoman!  You writing much?  Why no, no I'm not.  And yet when I'm in the car with the music turned way way up, I wish I was.  I read a post today where a commenter asked the author if she maybe is addicted to intensity.  She brought out that this "writer" needed to feel something as opposed to nothing and even if the something was a train taking her way off track, at least it was going somewhere.  It struck a nerve.

I had a date night this weekend that went awry.  Two passionate fiery rockets were one two many for our fast, but aging car to handle and we went our separate ways.  I find in these moments when neither of us are willing to back down, mostly me, that it's best to cool off.  We had the sitter already and there's no way I'm paying for nothing, so we stopped to get Layla and took off in different directions.  I gave it some thought.  I'm not good at asking for help, advice maybe, but even that in not so many words.  I might send a text..."How ya doing?"  or "What are you doing right now?"  That's my cryptic way of saying I need you, got a minute to talk because my head is spinning with possibilities right now and I need to talk it out.   That was where I was at.

I texted K.  What was she doing and she was open to walking right there in the middle of a perfectly delectable evening.  To waste this evening would have been a sin.  And we walked and we shared and we weren't alone in our lightening storms that our closest relationships can bring.   And we got trapped, a ten foot chain link fence surrounded our therapy session.  She looked at me.  We can jump this or we can go back.  I'm not one that likes going backwards, not in life, not in walks.  I was game, my upper body strength was not.  I was stuck on top of this unstable at best hunk or metal straddling it and looking over the valley.  Beauty and danger tied up in one hurt so good scary moment.  I couldn't turn myself around and my tennis shoe was too big to fit in the rung behind me.  She said, "I'll save you, firewoman."  And she jumped the fence and helped me down the other side.  Two less than frumpy thirty somethings living on the edge, one without that aforementioned upper body strength supporting each other.  And by the time I dropped her off, I was ready for a take-two with the Tster.

I called him.  He was in a movie, but that was good you see because it gave me time to long for him.  For that guy with the affinity for rolling up his church shirt sleeves just below the elbow who commands a crowd on Sunday afternoon as easily as I breathe.  We attempted to talk.  Not so much.  More time needed.  Then we tried again.  Third times a charm. 

That's marriage to me.  Sitting up on top of a ten foot fence.  Your scared because you could really get hurt, but the view, what you've been through, where you're going together, but sometimes you feel like you're stuck...then the other person jumps over the fence when you can't and catches you before you fall and break all your bones. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 251

I'm putting off going to bed.  T got called to St. George last second to drop everything to go fire someone.  I had this grand scheme in my head of all of us going, me surprising the kids with no school tomorrow and bags already in the car when they got home from school, heaven for a child.  No such luck.  This was a serious firing.  No fun to be had and all plans for this evening changed.

So instead of the two of us going to a reception at the Thanksgiving Point gardens, it was me following friends with my own kids in tow and some of theirs.   I found myself depressed.  There was dancing and no one to dance with.  I didn't feel comfortable just asking some guy to dance like I'm not a late thirty mommy, but Frank was crooning and people were swing dancing and I wasn't joining them.  Finally, in desperation I picked up little C as she spooned chocolate cheesecake in her mouth and whirled her around the patio.  It wasn't the same.  But oh the wedding dress on the model bride found in Anaheim with the silver jeweled bodice was something out of a dream. 

I signed C up for Lego league.  Oh, I was in the  right place at the right time.  Only 7 spots.  My life now so much more complicated, I can barely stand it.  This isn't making things out of legos, though there is that.  This is a huge community project with research and meetings and hours of work and engineering and programming and team building and all the things that will enhance his experience and there's scouts and soccer and piano and little C's music class and dance and this isn't what I wanted.  I'm not one to put my kids in fifteen different things.

Draper temple.  Incredible.  I'm cheating on the Oquirrh Mt. this year while I spend afternoons in Draper.  And I'm in love.  Not only do they have handicapped access, but a man stands at the door and its his job to OPEN it for you.  That's what he does.  Everyone stands up to greet me.  They ask me how I want to serve.  I am putty in your hands, you delightful piece of heaven, you. 

Little C doesn't like school.  "They treat us like servants, mom.  School is no place for me!"  It's a rigorous environment.  I knew it would be.  I know she's a different child than C.  Her new music class (deserves a post of its own) and her dance class light her up.  She likes recess.  She doesn't like classwork, feels like worksheets are a waste of her time.  She wants to stay home with me, but doesn't want to be treated like a baby.  I've talked about creating a different experience for her.  It's late and I'm tired and I need to write this out and revisit it again.  I don't see her caring that she's in Algebra and Latin like C or wanting to be in the top of her class like C and maybe this is a mistake having her there, but I can't send them two different places.  Aackity aack aack aack.  See what happens when T leaves unexpectedly???  I should be in bed and I'm not and it's drama, drama, drama.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 250

I wish the words inside my heart were alive and could do the work my body is too "human" to do.
It's official.  I can't write what's inside me.

I take walks.  Miracles happen.  They happened today and I can't do it justice at this keyboard.  Suffice it to say, this is what life's about.  If we are willing, God will use us. 

I'm so grateful for this gospel.  On anxious days, I feel trapped in this little "bubble" and long to travel to far off places, but on days like these, I realize that my little neighborhood is an entire world and if I spent my entire life giving all I am to this family and to those around me, it's a full time mission.  I can walk around my ward boundaries and the work to be done could last a lifetime. 

I know its about balance and pacing myself, but wow.