Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog It’s sunny today, but temperatures will be in the sixties. My morning drink is match green tea, since I had coffee yesterday.
It’s a great week to be grateful, so I’ll organize this post into 10 things I’m grateful for.
1. I’m grateful for two days off followed by this weekend! It gives some good time to pause and reflect.
2. I’m grateful for family, and Thanksgiving gave us time to spend time together. It was different, since my ex-husband was at out dinner, but it all went well. My mother cooked a great meal, and I helped.
3. All of us, when given a chance to speak our gratitude, are so grateful for my son being with us at the table and doing well in his life right now. He, my mother, and I, walked to Starbuck’s yesterday for a coffee. That was my only contribution to Black Friday. I love the atmosphere at Starbucks, including the jazz music!
4. I’m grateful for my dog, Bixby, an important member of our family!
5. I’m grateful for my friends that are constantly there for me, and that includes my companion, Chris, and I’m thankful for the twists and turns that helped me reconnect with him. I’m thankful for several friends who helped see me through a tormentuous family issue this past summer. I think I learned to reach out, and I have not regretted it!
6. My job is a blessing, and I am grateful. I’m able to share my gifts and help others appreciate things that I love, such as reading and writing. I’m glad to be employed and to afford things I need, although I’m becoming sort of minimalist with finances. I don’t spend money just to spend anymore. One day I’ll need a retirement strategy. 🙂
7. I feel gratitude when walking through nature, usually with my dog. We’ve actually had some seasonal colors and a recent cooldown, albeit a mild one.
8. I am grateful for all that I’ve learned and for the people who have commiserated with me on this writing journey so far. I’m not sure what the next turn is; I’m really feeling a minimalist change in the wind, and considering Kindle Vella. Anyone have experience with this? If you’d like a taste of my fiction writing, I have two books that are currently .99, Detours in Time (always for .99) and Undercurrents in Time (ending Monday, 11/29). https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716
9. I am grateful for this blogger’s community! Many here are writers, whether full-time or on the side. Some of you post here regularly, and I’m thankful for your thoughts on my posts and for what I can learn from your posts!
10. Last, but not least, I am grateful for my health! Recent checkup tests have been good, I eat fairly healthy, and I’m about to go to the gym with my son today.
There is so much I can’t control, but acceptance, humor, and an attitude of gratitude are helping me to see the best in whatever comes my way!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This week brought a short work week, something most of us in the education field have welcomed! It’s below 70 today, which is cooler than it was yesterday, so I am enjoying some hot coffee!
This past Thursday, besides being Veteran’s day, was also the 7 year anniversary of bringing home our dog, Bixby, from the Humane Society. With a sullen teen/young adult in the family who didn’t talk to us much at that time, my mother and I were thrilled to bring a furry toddler home that wagged its tail anytime we came home! My son has even built a bond with this enthusiastic canine. He has changed our lives.
I am constantly reminding myself to love my life and where I am right now, instead of jumping ahead to the future and looking for guarantees; It’s hard. However, life is better than it had been months ago. My family is in a good place, my son is doing well, and I have steady employment. I won’t focus on the stresses of my job at this moment. 🙂
Still, the season may be affecting my moods a little bit. I am fortunate that I could reunite with my old friend/boyfriend who listened through a lot of my hardships this summer, and we enjoy spending time together, but I think back to last year’s Thanksgiving holiday; I have memories and start thinking how different this year will be. I am mindful that I am not alone but sometimes wonder why. Would I be okay if I was alone? So I am seeking more activities to do in my spare time and hopefully to meet more like-minded people. You can’t just rely on one person.
However, I am quite close to my mother, and my son and I are getting along well, even though he isn’t predisposed to being loquacious. I’m still investing in his well-being though. I took him to the mall yesterday to pick up something his dad ordered for him, then we ate in the Food Court. I had honey bourbon chicken with rice and veggies. It was tasty, but maybe not so healthy. I was glad we did something together, as my weekday life keeps me so busy right now. I am really hoping and praying for a teacher raise soon as I want to focus after school time on healthy living next year instead of seeking to supplement my pay.
The approach of the holidays also has me looking back on this year. This year reminded me that anything can change on a dime. I suppose we just have to see the silver lining in those changes. I mean, my son did change for the better. His dad is now in the picture for him, and though those dynamics sometimes stress me out, I do not have to live with him anymore, and my son is doing well living in my home again but being able to spend time with his dad weekly.
Sometimes I write in a gratitude journal in the morning. Yes, I have to actively practice gratitude, mindfulness, listen to a pain podcast sometimes to keep the negativity at bay. Gratitude can retrain the brain., but I’ve also learned to stay away from people who increase my negative thoughts. Trying to honor myself. Holidays can stress me out, but I am going to plan some low-stress time with loved ones. Then, I can be grateful for the time I have with them.
There’s my holiday survival plan. Thank you for reading! What’s your plan?
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer! It’s a coffee day, half-caff, that is. It is Sunday and I’m almost ready for church, multi-tasking with a million coffee-inspired ideas in my head that don’t all relate to where I’m going this morning. Okay, some of them do, but I am seriously multi-tasking in my head.
Change is on the wind these days! I’m not talking about a change of season; here in Northeast Florida we won’t get that until probably October if we’re lucky, barring the approach of a hurricane, which is approaching the west side of my state currently. No, I’m talking about changes in my life.
Who’s afraid of change? Not I! Yesterday was a good day. I got my lowlights and and highlights! My hair is getting longer, gradually. However, some changes have been more sudden. In the last month, my son moved back home with me (for the best at this time), he got a new job, I started a new school year, I became yearbook advisor at school, and the guy I’m dating moved closer. I’m optimistic about all of it! My son had a rough summer but is ‘getting it together. I have faith that the good will continue.
Sudden change can be an adjustment, and I’m sure experiencing that, but it all seems to be okay! I’m happy to help my son out. I’m getting paid for the new responsibility at school, and as I’ve gradually learned, I enjoy and flourish with the nurturing of students’ skills in extra-curricular areas. I love helping them to grow socially and emotionally.
I myself am learning new things, and it seems to be great for my brain. As long as I make time for relaxation and sleep, I think this is a positive road for me. So, today I am seeing bright skies, and not just because it is sunny and hot outside!
This week, I’ve been promoting a prequel to my Detours in Time series, The Temporal Test. Reviewed as “Awesome storytelling and storyline!” You might enjoy this short read, longer than a short story and slightly shorter than a novelette. Get a free download here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JQL5NNM Also, I’ve put Detours in Time, a full-length novel, at a reduced price of .99 for a limited time. https://www.amazon.com/Detours-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B0711ZW6XF It is an award-winning #scifi book with a sweet romance included and has been enjoyed by readers of all ages.
It has been a while since I actively promoted my published books. Take a look if you are so inclined. 🙂
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair; Bixby and I are getting philosophical today over green matcha tea. It’s a hot and muggy day, so the A/C is on and the sunlight peeks through my blinds.
I’m tired of always talking about the same things here; my family situation keeps changing, and my family member who had left on a bad note is now back and in need of a lot of patience, but let me share what has got me philosophizing and looking inward. I saw a thought-provoking quote on social media this morning….
So I was thinking, didn’t who I used to be affect who I am today? I made mistakes, trusted the wrong people, and tried to be a good child to avoid conflict at home, therefore only rebelling in quiet ways and unleashing worry on my mother but not every outwardly rebelling against my father whose temper was worse than hers; he wasn’t there after age 10, so his knowledge of any of my rebellion was just second-hand after that.
As a child, I don’t think I trusted many people, but as a teen and young adult, I think trusting the wrong people made me just trust myself more in the long run; that is, after I beat myself up for stepping in it. Perhaps it made me more aware and more wary. I gauge the moments when it’s best to keep it close to the vest, and when to wear my heart on my sleeve.
What I am saying is, there is nothing wrong with who I was. Everything was a learning experience. The only error would be to never learn from the experiences that told me ‘don’t go there next time’ or ‘let him go’ or ‘she/he has shown you who they really are; pay attention.’
I would like to let go of the remnants of the girl who was so anxious when first learning to drive that she took 3 tries to get her license, of the girl who applied for a first job at a fast food chain but ran out of confidence when told to go back and talk to the manager, and the one who didn’t speak up for herself when a ‘friend’ made fun of her in front of other kids in school. It’s okay, I stopped talking to them. I showed them…I was lonely, but I saw regret in their face. I would do it differently today, but through all these things I learned to be stronger.
So, do we let go the remnants of our younger, unsure selves? The ones who put up with boorish family members just because they were ‘family’? The parts that always felt a need to show sympathy for the underdogs to the point we had to endure their odd characteristics that separated us from our friends. Yes. But how can we let go the girl who listens to people at a dinner party before jumping in and being friendly in order to avoid suffering the company of a boor all evening? Why would we let go of the specific facets of our personalities, the intuitive, empathetic parts of ourselves?
‘Guard your heart,’ a friend once told me. That was not always me, but what is me is the person who shares her heart with young people to show them that being a person to others matters, who gives a little more when I feel and read the need on someone’s face. And I still avoid conflict, but I will speak up for myself, though I will do it calmly; I insist on doing this calmly and if it becomes an argument, I will be the better person.
So, who I am evolving to be should be stronger than who I was, but there are remnants of a past me that led to where I am today. I keep learning a lot about myself, how to be myself, and how to keep making myself a better person. Therefore, I both agree and disagree with this statement.
It also makes me think of who I’ll be in the next phase of my life, the one after I am a teacher. My personality will still be here. Will I still have the desire to be a positive influence on young people? Will I find a way to do that daily and perhaps hold a job that allows this? Within the next decade, I’ll have the opportunity for such change. It could be a little scary; I tend to stay so long in one job, but I think this will be exciting. I am going to leave the remnant behind that made me stay in a situation much longer than I should. I will keep evolving, so I won’t be carrying remnants of my old self, just evolved pieces of me that form who I have become.
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. The drink for me is green tea today, and the background music is peaceful ambient. Actually, Saturday got away from me; I started this post yesterday but was not quite finished until this Sunday morning. Bear with me please! There is some good to share. 🙂
I’ve been posting a little this week about my trip to Rochester, NY, a much needed getaway.. I returned Monday at noon, and boy, was Bixby ever glad to see me! I was glad to get home, as there was a lot going on here while I was on vacation. There has been a family situation, and I am trying not to let it get me down. Sadly, my reading has brought me to the term Anosognosia, which describes what one of my loved ones is going through: refusal to accept that one is ill and needs medical help. The serenity prayer is going through my head so often now. Unconditional love means we love each other no matter what.
The Serenity Prayer also helped me get through a sudden, unplanned repair to my car. Sigh. I can handle it, but I can only handle my own reactions. I’ve been happy to see my local family and friends again, though.
Back in Florida, I’ve enjoyed sitting on my back porch in the sun eating breakfast a few times, but I fondly remember sitting on my friend’s patio in Rochester eating breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner. I even caught a beautiful sunrise once! Rochester is also home to many beautiful and historical sites.
There was a lot to enjoy of nature, whether rain or shine! We actually found Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite in the rain with rain ponchos on, but did not find that of Frederick Douglass. His statue, however, was located in the nearby park which we visited later at night. Such a beautiful sight.
My summer break will end soon, but I am at peace with that! I like knowing I can pay for my car repairs, and I certainly want to plan for future vacations. Considering I really love teaching overall, I don’t mind getting back to that while earning a paycheck, but I am planning future vacations. 🙂 Life is short! All I can do is do what I enjoy, live up to my responsibilities, and be there for those I love while respecting my own needs, which likely looks different for all of us.
Have a great weekend and an even better week to come!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I am once more drinking green tea today. Tomorrow, there will be coffee! It is a treat for me maybe three days a week. In the background, my ‘cafe’ is playing Living Room songs by Olafur Arnalds. It’s sort of emotional. Perhaps it will invoke some deep poetry in all of us, huh?
I am in a poetry mood lately. There is a lot going on in my family, and I am being told by people close to me not to tell others so much. What they don’t understand is that I am a writer. I either make up fantastical fiction or I tell my story. It is mine to tell. I process things, and I share them because I should never be ashamed of the battles I have fought for good reason, and perhaps it will help someone else who is suffering in silence. I just won’t suffer like that anymore. As Sylvia Plath once said, “everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
Having said that, I am not spilling my guts here. There has been a lot going on in my family and I never know if I’m saying the right thing or reacting the best way. I suppose that’s because I’m human. However, I have been building a community. I am more open with others and honest; some have a lot in common with me, and others are just good listeners. They are my friend because I am no longer closed up, no longer flying under the radar or not really present. I wrote a poem this week about how it feels to be a mother, daughter, friend, woman who makes mistakes or is told she is doing the wrong thing, and how I must judge myself less. It is titled Life’s Ceaseless Circus and can be found here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/07/08/lifes-ceaseless-circus/ Being an adult, I will deal with any fallout from mistakes I make. I try to treat others this way as well. As a mother, I may not have always treated family members with that attitude, but I am learning.
Lately, life has seemed like a traveling circus, going through rough terrain, hills, valleys, deserted roads and sometimes, fun towns. Get to a peaceful place, then get pulled into steep hills again. If you can love unconditionally, there is no way out, just enjoy the views and brace yourself for rough times. I believe I can maintain boundaries, take care of myself, and still love unconditionally. I am trying anyhow.
I have been through a breakup in the last few months, yet he still checks in and asks about my family. My ex-husband now lives in town again and is friendly with my family, but I live my own life. I am talking to and associating with friends I had not spoken to in a long time because of the whole focus of raising my kid the best way. He is grown now, making his own choices. I don’t make my choices with him at the center anymore. I make my choices with what is best for me in a way that I intend not to hurt others. I’m trying to live my life in a way that practices acceptance of others and kindness. I know I still at times shut others out; it seems I have to temper that need to maintain balance.
So, I’m learning and trying to practice forgiveness and acceptance, and that is something one must temper with boundaries. I believe it is totally possible. In the spirit of second chances, I wrote the story Crossroads Diner #205 and have self-published it for entry into a Rave Reviews Book Club short story contest. It is free to read in Kindle Unlimited. Check it out at https://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-between-Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa-ebook/dp/B098269VSN
Besides writing poems for the blog and my short story, I am beginning ’28 Days of Ellie.” Each morning, I will write at least one entry either about her personality, her likes, dislikes, beliefs and/or dialogues with her and other characters. Since I finished the book on Sould Coaching, I decided this would be a fun, creative way to boost my writing and make my character become real. Wish me luck!
Have a great weekend, and an even better week next week! I am planning to travel a little. You’re sure to hear about it. 🙂
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It has been a green tea day for me. Enjoy whatever beverage you like! “Caution” by the Killers is playing in the background, a lively, hopeful tune.
This past week, I had an opportunity for walking the beach with a good friend. I’m still reading the 28 days of Soul-Coaching book, so maybe it colors everything I see, including a gray day! On Beach-walking: “The skies above may be gray, but my feet are grateful to be grounded on cooler sand and pavement today as I connected with the earth while beach walking with Judy.” She and I just talk and talk, about anything. It’s awesome and we enjoy it!
On the subject of mornings, I have found that I’m regularly waking up this summer before 7 a.m., due to the angle of the sunlight through my window. It peeks through the slats in my blinds and comes through the sheer curtain that hangs there. I don’t mind it, because at other times of the day when I am in there, I find the sunlight cheering. Not only that, but it will be helpful to be used to waking early when I have to go back to work. I’m not really a night owl anymore. I’m probably healthier this way anyhow.
From a poetry book I just finished reading, titled 1,000 Mornings by Mary Oliver: “…who would cry out to the petals on the ground to stay, knowing as we must, how the vivacity of what was is married to the vitality of what will be? ” This poem was called LINES WRITTEN IN THE DAYS OF GROWING DARKNESS. I’ve been pondering a lot about my past and the changes that have occurred in my life, how everything happens for a reason, and I’m trying to make those reasons positive, not always easy, right? I’m also discovering that there is a Season for everything. You have to see it for what it is. I’m still working on that, and can’t really be any more specific at this time. 🙂
My house is still too quiet at times though. I am not working this summer, so it really is noticeable, the absence of my son. July is travel month; that will be sure to help. I am still catching up with old friends, which is very fulfilling. Sometimes you can easily be open and honest with someone if you’ve known them a really long time, no matter how long it’s been since you conversed.
Mom had a cataract surgery this week, and I drove her. It went smoothly, and she is noticing a difference already. Her appointment was really early Wednesday, so when we returned home, I slept a lot. The silence is good for that, but it still seems too silent for me. Bixby seems to have adjusted. I just have to keep busy with reading, writing, reaching out to people, etc. That is the plan.
In the writing arena, I have been working on a short story for publication in early July. It is going to be part of a contest. I will definitely let you all know when the publication date comes closer. The book about Ellie is in my mind, but I haven’t made more progress yet. I decided I have to outline the ideas, and I likely need a full-throttle coffee day, since I have not had one in a good while. Then I could possibly work on it for several hours. It just may tickle the muse into inspiring me!
That is all I have for this week. I’m still getting a lot of down time and relaxation, and I’m sure that is just what I needed this summer. I hope you all are doing well and will have a great weekend! Happy Father’s day to those who are fathers.
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, on a quiet morning that touches us lightly with a little sunshine and very little humidity. Sixty-five degrees on a morning in Northeast Florida is truly a blessing. My drink of choice is Half-caff hazelnut coffee, and Miles Davis plays in the background in my home ‘cafe.’
We are dog-sitting this weekend. Lucy, a small, energetic curly-haired dog runs around with Bixby and then sits at my feet. Bixby is not sure what’s going on. He’s used to being top-dog, the only dog. My mother is still sleeping, and he has gone back to snuggle with her. A dog for everyone! Who wouldn’t enjoy that? Just a rhetorical question.
The sunshine on the house is quite lovely, and Bixby’s fluffy tail frequently expresses his enthusiasm! The dog situation this weekend is a bright spot for me. Instead of looking to the skies and wondering why, I am looking down to the ground at the creatures that were put in our care by the creator to keep us company and make us focus on living. That’s what they do, and so should we.
Dogs are exceptional companions, that’s why they make great emotional support animals. Bixby helps remind me that one does not always need to act their age, and that it is always helpful and appropriate to sniff the air on a beautiful day! It helps me forget my worries, such as why my son is not speaking to me, why my relationship went south, why so much change had to happen at once.
In fact, this Mother’s Day was the first one in which my son was not present. He is not speaking to me. My ex-husband was supposed to bring him to a restaurant and we’d all have dinner, but instead it was my ex-husband treating my mom and me to dinner with much conversation centered around my son. Not all of it though. He seemed to sensed the talk was bringing me down and changed the topic. I took Mom to the restaurant early to have a drink at the bar, though, and she enjoyed that. She likes being social.
I’d have to say, though, that my Mother’s day was nice if I don’t factor in the missing element. Then, this past week at work just grew to be so stressful. It’s the end of the year, teachers are worried about testing, and the kids have the Spring fever. Ugh. So, the dogs are nice company today, and I had a nice dinner last night with an ex-boyfriend from years ago. We had kept in touch through e-mail, and I contacted him recently about all I had going on and suggested we meet-up because I always found him easy to talk to. He agreed to meet.
When one does this, it could mean let’s start a friendship again, let’s have fun, or even more. One does not have to dwell on ‘what it means’ though. We were able to talk quite easily, and that is good. We haven’t seen each other in twenty years. While I am not looking to jump into a relationship, I know when I find someone easy to talk to that I value their time. Along with female friends, I do have male friends that I talk to these days, but I don’t see them as anything but friends. I am going to give myself some space to be my own person. Reaching out though, is one thing I am getting good at. He asked lots of questions and I went through my stories while he listened.
It’s always good to have a friend who listens. It is much better to spend time with someone who knows some of your quirks as well as qualities. This is why I take this kind of chance. Hanging out with members of the opposite sex, or dating after a break-up (this time from an 11-year relationship), can cause anxiety in itself. Sometimes I have felt like I should just spend all my time with the dog and my female teacher friends and just forget socializing with the opposite sex.
In telling my stories, I found that I would lose train of thought a lot, and forget what I was talking about. My short-term memory at times seems affected in that way, and I wonder if my anxiety has caused that or if, as the doctor said, I have ADHD. If so, that means I suddenly developed it in the last few years, or it could be the brain-fog women get as they move up in the years. Ah, something else to worry about? I should just laugh it off. With my students, I sometimes call myself the absent-minded professor.
I can remember conversations from twenty years ago and moments from my childhood, but in a busy classroom or while conversing in a crowded restaurant, I can forget what I was just talking about. So, I have not lost my memory, it’s just a short-term memory thing. As I tell my students, sometimes very intelligent people can forget things, or….”I have an awful lot in my mind, sometimes something won’t take hold.” 🙂 Not making excuses at all. Repetition helps memory. I tell them that as well. It’s all part of the evolving me, no problem. I still think I’m alright. I have a lot less shame and self-judgment which leaves a lot more room for honesty.
All of this sort of fits in with my ongoing novel about Ellie, my on and off work-in-progress, as I have been more focused on working on me lately. Ellie’s story lives on, though, and is developing with everything I learn. She is not me, but I am a part of her. It’s gonna be great. 🙂
Thanks for visiting my ‘cafe’ for a coffee chat. Weekend Coffee Shareis hosted every weekend by Natalie the Explorer. Have a great weekend!
Today I’m having half-caff coffee. It has been green matcha tea pretty much all week. I’ve been trying to imbibe just healthy things and sleep well at night. I slept in today and feel I can handle the coffee; life is short, right?
It has been a full, busy week at work with the end of quarter progress monitoring tests. It always means we must be on a modified schedule, which seriously throws me off. I believe I have a slight touch of OCD, because I like to know when certain things are happening, and where to find things, in order. It’s probably a byproduct of anxiety, if that’s possible. I know those two things can co-occur at any rate. The change in routine leaves me seriously tired in the afternoon. I survived the week, though, somehow, and Spring Break starts in seven days!
Tuesday morning I woke at 4 a.m. and didn’t sleep again. I had a therapy appointment and dentist visit. I took medicine for a tension headache, and it helped. I got home and ate dinner, then just relaxed. I remember my boyfriend calling and that at one point, I said “I’m not really able to talk much. I’m soooo tired.” He said I kept falling asleep on the phone. I believe it.
I did something difficult Sunday, and I’m proud of myself for taking the risk… My studies on pain, anxiety, and repressed emotions, learned from books by Schubiner and Sarno, have reinforced what my metaphysical friend told me once: “You’re holding in resentment from the past. It’s what has caused some of your health issues.” (I’ve had cysts in several places, had some removed, and was told 10 years ago I had one on my liver that could not be removed and might just deflate on its own, and not to worry. No sweat, right?) I know I’ve had resentment for my ex-husband, my almost fiance of 2005, sometimes my mom, and yes, my dad.
My dad is a recovered alcoholic, active in AA since 1989, which is very admirable. I was out of high school then. But when I was a child, he was ‘drunk dad,’ man without a filter, a little sexist and careless as to how his words would shape me as a person. Some of those words stayed with me for so long. It comes up in therapy a lot. I think of bubbles of resentment inside me, burping them up, internalizing them as cysts, and I think of bursting a bubble of resentment. I metaphorically stuck in the needle and started that process Sunday.
When you’re a child, you kind of live in the world your parents create for you. Maybe that’s why I am so keen on creating worlds now, and creating an atmosphere for my students in my classroom. As a child, you might easily stuff things down. Maybe you learn that you can speak up for yourself, but I did not. Mom’s religion taught me to turn the other cheek and be ladylike. Dad’s blackhole of a philosophy taught me to try really hard to be good out of fear of his temper, but his words taught me that I was a growing female fit to be mocked for the changes occurring to me, and that I was not good enough–to get a training bra, to wear bright lipstick, to gain a few pounds and still be beautiful. I brought it all up Sunday. Does it seem to you I was carting out past skeletons that are already dead? Well, they’ve been rattling around in my head inside that imaginary bubble.
I’m ready to bury past beliefs I developed from my childhood that caused me to date jerks and marry a man who was a mess and latched onto me for a sense of normalcy, yet blamed me for so much and held me back with his possessive nature. Past beliefs made me keep quiet when I felt wronged or when I saw something going on that I knew was wrong. I expressed all of this to my dad, (on one of our weekly long-distance calls) and he said he didn’t remember most if it, (not surprising from a foggy, rum-soaked mind), but he was sorry.
He said that he was sorry, and he thanked me for telling him these things. No admonishing me for trying to give a guilt trip (something I’d heard him say years and years ago). I am a grown woman past the age of forty, but I still remember being a small eight-year-old, being an awkward ten, being 13 with some baby-fat, turning fifteen and noticing I suddenly had hips, graduating from college and wearing red lipstick, which I thought looked very striking and daring. I remember all of that and should not have been ashamed of the changes I went through. His upbringing did not need to become my upbringing, but I can break through all of that! If I wear daring clothes or bright lipstick, it doesn’t mean I should be labeled. It doesn’t say anything about me except I felt daring that day. And now he and I have an understanding.
I said, “I haven’t felt like I really know you in ages…you’re not the man I grew up with. Sometimes you still joke with me like you’re really comfortable, but I am not comfortable with you. I’ve been afraid to tell you how I feel or if I’m upset about something, because you live states away and we might become even more distant. But lately, we’ve just had phone calls in which I tell you I’m in therapy but not what I’m discovering about me and why I am this way or about the way I want things to be. And I’ve felt that if I’m not comfortable really telling you these things, I don’t really know you at all–which makes me just not want to talk to you.”
I know men have had their own narrow gender identities taught to them and reinforced through fear or religious guilt, especially those of my generation or the one before it. I had a lot of that, too. I couldn’t say ‘crap’ for fear it would be unladylike, as if I was disobeying the Lord by doing so. It taught me I could not express anger; likewise, a young man may have been brought up thinking he could not wear pink or express sadness. Well, bursting this bubble has freed me somewhat from that thinking as well. Thank God, the changing tides of time have also loosened these definitions and judgments!
So, you, dear reader, may have never met me before, you may somewhat know me, or you may know of me. I do not mind you knowing these things. Maybe you had a similar upbringing, maybe you suffer ongoing, chronic pain/tension or anxiety. Anxiety can run through the DNA, it can develop from your upbringing, or may be a reaction to a temporary lifestyle. But I feel that acknowledging and letting out things that make you uncomfortable or anxious can loosen the grip anxiety holds on you. Maybe you’re still young, but I want you to know, life can get better, and this is the one joy of adulthood. You CAN take charge. I’ve often worried what people think of me, but I do not want to be fake. I have struggled, and I have overcome many things. That makes me incredibly strong, and why would I be ashamed of that, ever?
I have burst a bubble of silence and fear, for I am not afraid to be who I am, to acknowledge where I came from, to change the parts of it I feel were wrong, and to feel proud of what I have done with all that I was taught and all I was given. The bubble has been burst and that which festered will leave me, in a sneeze, in a conversation, or when I spit out my toothpaste. I don’t expect it to happen all at once, but I am confident that it will not rule me anymore.