Day 5 Prompt – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Prompt Author: Alice Bradley)
Not too terribly recently (but not so long ago) something pierced my heart, and in fearful defense, I locked her away in a heavy cage.
I held on to anger.
I let fear and doubt grow strong and high, in thorny bush and tangling brambles. I saw the deadly brush thriving, and turned my eye, rather than cutting it down, as I should. It grew thicker and tighter around the cage of my heart until almost no light could break through. The more time passed, the less I even noticed it.
Her wounds too painful to see, even through the dense and thorny vines, I did not visit. With no warmth from another allowed through the thick canopy I had allowed to flourish, she grew colder, ever colder. No longer feasting on love (she deserved), comfort (she desired), the heart inside me grew weak, famished. She beat dimly for a great time; my body kept grinding mechanically through the motions of necessary life.
So hungry was she that, when something found its way through the tangling cover to her living tomb, she questioned it not, but absorbed it fully, wanting to consume, to be warmed. A fine and lovely trickery, this black ink was, but not the warmth she needed. And where had I been? It was my job to protect her, and I allowed her to be exposed to this clever poison.
Only when forcibly lead through the darkness by another was I able to realize how absent I had been, what I had relinquished so easily. He gave me the strength I needed to bring down those brambles and vines, though the process was painful, and many thorns drew blood from us both.
I am excellent at building cages, walls. I am a great grower of the thorny vine. I hold tight to anger. I harbor fear.
I’ve struggled with being truly loved. I’ve allowed circumstances to make me doubt it possible. That is changing in me.
I have slowly, this year, let go of the fear of being loved.
And it is warm in this light.
Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.
<rambling post of awesomeness>
I have had way too much fun lately. In fact, I told John that I was pretty sure I’m going to die soon and this is The Universe’s way of saying, “Oh, hey, sorry about that…” ahead of time. A lot of times The Universe is a total dickhead, but I can imagine that maybe sometimes it gets bummed out about what a shit it is and tries to be cool to you to make up for it.
It’s kind of like how I pretend to be nice to John every once in a while when I realize I’ve been a total hole for months on end. Cause, you know, a few hours of not actually saying anything derogatory and smiling a lot can make up for endless weeks of torture and passive aggressive quips blended with just out and out aggressive combativeness and demanding, controlling, and manipulative domestic behavior.
God help him if he complains though; then I’m all, “DO YOU NOT REMEMBER THE TIME THAT I HANDED YOU A NAPKIN WHEN YOUR FACE WAS DIRTY? I BLEED FOR YOU, INGRATE.”
Or something. But, basically, I know not to push The Universe and all, because it’s just doing the best it can, damnit. Ya dig?
So. Yeah. The Universe is clearly trying to be nice to me because it feels bad about my impending doom.
Either that or it is going to plan such a fiery, explosive and painful ending for me that getting me all complacent and mellow first will make things that much funnier for the bastard when it all goes down. The Universe is probably sitting in a dark room rubbing his hands together, and he’s all, “This stupid bitch has NO IDEA what’s in store for her, man. It.is.going.to.be.EPIC. I am totally going to photograph the look on her face and Twitpic it when she gets hers. MUAHAHAHAH.”
Um. Wow, The Universe just went from being a maybe, kind-of dickhead to a completely sadistic psychopath in my mind. I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ve been into the caffeine again. Also the wine. Maybe a little of the blow powdered sugar.
What the hell was the point of this post? Oh, yeah. I’ve been having fun lately – making new friends in our neighborhood, going out with girls I actually like, and generally, well, not being locked in my house like a socially inept, loser ho-bag.
That is, I’ve been pretending I’m not a socially inept, loser ho-bag, and nobody is on to the deception yet, so clearly I am up for the next Academy Award. (note to self: do not marry Jesse James any time soon)
Last Wednesday, in another installment of Happy Fun Times I Should Feel Guilty About (don’t worry, I got mine) I went to an Open House at Beleza Medspa with some lady friends: Blythe (Aka @Bejewell) and Leigh. We needed to learn about ways you can change what nature does to your body, and instead, make it all fake and HOT.
Apparently, Blythe and Leigh were getting drunk for free while they were waiting for me to arrive late (people start drinking to cope with the fact that they miss me, I’m that awesome) (either that or they drink to cope with the fact that I’m about to arrive) and once I got there, we went to a back room to find out about the process of having your facial skin turned from haggarific to Goddess Sheen of Awesometasticness.
This process is also known, to lesser degree, as Let’s Burn Your Ugly Face Off. You’ll only have to hide in a cave for about 4-6 days while all the skin flakes off as if you have some horrible and contagious disease. But after that? YOU WILL BE BEAUTIFUL. It’s a metamorphosis. You have to let your inner butterfly out… by KILLING THE SHIT OUT OF THAT CATERPILLAR we like to call your real face.Read More»
April 26th rolled past me, as it did you. It brought pain and joy and all things in between to him and her and them and the others. It was a day, and we all walked into and out of it, just like we do so many others. Some days leave their marks on you and those marks, be they soft lip prints or jagged, deep carvings, stain you. This is Life’s Tattoo. This is the one that can’t be removed; you just have to learn to live with your new ink. You may even find beauty in it.
I thought about this baby several times on this past day that happened like they all do, as clocks everywhere mark the time that slides by without any effort. It has been 2 years since that first miscarriage, the one that opened the door on a special kind of fear and loathing, and introduced me to the doubt of my female body. On this day I wondered, as I have so many times, who that one could have been if conditions had been just right. I sometimes stare off into nowhere, eyes distant, face slack, thinking these thoughts. Then I sigh deeply and swallow a lump in my throat; my hand may wipe at a tear that rolls absently. Other times I feel a peace, a moving on, an acceptance.
My world feels different than it used to so many moons ago. I am changed. There are some wonderful differences and there are, scattered about, some not so fabulous ones. These things, the changes both good and bad, are all just a part of the What Is. I can handle that. I can roll with it and still find a reason to be, see a splendor in life. It’s always there, waiting for me to rediscover it.
There have been times I didn’t think that was possible – that I’d be able to see beauty and feel bliss in life again, be able to even care if it was there or not. But I hold that knowledge, that truth, close to me now, as I live and breathe. This tender awareness seems to sit in the palm of my hot hand like a smooth pebble. It holds weight and feels cool against my skin. I like it; it grounds me.
I have learned another truth during this time, as well. A less fabulous one, I’m afraid. In every situation during the past two years where I have said to a group of women (of any size) that I have had miscarriages, at least one of them always shares that she has had one, also. There are too many of us. Why does it never fail to shock me, even though I know well by now how often it happens?
To all of you who have experienced this or other painful loss, I thought about you today, too. I felt sadness and tension, and then I released it. I sought the love and peace in my heart. After soaking it in for awhile, I released that into the universe, too.
I hope it finds you, much like a cool pebble that might just land, unexpectedly, in your upturned palm.
Did you know that RUNNING! is awesome? It is. RUNNING! is fun and exhilarating and it tones your body and makes you feel alive. RUNNING! makes you float on a layer of endorphins called Awesomeness Coated in Hell Yes every time you do it. You do a lot of RUNNING! when you’re training for a 5K.
So, what happens when you’ve started training for a 5K and then it gets ass-shattering cold outside, so you start going to the gym with an indoor track to continue your training?
Well, apparently, if you’re using my body, you get a sweet-ass case of shin splints in your left leg, but you keep running on it because you’re a bonafide dumbass. Then, when it starts hurting like the hurtiest hurty thing in Hurtville, you do some research and find out that shin splints are not uncommon in new runners, especially when using an indoor track that has stupid, shitty, short turns (yes, like the one you started using when it got cold because you’re a whiny pansy-ass). SO, YAY – CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE SHIN SPLINTS!
You employ R.I.C.E therapy like a good, little idiot person who should have done that right away instead of running on the injury, but has now seen the light. You rest, ice, compress, elevate. In fact, to also ‘medicate’ the severe disappointment caused by having to stop RUNNING! you take it to a whole notha level, and you throw down some R.A.I.A.C.A.E.A therapy. (All together now, A is for “apple” and “airplane” and “ALCOHOL”)
After a couple of weeks, EUREKA! your leg is healed. To make sure you don’t get too damn happy for too long, you run on it for a week, but then do some stupid exercises one day at home without shoes on after you’ve already run that day, and don’t stretch/cool down when you’re done because your child wakes up from a nap and he’s screaming like a banshee with a porcupine that’s been set on fire shoved up its anus, so you just bolt up the stairs like your life depends on it mid-stupid exercises. (Let’s be totally clear here, it was obviously the kid’s fault. Jerk.)
Later, you realize that you were mistaken before. The shin splint was definitely not the hurtiest hurty thing in Hurtville. It was clearly only a slighty painy pain that lived somewhere outside of Painstoria. THIS CALF STRAIN IN YOUR RIGHT LEG IS THE REAL HURTIEST HURTY THING IN HURTVILLE.
And it’s on vacation ALL UP IN YO BIZNASS.
So you limp around like you’ve been Kerriganed for over a week. (Again employing a massive dose of R.A.I.A.C.A.E.A therapy, because this is what professionals like you do. You? Are a master at physical therapy. And stuff that requires you to drink alcohol.)
Finally, oh finally, you are healed.
So then you go RUNNING! again because RUNNING! was making you feel so good and so happy and heralding all kinds of gold glitter and rainbows from your rectumular area oh so many weeks ago when you were doing it regularly.
And you know what? RUNNING! is still awesome.
But you are not. Because YOU LOST YO GROOVE while you were all up in some R.A.I.A.C.A.E.A Therapy at the Bar in Hurtville/Painstoria for weeks on end.
I’ve got some news for you. Now you have to work back up to the same level of endurance you had before, and oh hell yes, you will. Don’t you doubt that, because you’ve been there before, and you plan on kicking super ass and getting there again in short time. In fact, the bursting feeling in your chest can just GO HOME TO ITS MOMMA, because you are completing every damn interval of every damn train, pushing through the sucktastical feeling of weakness, and you will NOT give up.
You? WILL BE TRIUMPHANT ONCE MORE. Hell, you’re already well on your way as we speak!
However, during your return to triumph, while you’re doing your warmup mile one day, you do think that it would be awesome to do two sets of 50 jumping jacks at 1/4m and 3/4m, and you know what?
You could have been using all that time you spent sitting on your ass with your compressed, iced legs elevated while you sucked down booze and healed doing something you could have really benefited from.
SOME DAMN KEGELS.
Some of you may remember the post waaaaay earlier this year where I admitted to you something that really was no surprise, considering I have mentioned how gross and lazy I have been on a regular basis. Yeah, I’m talking about the one where I basically said, “I smell like forty ripe asses rotting in the sun. Oh, and I have fat rolls that have fat rolls and their fat rolls are bigger than their fat rolls’ fat rolls.” I’m not sure if that even makes any sense, but I wrote it out anyway, because I like the way it sounds. You do too, you just don’t know it.
The point is that I had gained quite a bit of weight (enough to aggravate my joints and make my fat pants tight on me) and I wasn’t caring enough about myself to bathe regularly. Unless you’d say once every week or two is regularly. I guess it is, since I regularly waited that long to scrape the accumulated layers of sediment off of my body. (I swear I found a tiny, fossilized animal in one of the layers once. It was from the Cretaceous Time Period. I’d be rich if I hadn’t dropped it down the drain.)
By May, I was carrying a good amount of weight…
By the end of May, I was sick of myself. I made a lot of changes (that really needed to be made) and turned my life onto a healthier track again. Instead of drinking the local liquor store and grocery beer aisles dry practically every other day, I stopped drinking entirely for a whole month.
I hated every fucking one of you bitches that talked about drinking on Twitter during that time. I wanted to stab you in the face.
Hahaha, just kidding!
It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, in all honesty. And during that month, I dropped junk food and excessive carbs, as well as late night eating. You know what else? I started moving. And I had some support: people who motivated me by talking to me about what they were doing, listening to what I was doing, and just being there. They lifted me up when I was dragging, and they celebrated my successes with me when I was floating. That kind of support from friends is instrumental for me. Thank you so much Leslie, Haley, & Karen. I got my ass in gear and I started doing The Shred – downloaded it right to my computer and did it almost every day. I added in some Yoga, too.
And the real killer for me? I went to bed at a decent hour more often than not. It was like a sign of the Apocalypse. Or flying pigs. Or that monkeys streaming out of your butt thing.
But mostly, it was a whole heap of positive change in my life that both cleared my head and dropped pounds of fat off of my body.
I lost 15 lbs in just a couple of months.
Then I started traveling. Oy! Chicago first, then NC, and before I knew it I was drinking and eating excessively again, and not exercising. And sleeping? Hah, what was that? I was up into the wee hours again. For some reason, I love the wee hours.
I was still making half-assed efforts to exercise once I got back home, but it wasn’t adding up because I was being really inconsistent, and the other bad habits were still hanging on, blossoming even.
By mid-September, I was saying, “hello again!” to the last 8lbs I had dropped. (And by “hello again” I mean, “awwww, shit, you again? Damn.”)
But I was in a funk. The sloth in me was in charge.
By mid-October I had reached a point again where I realized this crappy way of whipping myself back and forth has got to stop.
I called on the cavalry again: I’ve got Haley, Leslie, and now Mishi motivating me in a Skype chat regularly (thank you, ladies! I love you.). And I’m trying this novel concept: moderation!
I cut way back on drinking, but I still have one drink most nights. Junk food is out again, and healthy food is in. But “cheats?” Oh yeah, they’re around about once a week.
I’m *trying* to go to bed at a decent hour (most nights, and sometimes I’m actually successful) and I’m moving again. I’ve been doing different things to keep it fresh – Shred, Yoga, Dance, Walking. I’ve lost that ugly 8 I gained back, and then some. I’m feeling better again… lighter, smoother, and quicker.
Just this week, I started pushing myself to jog and run.
And then a little birdie named Leslie got on my proverbial shoulder and whispered in my Skype Chat ear: “Fiiiiive Kaaaaaay?”
And I said, “What, me? Surely not.”
But later in the day I said, “Why not? I can do that. I am *going* to do that.”
And that’s where I am right now. In total, I’m down 21lbs (and counting!) from my May 09 top weight, and I’ve built some muscle. It’s time to tone, train, and build endurance. I have a plan, some tools, and at least one friend to do this with. I’m about to bust crazy and go for something I’ve never attempted before.
And I’m not talking about going one whole day without saying, “fuckbuckles!” (What, you don’t say that every day?)
It’s time to train for a 5K, my friends.
I plan on leaving a little piece of my funk behind me with every step.
Elementary school lunch. Remember that? What was it like? At first I think that surely I can’t remember something from such a long time ago. I mean, if I were trying to call on a specific, dramatic memory, I’d have more confidence in my ability, but this? I’m doubting I’ll reel in anything of describable value when I cast my line into what have become the murky and age muddled waters of my memory.
Elementary school lunch wasn’t important. It was just another thing that happened every day – same place, same people. I don’t need that information anymore. It has to have been crowded out by important things, right? Surprisingly, instead of fishing a boot or an old tire out of those polluted waters, when I close my eyes I see into my mind, as if through the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. It is almost like I am actually standing outside that cafeteria, looking in through the rectangular windows at rows and rows of tables, each one lined with chattering children.
Then suddenly, I’m not standing outside the windows anymore. In a flash, I’m inside the room where the ambient noise rises ferociously with the spark of my transition. Utensils scrape across and smack into plastic, segmented tray plates that clink against one another and slide along table tops and counters in search of final resting places. Chairs scratch the floor both meeting and departing table tops, as diners come and go. Bags, books, and other items thump and bump as they drop into waiting places, becoming items of secondary importance now that the task at hand is eating, socializing.
Above and beyond these sounds there are the types of audible events that come only from the mouths of humans: talking, laughing, yelling. The majority of this is of the child variety, mostly high-pitched, squeaky, and giggly. Most of the yelling is happy, jovial, prankish. Occasionally, there’s an angry yelp or an adult admonition. The overarching effect of the mingled, youthful voices in all of their utterances is a feeling of busyness, of pleasant fellowship and mirth.
I feel, in my mind, as if I’m standing there now. Having entered suddenly, but still separate from all of this, I stand apart from it all. I’m just taking it in with my eyes closed. But the deeper I go, the more I process. I’m allowing myself to sink into those waters and wade out to a place where eventually there’s a drop-off.
I’m going to fall right in.
It happens, and the next transition hits me with cool, hard plastic under my posterior. My legs dangle towards the floor, and I grasp a metal fork with curiously uneven tines in my right hand. The fork is poised over a pretty ugly example of fruit cocktail, slimy with syrup and unnaturally vibrant.
The cocktail isn’t half as bad as the rectangular piece of gooey mess masquerading as pizza. I know this and at the same time, I also identify with the unarguable fact that I love this disgusting mockery of a real pie, just as I indiscriminately adore the grease-laden tator tots that neighbor it in the adjoining tray segment.
I look up and now I’m taking in a sea of faces at my level. Instantly I’m overcome with emotions that blast me almost simultaneously: wonder, excitement, insecurity, awkwardness, need, desire, invincibility.
This is youth, glorious youth. I have more than just miles to go; there’s a path stretched out in front of me to what seems infinity. All I can see is shining horizon and I know that forever is just over the hill up ahead, a sparkling, unknowable treasure of eternal proportions.
For a moment the sounds disappear. For just a heartbeat every smell of sickeningly delicious grease puddled over cheap cheese on soggy crust is undetectable. The cool, slick cardboard milk carton under the curled fingers of my left hand disappears. All the children move in slow motion.
I feel like a time-traveler in my own mind, and for just that one moment, there’s a distinct and deep pain that knifes through me, witnessing this slice of my past, this irrelevant little reenactment of an any-day sometime so long ago in my life.
I want to stand up and scream, “We are all here again! Back here again! Have we made mistakes!? Let’s do better this time!”
But then it all rushes back in with its loud busyness, its irreversible hurrying of children forward into their fates. For a moment, I feel defeated, and then I blink my eyes, and it all swirls away in the same way that bath water flows down the drain – pulling away both the bright, gleaming bubbles and the dirty scum that once clung to you, in the same smooth motion.
As I open my eyes in the here and now, I reflect on that moment at the end, that painful longing to hit the “restart” button. But I’m here, for better or worse, and it’s okay if I can’t change the things my momentarily enlightened “little” self so worried about for that brief spell inside my mind. She forgot for a beat that out here on the other end, I’m not too shabby, and even all of the mistakes and occasional bad decisions have had a hand in making me who I am today. No regrets.
Well, I do kind of wish she had grabbed one of those tater tots and slammed it. This lagging metabolism is a bitch. *wink*
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He shifts his weight
And moves on
From miles away
He says he loves me
I say it back
Then he moves on
It’s quiet at night
So much emptiness to fill
For a spell
I stand in the kitchen
Like a cliche
I balance on heels, making dinner
Laughter floats in waves
Through the house
Echoing off the walls
Like bouncing balloons
It swells and ebbs
It rolls back and forth
Like tickle fights
There’s football on TV
My feet find comfort
His hands find my back
Our bed is warm again, briefly
Then he shifts his weight
Says he loves me
And moves on again
Takes his music and goes
Alone, in the quiet night
I can remember the melody
And hum it myself
We stay behind
Hold it down
Occupy our time
Here and there