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Somewhere along the way I became jaded, even though it’s just a dark synonym for hurt.

I have images to share, but…I’m jaded.  (So my world is blank.)

What is up with that?  I used to not even know what jaded meant.  I remember asking and having to look it up in the dictionary…back before Google.

I looked it up again, though, since it seems so definitive of where I am right now.  I wanted to be sure about it.

It turns out that “hurt” is not actually mentioned within the definition I found.

So maybe I shouldn’t  mention about the hurt aspect of my jadedness.

 

I know this is a phase.

Phases pass.

 

Things will change.  I’m looking forward to when I’m back to being some other color.  Pink maybe.  Not Pepto-pink.  Instead, more like something most people like.  Ice cream or cotton candy…baby blankets.  Strawberry milk?  (Maybe most people don’t like strawberry milk…)

 

I am so tempted to gloss over the green.

It would be so easy to just not put it here.  Nobody really needs to know about it.  I wouldn’t even have to acknowledge it.  It could be like it never happened.

 

Sometimes the light kills gross green stuff…like mold.

 

I will move through this.  I will.

Or I will be moved through it.

 

 

 

 

 

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This morning I looked in the mirror while blow-drying my hair.

I thought about some of the things I would have to say if I told my story and choked back tears and feeling.

Then I realized it is so close to being time.

***

I’ve hired a nanny to babysit my daughter one day a week, which will turn into two half-days a week when school starts the next week.  We talk a bit when she arrives.  Just chit-chat and catching up for communication’s sake.  She asked me about my oldest daughter starting 8th grade and how she’s liking it.  In reality, I didn’t see my daughter off this year on her first day back.  I only saw her two cumulative weeks out of the whole summer.  But we texted on her first day back about how her first day went…the weigh in on teachers and the year ahead.  The usual first-day-back stuff, as if she were living every day with me.

Of course, all the Facebook pictures popped up all day of excited and anticipatory kids…the younger ones. Or the reluctant, begrudgingly photographed, but inwardly still happy their parents cared to mark the day in history, older ones.

I “liked” several of them and tried to not notice my empty spot.

And I hoped everyone else was too caught up in their own day to see that I had nothing of my own to share.

Here I sit, sharing my picture now.

 

There are a lot of questions and probably assumptions that can probably be brought on by this picture.

Just recognize it’s not fully developed yet.

 

So I told my toddler’s nanny about everything I’d gleaned from texts with my teenage daughter about the start of 8th grade without telling her I haven’t actually seen her for over a month.  Mostly, the teachers she doesn’t like (the ones who remind her of strict relative, lol) and the required “elective” class she wishes she had waited to sign up for (Robotics, by the way…I’m still not sure about the new need for this in our school system, but maybe that’s because I’m out of the loop.) She’s only 1 of 3 girls out of a class of 27 and not too thrilled about all the boys…which I found relieving, but kept to myself! 🙂

 

Then our nanny, who is only 23, talked a bit about high school…we talked.  When the topic of high school comes up I always try to play along.  But I actually only completed 9th grade and 2 months of that school year was completed in a psych hospital, as it was.  So I’m learning through anecdotes from other people about high school in America as I go along in life.  In the next 4 to 5 years I’m sure I will learn more and if I’m most lucky I will get a good, rounded-out first-hand fill from my daughter.

All of this brings up memories, of course, of who I really am and where I have really been in my life.  My lifeline.  It gets sort of shitty in spots and so I gloss over those parts, which actually means sometimes I gloss over a lot and people sometimes feel like they know me, but something is missing they can’t quite put their finger on.  It’s that slick, maybe.

 

So today I just said it, without the gloss.  Plain.  No sheen.

“I only went to 9th grade, so I don’t really know about all that.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah, I have a kind of interesting timeline with things.  I had a kind of crazy life.  Well, I wasn’t crazy, but my life was a bit crazy.”

 

I still left out the psych hospital part.

I was crazy…I guess.  Right?  I mean, look at where I’ve been.

 

But I’m getting close to the truth.

Closer.

 

Everything is so close.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of days ago I made a connection with someone who left me asking, “What if…?” The “…” are representative because there are so many endings to that question.  I guess the “What if’s” are different for everyone.

I feel full of possibilities.  “What if…everything?”

In my life I haven’t always been sure that staying alive was the right thing to do.  And I mean “staying alive” in a more of a way than just the mechanics of breathing. Even breathing in a way that keeps the body going can be a challenge sometimes, but  I’m really talking about keeping my heart alive.  Passion, hope, love.  There is risk in living with light.  The body can die, but the heart can be devastated when something important goes wrong.

Things have gone wrong before.  I’ve had opportunities to give up at times when people might not have even judged it as a weakness, and I would have liked to have taken my break.

Somehow there’s always been something keeping me going.  A resuscitation, I guess.   Maybe that’s when the light has taken the driver’s seat. Admittedly, on the really hard days I haven’t always been grateful for that force so dedicated to my continuation.

But then there are days with connection, mystery and magic…that grow my spirit enough to help me feel I can support the energy of life again on my own.  But never, of course, completely on my own since those are the days I am most lifted up.

Those days are the ones with rainbows.  That unexpected gift of communication when I’m looking for convincing evidence that it’s safe to come out and interact again even though the clouds are still foreboding.

So…what if I am safe?

What if…my life matters?

What if…I have something worth sharing?

What if…I’m not alone?

What if…everything has a reason?

What if…I can’t find a reason, but it all matters anyway?

What if my story was meant to be heard?

What if the beginning really is a very good place to start?

What if?

What if?

What if?

 

If you’re wondering who this someone is who inspired these questions this time, it is a film maker named Mary Trunk who is now editing her most recent documentary titled Lost In Living…Here is a brief description of this film I’m so grateful for and link to a generous 10 minute Trailer which I found on Kickstarter.  This is a film filled with passion and honesty which I feel privileged to be a backer for (and is still open for funding, so check it out.)

“Behind the domestic curtain of motherhood, where the creative impulse can flourish or languish, are four women determined to make a go of it. Filmed over seven years, Lost In Living, confronts the contradictions inherent in personal ambition and self-sacrifice, female friendship and mental isolation, big projects and dirty dishes. The complex realities of family life unfold in this documentary film about the messy intersection of motherhood and artistic expression.”

 

 

 

***

 

A couple of weeks ago we had a brief storm in my city during the middle of our midwest drought. I was lucky enough to be out in it.  If I hadn’t had to run to the store with my daughter for essentials while my husband was out-of-town I would have only heard the rain.  When we arrived at the store the clouds were beginning to break and the sun was coming through.  I saw a man across the parking lot taking an iPhone pic of the sky.  And, of course, I had my phone too.  I took a picture of the sky and clouds facing the opposite direction.  It was magnificent.

Storm Clouds Breaking

 

When I left the store the sky was still filled with brilliant form and light.  I took out my phone again for more pics, shooting away, when a guy with his daughter walking in motioned to my left and said, “There’s a rainbow over there.”

Light Entering

 

 

A cloud among many

 

Soft Blank Slate

Alive

 

There I was, looking right at the sky and missed the rainbow entirely!  I was a little embarrassed, but grateful for the direction!  It actually turned out to be a double rainbow, so quite a treat!  It was large so I couldn’t get both sides in with one shot, and naturally, the photos don’t  nearly do the experience justice.  It was warm and cool, wet and sunny with the most amazing light.  A wordless beauty, for sure.

Rainbow

 

Don’t forget to look for the rainbows…

 

 

 

I’ve recently had the recurring urge to shave my head, even though I know it’s probably not the greatest idea.  I was close enough to shaving my head when I when I got my Pixie Cut two summers ago.  I’m capitalizing Pixie Cut because it was that big of a deal.  I paid enough for a semesters worth of community college to repair the damage from that particular urge after several toupees and all the therapy it inspired.   Actually, my husband paid for it, but he had it coming because I had given him say on whether I should actually do it or not.  And he gave me the emphatic “Do it! It’s hot!” go ahead.  : \  .  That was just weeks into our marriage and we’ve learned a lot since then.  Slowly.  Very slowly…at about the rate hair grows.   And of course, two years later I still have my driver’s license picture to remind me of how much I shouldn’t act on all my urges or all of my husband’s ideas about “hotness.”

But at any rate, the urge has managed to return.  I don’t know what it’s about.  I’m thinking maybe I get this urge to chop off all my hair when life transitions are upon me.   That makes sense, right?

Well, that’s the thing about urges.  They don’t always make sense.

I’m sure there’s a psychological underpinning to it that does follow some line of logic…even if it’s ill-logic.

I don’t think it really matters.  I just feel things strongly and that’s enough to make me reach for the scissors.  Or, in this case, razors.

Wow, writing it like this makes me think this might be enough motivation for my husband to wear protection to bed.

 

Anyway, I went to the bookstore today.   (You can start breathing again, the focus on my urges is passing for now.)

I was looking for a Pottery Illustrated Magazine or Ceramics Monthly or something to do with clay.  They didn’t have any, unfortunately, but there were several other magazines that caught my eye.

Like this one:

The Secret Files of My Personality

 

I didn’t want anyone else to see me pick it up, but if you can tell by the computer in the background, I did actually buy this.  It’s funny that I was a little embarrassed for some reason to be flipping through this in the store (not sure why, maybe because of some stupid idea that I should stick  to picking up “chick flicks” or a fitness magazine on how to acquire tight glutes or something) but now I’m broadcasting it here for everyone to see.   It probably says something about my personality!  But I’m not sure what it’s saying about me yet because I haven’t taken any of the quizzes yet.  Maybe these quizzes will lead me to a cure and I won’t need therapy anymore.

I will always need to participate in some form of art for my sanity, though.

I actually went on a magazine spree today…but with good cause!

I’m (re)starting school again next week.  “Real-Deal” school.  Actually,  it is mini real-deal (junior college,) but hey, it’s still school.  I still will get a grade, and it could, eventually, ever so slowly, lead me to a career in which people come to me for help!

So now you know, you’re reading the “Before She Was Famous”  Blog.

All I want to do in life is live.  And living, what I want for my life, means the ability to reliably connect and share.  And feel.  (Thinking straight would also be a perk.)  And sometimes…just Be.   Me.  And I want to Be Whole.  In an ideal world, I’d be able to play some role in  passing life (with light) on.

I was going to major in Art Therapy, but apparently only people on the coasts can work toward becoming art therapists so simply.  There is only one school in the Midwest that even has a Master’s program specifically for art therapy, and, even though I am in the midwest I am not within driving distance to it.  So I’m holding tight that I can get a Bachelor of Fine Arts and someone crazy enough will admit me into a Masters counseling program after that.

I’m scared.  I’m scared about being accepted, which I’ve spoken about on my blog.

I have failed many times in my life…

Anyway, there’s so much story behind and ahead of this…and I have to admit I don’t yet know how to exactly face or share either side of that storyline besides being here where I am on a day-to-day basis.  It’s really not too bad of a way to live, really.  To live in Not Knowing.

As long as I’m focussed on the important things…and people.  That is where the real-deal learning really is.  And, I suppose, where I have the most to learn.

I might be able to take this step-by-step and save my hair-do.

I do sometimes get ahead of myself.

**

Are we there yet? …And, I think 1,000 Places to See Before You Die is so aptly placed. along with the calendar that advertises “Do It All”

While I was at the bookstore I also ran into big display of calendars.   My gaze was more down because I’m wearing a hat today so I didn’t immediately see the display sign on top of the rack.  I was kind of surprised they still had 2012 calendars to sell…until I looked up and saw they were for 2013.  I always get freaked out when I see calendar displays in “off” times because I think I’ve missed more in my life than I was prepared for.    But then I did a quick run-through and realized it wasn’t me.  It was the rest of the world with the problem!  It is the beginning of August 2012, and our culture is living nearly half a year in advance.  What gives?

What is the deal with not being present in this world?  I feel so rushed. And it happens everywhere.  It happens as people run over me in the grocery store, fight me in the check-out line, and tail me all the way home.  Can we please slow down?

I need to get this out and ask, am I the only one feeling this way?

Another interesting find at the bookstore today, but didn’t buy this time. Notice the word “Quickly” is also in this title! 🙂 I also thought the “How to Be Happy” book sitting next to it was interesting, but that is way more of a rant than I have energy for today.

I am in the process of looking for a “Slower People Unite” support group.  Let me know if you’re interested, quickly! 🙂

I am so stressed by being out-and-about sometimes my muscles are clenched to my bones and I can’t move at all!  We’re all going to die in one form or fashion and is all this rushing really necessary or worth it!?

We all will get where we’re going.

Which, come to think of it, just about perfectly completes my interesting finds at the bookstore today…a National Bestseller, which I also did not buy today, but I did flip through and it looked maybe it could be.  But I wasn’t going to take the $7 risk.

 

Things you need to know NOW!!!

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart ~ Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now  by Gordon Livingston M.D.

 

I hope there’s enough time for me to get this later…it will have to wait in the queue with the rest of them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sliver of Light (found coming through the middle of a grouping of conjoined Sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park, CA)

I’ve been in a place with no words lately.

When will I learn that not having words, or really, not being able to express them, does not help one (me) to escape?

I hadn’t planned on writing this.

But then something brushed past me and I felt like maybe I could get something out.

Now I’m not so sure again.

This is a frustrating battle.

I want a poem.

I want significance if I’m going to have to stutter through these mutilating stops and starts.

I want something to show for the scar tissue from all the rips in my chest.

I haven’t had much time to paint.

Or maybe it is energy I have struggled with.

With vacation and all…

I did take some iPhone photos while I was gone…and my phone never got close to dying.

I did though.  We were nearly involved in a potentially fatal crash on the highway on the way to the airport, coming home.

The tire on a pickup in front of us blew and sent the pickup bouncing and swerving into a concrete partition barrier under an overpass and then tossed it back across to the other side of the highway for another concrete kiss before it finally came to a stop.  The highway was filled with traffic, including a speeding semi directly behind us (and we were the first car behind the pickup that lost control).   Miraculously, there was nobody in the lane beside the out-of-control pickup and so it kept the snowball effect from happening, and we were miraculously far enough behind the pickup  that when the tire blew and the actual crash(es)/impacts  happened we were able to avoid contact.

I know at least 10 drivers had to have seen the accident happen, and sadly, us and one other single male driver were the only ones to pull over to make sure the driver of the pickup was ok.  It’s pretty horrible to watch a vehicle crash right in front of you (or behind you, I’ve experienced that before on the highway too…and I wasn’t involved or hurt,) but what made me sick to my stomach and clench up my throat was that amount of people who sped right on past without even attempting to stop and help.

The driver of the pickup was an older gentleman and was pretty shook up and, I’m sure, in shock, but thankfully not critically injured himself.  We were in a dangerous spot ourselves when we stopped, and on the opposite side of the highway from the pickup, so we continued to the airport after making sure the driver was safe and able to wait for police and ambulance and that the other citizen who stopped was able (and willing!)  to take care of the rest from that point.  It didn’t appear the driver of the pickup even had a cell phone…I felt so bad for him. : (

Can you imagine if nobody had stopped??!

That’s the question I thought about the rest of the way to the airport.

Which quickly led me to thinking about how many times I’ve been the one involved in a  life wreck.

It put me into a place of deep thought (but with a well-activated nervous system) …about how we could have seen someone killed in front of us, one or more of us in our car could have gotten seriously injured or killed that morning, or we could have seen and been involved in a compounded highway mass tragedy if the speeding cars had been spaced within even a car length’s difference at that particular time and place.

But life went on.

We got into a plane that morning to sit by an old man holding an iPad and stock report papers who was quite consumed with things that obviously mattered, who didn’t want to sit by or have anything to do with us (and he really didn’t know how close his luck was to not having us there) especially our baby.

But there we were.  All of us in a row.

And here we are today, still living this life.

My Daughter, Playing In the Light

My Daughter, Playing in the Light (in the middle of a large, conjoined grouping of Sequoia Trees in Sequoia National Park in CA)