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My Art Therapy Journey

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I don’t need to read the Bible.

My whole life has led me God.

The Bible interests me for reasons other than knowing God or the idea of God.   Except for the fact that I see God in people…and people are what I find in the Bible.

I am drawn to the Bible for the purpose of study.  Nothing in the Bible has really led me to faith.  So far.

This is not to say that it can’t or won’t strengthen my faith in the future, and not to dismiss the Bible and its importance or significance in people’s lives.  But, given that, in all fairness I’ve barely read it, how can I not make these statements?

What does this have to do with my art therapy journey?  I don’t know.  It might have to do more with my journey, just in general.  But my language, inside, is art…even when what comes out is words in a blog that don’t look or sound the least bit artistic.   At this very moment, there is art forming inside of me.  These are my thoughts…and thoughts lead to actions.   At least, that’s what I’ve been told.  For me, at least some of that action in my life is creating art.

I guess I can’t tell you why I believe in a higher power, especially when an overwhelming majority of events in my life wouldn’t point to the God I believe in, existing.

I say all of this as I begin down a path of embarking on Bible Studies.   Along with my Art Studies.

Maybe I am putting this here as a plot point.  A dot on the map so when I start talking about something I’ve come upon 5 miles down the road it all connects better and makes more sense.

I’m fascinated by people and culture and history.  The only history class I’ve ever taken is Art History and it left me wanting for more.

Less, actually.  Actually, less.

It left me asking more questions and yearning for context.  It left me asking questions about how I came to be and how any of us came to be.

It left me with a plague of questions.  Most people don’t want the plague.

My intro. class answered nothing.

So I don’t know where I’m going with this.  I just know I’m going somewhere because this spot I’m in isn’t very homey.

I yearn for people and connection as long as they don’t get too close and let me come to them a bit on my own terms.  Any sudden moves scare me away.  And it’s like that with God, too.  And that could be why I’m so interested in all of this.  Figuring out what is psychological, sociological, anthropological and theological.

That is a lot of logic, if you ask me.

I never asked for this to be my brain.

And that’s why I have so many questions.

If I could change my passions I most definitely would.

Who in the world would choose this?

I think I would rather suffer in superficiality.  I want to be addicted to “Omg!” (the  yahoo “news” page) instead.

But that’s not the life I was granted.

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

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December 13, 2012

There is a lot that could be said about this year.  A lot has happened, but it feels like I’m back in the same place where I started.  It’s just, I’m not too sure which “starting place” I’m speaking of.

Am I back where I was at this time last year?  I don’t think so!  I just can’t exactly remember where I even was at this time a year ago.  I’m pretty sure I was too disoriented to make it a memorable occasion.  I’m pretty sure things weren’t too great.   I started blogging shortly after that time.

It was a last-ditch effort.

So…

I guess sometimes last-ditch efforts are worth the effort.

I hope.

I’m always hoping to make my life worth the effort it takes from everyone involved in keeping me afloat.

Maybe afloat isn’t too great a descriptor.  It doesn’t really specify whether I am floating face up or down and in the case that I might just be staying afloat face down, my condition might not actually be so great.

Same with grounded.

Maybe I should just make it clear about my condition as I stand today and say my thank you’s to the world that I’m ALIVE.

I’m happy to be alive.  Even on the bad days (95% of myself agrees with me.)

The other 5% is just a tantrum within me speaking of worthlessness, and I know it’s not really true.

I’m really 100% (at least!) happy to be alive.  But I am always striving toward living my life better, purposefully.

I’d really rather never die.  Not even ever.

But I’m ok with it whenever it comes….I just hope it doesn’t for a long time.

Wow, this isn’t really going where I was trying to go.

Such is living life as me.

My life takes me places I never could have imagined or planned.

I do make choices, I know, but sometimes me staying alive requires a whole lot of me letting go and trusting things I’m doing, even when I have no idea what I’m doing.

Like now, writing.

Oh well.

I wanted to say some words.  But there will never be enough words, or efficient or sufficient enough ones.  I guess that’s why I like making things that don’t rely on words so much.

I probably should get back into poetry.  Where words are words but not words at all.

It seems to sum up where I am and where I have been this year, all that has happened on the private, personal and public level, there is just no way to do it.

No other way than to keep living since I am still here…Where I started.

Alive.

Making note of it because a lot can change so fast.

I don’t know how darkness can be so invisible.

But sometimes it is precisely because of its invisibility that darkness becomes itself.

 

When I was a teenager I had a conversation with the darkness once.  I suppose I was a little headstrong, a little unruly.  The invisible darkness was the only real force I could rebel against.  I definitely wasn’t going to try to rebel against my mother or father.  In hindsight, that might have been the better path.  (Not that I hope my teenager ever sees that sentence!) But for me, it might have been quicker path into light.

 

Instead, I stepped, unknowingly, deeper into the pits of emptiness in my effort to be good enough for them…and for me.  Really, to be good at all, but mostly to be good-enough for anyone I though might love me if I performed well.  Perfectly.

 

My hand was asked in marriage at 16.   And I said yes to the man who was 15 years older than me.  And so did my parents.

I bought my own wedding dress with money I earned myself.  $300 at David’s Bridal.

I was a childcare worker.  I made $8 an hour (I later realized taxes weren’t taken out so when I reported my wages I was taxed more than I ever earned, but that’s another story,) which was a huge salary (hourly) increase from my $7.25 I made at the dry cleaners and I loved children.

Except for later I learned I didn’t really love myself…and neither did anyone else.  But not because they didn’t want to.  Because they just couldn’t.  I can’t entirely blame them.  So I can’t entirely blame myself for everything that happened either.

 

But about that conversation with darkness.  I remember it still.  I remember laying on my bed in my bedroom in the apartment I was living in with my mother.  It was after a fight.  I’m not sure if it was abuse.  I thought abuse only happened to children at the time, and I didn’t consider myself a child.  It was just a fight, and probably my fault.  I don’t remember the source of the fight that day.  I only remember the conversation I had after it while I laid in my room where I could never bring myself to sleep.  (I slept in the living room on the 2 cushion sofa every night with my neck propped curiously forward on the armrest.)   I remember my mom telling me I should sleep in my bed because I was breaking down the couch.  But I slept there for almost a year (the amount of time I lived there) anyway.  So maybe I did rebel some.

 

I keep getting away from the darkness.    Or do I?   (Sometimes the question has to be asked.)

The darkness and my conversation.  It was a little one-sided with me doing a lot of the talking, but the darkness doesn’t always talk in words.  The darkness isn’t always nearly as direct.  It likes to be more like a covering over everything so it becomes a mass so encompassing it can be hard to determine where it ends and begins, or to see it at all.

 

In this conversation, in my contempt, in my teenage righteousness and belief that I could surmount anything if given the time, I told the darkness, “You will never win.  You will never get me.  No matter what you do to me, I will never give you my soul.  You can beat me down, but you can’t have ME.  Never.  Never.  NEVER.  Over my dead body will you win.”

 

And so….I hadn’t learned yet….about the light…and about Life With Light.

I didn’t know what it was going to be about.

I didn’t know what was ahead of me.

I didn’t know all the…all the….things.

I didn’t know.

 

But as I look back on that “conversation” today, I sometimes feel like it was the first conversation where I was ever listened to and believed.  And I figured if  I believed the Light could see my heart that maybe the darkness could too, and it would be so clear that I was invincible.   I already could feel so little.

 

But I didn’t know.  I didn’t know.  I didn’t know.  I didn’t know.

 

And so this head-strong, heart-strong girl spent a lot of time learning a lot of different things about what can be seen and what can’t.

And about how remarkably presumptuous I was.

 

I worked to make the right decisions.  I always wanted to do the right things.

But what do you do when doing all the “right” things turns out to be wrong?

 

What do you do?

 

Sometimes you lose faith.  But that comes much later, after you realize maybe you made the wrong decisions about which (or whose) faith to follow.

 

Oh so many things.  So many, many, many many many horrendous things.

 

But the horror tonight should be about Halloween parties.  Because that is where horror belongs.

And I am starting to put all the horror and darkness that has existed, that has practically been my life up to this point, where it belongs.

 

Off of me.

 

So tonight there is no covering over who I really am.  This is me.

Sometimes it’s scary.  Especially for me when I look into that magic ball and see where I have been.

I look toward  and forward to the future, but I don’t look to know about it all ahead of time.  After all, time does not like to be raced.

I didn’t know before, and even with all that I didn’t know about and the perilous journey I was on (but didn’t know I was on, at the time) I still work on just being present where I am in this day, in this moment.  It is the only place I can be me.  Right here with myself is the only place I can be good enough.

 

I was thinking about this tonight after me and my husband’s first couples session (for the 2nd time)  (and this is my second marriage) with a new couple’s therapist.  I was, more specifically, thinking about this after we returned home from our session and after the “fight”  we had later.

 

I’m calling this phase of the journey, Operation Light.  I googled it and it doesn’t exist yet 😉  Of course, now it does.  So you can join this Operation of Light with me! 🙂

Life With Light: “Operation Light” ….I can see it in….lights, now. 😉

That proposes that it will work.

Operation Light is about infusing Light where ever darkness is even remotely suspected.  There’s no danger is suspecting darkness to be everywhere.  It is not possible to overdose on Light.

It will work….I’m talking to the Light about it right now.

 

I have had a little shift in my approach toward life.  I am learning to address the Light.  The darkness is not worth my time, and definitely not worth me.  And it’s not worth you either.  I just love people, and I can’t help it.  I was well-meaning when I tried to fight against the darkness rather than focus on fighting FOR the Light….I was young and perhaps a bit ostentatious.

 

But the Light has helped me see that…ever so gently, of course.  That’s the way of the Light.  Because the Light actually did know what was inside me and behind my efforts.

 

So when it seems dark and insurmountable, don’t give up.

Don’t ever, ever give up.  ” Operation Light” Lovers never give up unless they are giving it up to the Light. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Selflessness of Dreams

(the unedited and unproofread version…proceed with caution and coffee if you’re the slightest bit tired and still interested)

It’s not that nothing has been going on.  In fact, most people could probably attest that when they are most quiet is when quite a lot is actually “going in.”

…But how to define “going on?”

 

What is it I have been so busy with?

I could probably come up with a physical list only a few items deep:  Being a family woman, a mother, a student….but then there’s something missing.

Something actually just a bit bigger than all of those labels, actually.

I have to admit I have mostly been busy being me.  That’s right.  Just me.

I know I fill those roles and they matter a ton to me, though I couldn’t individually weigh them.

But really, I feel like the biggest, most expansive, consuming thing that’s been going on lately is just me…living.  Me living includes being married and those responsibilities, as well as being a mother and all those personal investments, but there’s been even more.

Life right now is filled with being created.  I create along the way, I step back, I let things happen to me.  I let this other force I feel in my life actually touch me.  What I feel touching me is somewhat undefined, but there is no question of its presence.  I’m being made into something/someone new…at least different.  At the same time I feel myself returning to who I always was…who I was before my time ever even began.

This sounds mystical.  A little off?

It sounds, even to me, like I could be having some kind of psychosis or delusions…..

But I’m pretty sure that if that is what I am experiencing then life exists squarely in the mix of it and that I am not alone in it either.  The fact that you, too, are here verifies that you are in this with me also, does it not?  Sorry, no exemptions.  You’re here or you’re not.  Are you here?  That can be a challenging question at time…I know for myself.

But then, life is not always so clear-cut.  Sometimes it is possible to be two places at once.  I know this, also as fact, for myself.

 

Everything has been in a wild sort of shift.  Motherhood, my student body, and wifedom.  My three most prominent schedulers right now.

But then, there’s that other player…Me.  And while “Me” is made up of those other things,  ”Me” is defined as one with spirit….

And so I have grappled with my spirituality.

Spirituality, which for me, is so closely tied to every cell within me.  And every cell, which is so closely tied to memory.  And memory to history…and history to, well….everything that has ever existed, seen or unseen.

 

Wow, I’m not proofreading and editing as I go so this could be a long, wandering ramble.

Probably the more people get to know me, the more strange I seem.  Or maybe I’m just flattering myself with that thought.  Suppressed egotism.  It’s got to be in there somewhere.

Besides, I’m just talking about all of this nonsense because I’m deathly afraid of sharing my real feelings.

 

Like the pains and the loneliness.  The everyday defeats and how even triumphs sometimes pang me.

This is part of “Me” and all the busyness, I know…but I’d rather come off as completely crazy than talk about these potentially understandable feelings.

 

Lately, I’ve been more present in my life, though it wouldn’t seem like it probably in this “letter.”

Some days I handle it better than others.

Today is kind of a rough one.

But I’m here, so this could, perhaps, be counted as a panged triumph, for an example of that pang I just spoke of.

 

Last night, which I suspect was actually very early this morning, I had a most odd of oddly dreams.  (But then, everything has been a bit odd seeming lately.)

It’s definitely one of those dreams to write to your therapist about (which I may well do, for good measure.)

I was in this house, and it was supposedly a house I knew somehow, but I’m not actually sure of the details.  But anyway, I was in this house of sorts and it was like at some point I was in this house with other people and we were all being led on a house tour.  And we got to this part of the tour and there was this passageway and it was so very, very, extremely narrow and all that could be seen was dark inside of it.  There was no way of telling what was in this passageway.  But to get through the tour and to eventually exit the house you had to go through this tunnel.   I saw someone else go up the tunnel.  They just walked up the steps and continued up through the covered passage (step were going up like a ladder) and disappeared.  No sounds or noise.  No commotion or cries for help.  They simply disappeared as if they had never been there.  And the guide for this tour was leading me to this spot and I neared it and felt my hands around the opening and I stopped there, not going further.  People were behind me talking amongst themselves, seemingly unconcerned about this passage.  (It had a very Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland /Charlie and the Chocolate Factory feel to the atmosphere…dark, strange, otherworldly) And the leader finally addressed me and said for me to go through this passage and I voiced my concern that the passageway was too small and tight for me and that I would get stuck (um….yeah, I am an artist, but NOT a fiction writer…I swear I am not making this up!)   He said it would be fine and to just go.

***This ends my account of my dream***

Except, I think I went into the passageway and I don’t really remember the rest.

Cliffhanger?

I’m not sure, but I’m a bit uneasy about sleep tonight, as if I am ever really easy about it!

 

I want comfort.  I want something or someone to come hold me and assure me that it really isok and that it really IS going to be alright, and I really am not too fat.  Because I’ve been dealing with extreme body feelings along with everything else too.

But right now it seems there is no comfort.  There’s just this narrow passageway I have to go into alone.  It seems like a place to experience every fear I have ever had.  Alone.

And maybe that is the biggest fear of all…Abandonment? Death?

For sure the feeling of Loneliness has been consciously tantamount.  So why would I need a dream about it??!

Maybe this is about something else entirely different, after-all.

I just wish I could figure it out so I could move on to a different dream….

Better dreams….

And on the subject of dreams….Being a dreamer can be lonely…and now maybe I understand that just a little bit better/deeper/differently.

 

One of the first papers I ever wrote in college for Composition I nearly 12 years ago (I was something like 21 years old) was titled “Dream’s Reality” covering Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams.  What can I say, Ambition is not just a fad for me.

 

All these years later and I’m still not a professional therapist.  I went the professional client route, I’m selfless.

This evening me and my husband had a luscious conversation about our spirituality and beliefs about life, religion and the journey of it all.  I am using the term “our spirituality,” but actually we each are quite different on our individual paths.  It’s a bit crazy that we actually even ended up married because we see things so differently, but then there are times when we meet in the middle.  We met in the middle enough to have a baby together and start a family anyway.

A lot of spiritual stuff has been on my mind, but that’s because my whole life has kind of been a strongly spiritual kind of journey, even though I didn’t necessarily pick it to be.  It kind of just happened…like being born.

I don’t know what to say about it because there’s so much to say about it.  And I’m a little scared to say some of the things I think because I don’t want my thoughts to be misconstrued as propaganda.  As if the world needs more propaganda these days.  (I think that and I don’t even practice watching the news.)

But if I remember right, I think our conversation got started because I was talking to my husband about motherhood.  Specifically, motherhood and the expectations on mothers in our society (we’re in Midwest USA), and even more specifically (or possibly more broadly) the “Christian ideal picture” of motherhood.

I’m not sure I belong in the midwest, and at this time I don’t identify with any organized religion.  Just saying, because I do have a lot of thoughts about both of these things.    I also don’t not (and I do mean that, this is not just bad grammar)  identify as a Christian.  It could be a confusing thing to try to categorize where I am.  It is for myself, sometimes.  And I guess I should also preemptively say I’m not looking for me and my family to be “saved”  and that doesn’t mean I want us to go to any literal or figurative hell.  It just means that I have faith in the journey so please let me be on it.  If I’m meant to find your cabin in the woods, I will.

I’m just sharing.  Pretend you have found my journal at the base of a tree, perhaps, with clear signs I will be returning.  For example, chocolate and coffee are nearby.  And pretend there is a little message beside my journal that says…”Read this if you want…at your own risk.”  But the risk part is not a threat.  It’s just the understanding between us that I actually have no idea where I’m going with all of this talk at the moment.

A little insider info about me…because I’m being just so private here, I know:

I wear a (small, and not clearly recognizable from a distance) cross around my neck.  Right next to (or on opposites sides of it, depending on how the charms lay on any particular day) are the words “grace” and “patience.”  This is where I am.  This is the most definitive place for myself I have come to on my spiritual journey, recently.

I would tell you what pieces on my necklace symbolize or refer to exactly, but I’m not sure exactly.  It’s just part of me right now, and I accept that.  I’m generally an open and accepting sort of person.

But anyway, back to the motherhood thing.  The motherhood thing.  It’s such a “thing” isn’t it?  It’s like one of the things you’re warned to not talk about with anyone else, lest you need to defend your life.  Everyone knows not to raise the subject of Politics, Religion and above all…Motherhood in uncertain company.

But I’ll just say it.

I don’t vote (usually.)   I’d probably be considered Agnostic (if forced into a box,) and I’m on the fence about my place in the world (particularly what my role as a mother should look like.)

I’m not sure how I turned out to be such an opinionated person, but I might see myself as opinionated just because I have many thoughts about a lot of different, and sometimes potentially volatile, subjects.

I’m just not imposingly opinionated.

***

After looking into it, since I am writing about this here, after-all….I’m actually probably a Gnostic Christian,not really A-gnostic.  Which just opened up some trail for me, as I speak.   (I have a sneaking feeling I knew this about myself once before, but got lost in trying to fit into a cabin that didn’t have space for me, or something, because the term “gnostic” is suspiciously familiar to me.)

***

Have you ever known or seen a chain smoker?  Perhaps you are one yourself, even.  Well, then you would understand me right now.  I am a chain gum-chewer and I’m at the end of my pack so I’m really trying to get somewhere with this post quick, because even the a-b-c gum is soon to be out of date for usefulness  if I don’t somehow get to it.

Oh that’s right!  I was getting to something!

I don’t remember it now.

I think I’m scared to let it out now, and I actually want to research gnostic Christianity for the rest of the night instead! Ha.

***

So I was saying about this luscious conversation with my husband-no fighting, no yelling, crying or hurt feelings, nobody being left stranded on the side of the road or running out the door before remembering to to get fully dressed to save themselves from the other.  A true gem of a discourse is what we had.

But I’m procrastinating here, now.

Maybe I’m not ready to speak about this publicly.  But I want to.  Because it’s a big deal, but that’s also why maybe I’m not ready yet.

Ah, I’ll get there.  But it might be 3am. before I do….and it’s only 9:20pm here.

Ugh, I guess I better save my energy for what I feel coming on…..

Sorry about tricking you into reading the preface…(I really didn’t mean to!)

Tonight I made it through my first Art History test of my entire life…ever.  I’m not counting past lives since those details are still emerging.  I sure hope I get far enough in this life to take my last Art History test ever…at the end of all the Art History classes I can possibly take.

Art History : Love as Test Taking : Not Love.  I’m trying to get in my rational mind now. (So I hope I got  that right.  Equations and logic aren’t always my thing.)

I learned tonight I’m a crier.  I used to be so stoic about crisis.  But after I got through a half-day of intense preliminary irritability, crying is all I have wanted to do.  I wanted to cry before, during, and after my test tonight.

 

And I’m glad I doubled up a few days ago on my exercise routine because I celebrated with a trip to Burger King.

That’s right.

 

Maybe I knew this was coming?

 

I have craved a thin (Thin, I like the thin ones) juicy fast-food hamburger all week.  It’s a far cry from my regimented allotment I give myself of rice cakes and protein bars everyday.  Sometimes I do splurge and have almond milk.

So when I drove into the lane-of-no-return and ordered that Whopper I knew I had pulled off something big tonight.  Maybe even life-changing.  Something is growing inside me.

I craved fast food burgers the entire time I was pregnant with my oldest daughter.

Correlation?

**

Deeper into the story you would know the last time I signed up for an Art History I ended up with an extended hospital stay before I made it to my first test.

That was in 2006.

It’s like returning to the scene…

Art History didn’t put me in the hospital, but it was the hardest thing to give up.   Having to let it go killed me.

I’ve come to reclaim my soul.

 

Everything is still there where I left it except I have moved from the third row back and to the right of the room to the front row and to the left.

 

I don’t want to be distracted.  I intend to live.

This time it’s just me and art alone in a dark room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trail I’m on is dodgy right now.  I can’t keep up with myself, I’m thirsty and with every step the path tries to disappear beneath my feet.  Paranoia creeps in.  I can’t trust anything or anyone, especially me.  I question myself repeatedly and I never answer back.  There is a call with no return.  I want to hide.  I’m not sure who I am talking to.  The main part of life is a strange veneer lifting off from the surface of a screen…no front or back.

Are parts like this where it’s just important to go through the motions?  There are parts where there doesn’t need to be any real meaning beyond staying alive, I suppose.  Even when life floats like a ghost?

 

The last time I had a massage I was told I needed “a lot of work.”

I am repelling touch.

 

A couple of days ago I had a freak-out session and had to double-up on my daily dance in front of the television.  My toddler knows what it means when I say in a sing-songy voice “Mommy’s gotta ex-ser-size!”  I was so tired, but I had to go until I couldn’t feel anymore.  She crawls on me, bounces in motion with me, and tries to eat my exercise mat.

 

While I’m occupied with that there’s a thick Art History book sitting in the corner on the desk.  I do a few more squat-thrusts to try to calm my anxiety.  About what…I don’t know.

 

My teenager calls and comes over to the house bearing gifts for me from her recent trip to the Gulf Coast with her dad.  My God, how I love her.  How it frightens me to know she was once a toddler too.  And I, her mom.  She’s too beautiful to have come from me.  “And too normal,” I think to myself.  Normal in that extraordinary teenager way.  Growing up.

 

I want to talk to somebody, but there’s no one around.

I don’t know why there’s nobody around other than I’ve always been too scared to have anybody around.

I’m scared to go grocery shopping.

Too many people.

 

There’s been a lot of fighting lately.  Maybe I’ll get a divorce.   Maybe I’ll go nowhere.

 

I take vacations.  I fantasize compulsively and obsessively through websites advertising retreats,  engaging me in the promise of wisdom and adventure, release and grounding.  I over-analyze dates and costs and reality.  It takes me away for a while.

Away for a while.

 

Away for a while.

 

Away.

This evening I came to a crossroads.  I was at Old Navy trying to use up a coupon set to expire today.  The intersection between me and me was in the changing room.

I will try to explain:

The summer stuff is on clearance, so I decided to try on some $5 shorts to preemptively save some money and beat the rush for next summer.  (Or maybe I decided to try them on as a plea to the weather for it to stay warm a lot longer than September usually allows around here. )

Anyway, I was standing there.  Having tried on the shorts and seeing that they fit me, the debate began.  The “What now!?” debate. Should I buy them?

I’m always much more relieved when things actually don’t fit so I don’t have to go through the list of scenarios that might arise if I do buy something vs. if I don’t buy something.  I walk tall out of the changing room because I’ve escaped (or won?) the battle once again.  But not tonight.

Tonight started up the “Will I regret this later?” thing.  The “What’s the return policy?” thing and the “Can I  justify this purchase to my husband?” thing. ( There are these questions among others….I’m the person occupying a changing room concerningly motionless for at least 30 minutes, lost in debate, before facing the world again.)

So, shortly before closing tonight at an Old Navy store in Midwest USA it dawned on me…the acceptance between me and me.  The understanding is this: I have no idea what size I will be by next summer, and more importantly than even that… I have no idea who I will BE by next summer.

I stood there looking at these shorts…shorts that I would wear today.  I looked at my hair…the color, style, length so suburbanish.  I looked at my body…a body that’s begged to be covered in far more tattoos.  I looked inside me…changing.  But changing into what…into WHO?!

I was standing there in the changing room actually changing before my eyes!

I realized my need to live and be present in the moment, and maybe it’s something that I’m acquiring now that won’t change about me later.  Maybe it’s the beginning of becoming who I am…who I am meant to be!

My size has changed in the last quarter of a year so that a lot of my clothes don’t fit me anymore.  I’ve always been a jeans and t-shirt sort of girl, but now that I’m faced with needing to pick a few things up I’m finding myself drawn to wanting a more definitive style.  A style that says…”This is ME.”  Recognizable.   One with personality.

And I’ve thought, “Wow, this would be a lot easier if I knew who I was.”  I could go into a store and know what to look for.  I would know my style and go right to it.  I could streamline things and do a way less psychotic seeming mix and match.    Then I think about being 32 and still figuring out this stage most teenagers are in.  I think about being the mother of a teenager myself, now, and I get really freaked out about the state I’m in.

I’m 32 going on 13!

(My teenage daughter is 14.  She’s already ahead of me.)

 

So…I didn’t buy the shorts tonight.  It’s only the beginning of Fall.  Winter is still to come and next summer is a long way off.  (Anyway, didn’t I write a post a while back about my irritation about the 2013 calendars being for sale already?)  I said, “Nice knowing ya,” and gave them back to the woman putting away  clothing people had tried on that didn’t fit…

Sometimes things fit and you’re not sure if you want them to fit…in a life way.

Sometimes you get to choose what you’re going to wear like you get to chose who to be.

I’m in a state of evaluating and making decisions.

The cool thing about this  life is that, at least to some degree, it can be changed. It’s an evolving creation.  A malleable gift.

It feels like this process of finding myself is a gift that got inadvertently pushed under the Christmas tree skirt only to be discovered once the festivities have passed. I feel like I am unwrapping (and being unwrapped) and shaping (and being shaped) all at the same time.  And some kid (me), after thinking she was forgotten and left-out, is finding the experience of life redeemed.

I know this song is about other things, but now it keeps popping in my head now…