I Don’t Know What They Wore

Today was the first day of school for my boys, they woke up at home with me and I whisked them off to their Dad’s at 6:30 am. I gave them kisses and hugs and told them I loved them. I told them I hoped they would have an amazing first day at school and I assured my littlest that if he played nicely, like he had all summer, the other kids would want to play with him too.

When I talked to them after work, they both sounded happy, excited to have seen their friends and gone to school. For two little boys who have been claiming they hate school all summer, that’s a win. My heart smiled when I could hear the joy in their voices, I want them to love learning, to thirst for knowledge and have the drive to accomplish their dreams.

But, today was the first day of school and I didn’t get to walk them to their classes, I didn’t get to hug them at their classroom door or pick them up and celebrate a successful, albeit short, first day.

In fact, I don’t even know what they wore. My Facebook account is a sea of smiling faces with adorable first day of school signs. I know what everybody else’s children wore to school today, but I don’t have a clue what my boys wore. And its making me cry.

As a working mom, I know that there will always be school events I can’t attend and that’s the only reality my boys know, I’ve always worked.

But as a divorced Mom, I never realized how much the little, seemingly insignificant, things could hurt. I knew that getting divorced and co-parenting would be a challenge, but I don’t think I could have ever been fully prepared for the emotions that bubble up in a moment, painting my face with tears.

I had trouble focusing all day at work and I couldn’t pinpoint why. When I sat down to write this evening, it wasn’t about parenting, but my stream of consciousness brought me here; pondering what it means to my soul, to co-parent my children.

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Letting Go

This is the third time I’ve moved in four years. For the first time, as I’m unpacking the boxes of stuff, I’m watching the piles for donation and garbage grow much faster than the keep pile. I always want to keep things, especially if they have memories and for me that includes clothes.

I remember the way she smiled, shy and eager, when she saw me in my white flowered dress; unexpectedly her shirt matched perfectly. I will always, without question, think of that moment when I see that dress or that shirt. Clothes have memories.

And so I have clothes, a lot of clothes, with a lot of memories. When I was packing, I purged a lot from ‘before’ that I just hadn’t worn and now I have another big pile ready for donation. It turns out there are very few things that I want to keep when the price is a constant reminder of the life I almost settled for.

My girlfriend told me, it was about letting go, and I think she’s right. My life is so full, there’s no space for old memories that bring me no joy.

But its not just the memories, its the expectations, including the ones I used to put on myself. I forgot, that feeling, of needing to be more, if I wanted to be lovable. That belief that with a little more effort on my side everything could be better for everyone. But better was never quite attainable.

Now, my life is better, in all the ways.

My boys will always have my heart, but there was a time when I struggled to enjoy them. The energy to mom, when you are broken on the inside can sometimes be difficult to attain. Now, I laugh, smile and play with my boys far more than I get frustrated.

My family watched me get lost, but they couldn’t change a thing. I wanted that life to work and just kept trying a little harder to be more. Now, I am found and there are all the smiles; my parents, my boys, my girl. My Family.

My heart was once so confused, so unaware and lost. Now, not only does my heart sing, sometimes its a duet.

My life IS better. So I’m letting go of before.

Dreams

I woke the other night and was overcome with the strangest feeling; I was scared and I was sad. I rarely remember my dreams and the details always allude me, but this time I awoke overwhelmed with feelings. In my dream, my girlfriend had kindly and sweetly walked out of my life leaving me wanting and alone.

I’m not afraid to be alone, to be strong, independent and fierce but after years of unknowingly searching for her, I woke curled into myself and overcome with sadness at the thought of losing her. Fortunately she was there with her warm embrace to envelope me with love and assurance, which was all I needed to drift back to sleep, but in the morning I hadn’t quite managed to shake those unwelcome feelings.

And I realized, for the first time in my life, I have a love that I’m scared to lose.

I know, that life is full of uncertainty, change and turmoil. I know that in a moment everything can change and that there will be moments, days and times where we don’t or can’t align and that’s just the nature of love, life and relationships. But I don’t want a partner who is willing to sacrifice who they are to keep the peace, because I’m not that girl anymore either.

I have a partner who challenges me to dream bigger and encourages my uniqueness, who respects me and wants me to grow more than she wants me to stay the same. I have a love that is rooted in acceptance and never asks me to apologize for being who I am.

And that is the type of love I think we all dream of, that is the type of love that you cannot create and you cannot will into existence. The type of love I have is so much more than good enough; together we have opened the door to a future full of adventure, laughter, love, light and happiness and although I never knew such an extraordinary experience was possible, now that I have it, nothing else will do.

by the Lake

my body sighs,
letting  go,
and drawing in,
tranquility.

soft earth beneath my feet
grounding me,
connecting me,
balance.

Ripples catch my eye,
growing,
spreading,
fading away.

My mind wanders,
but my heart remains true
always seeking,
home.

Terrible Girlfriend

I am a terrible girlfriend; not really, but I have my moments.

Yesterday after very long days for both of us, my girlfriend and I arrived at my house within minutes of each other. I had been out of town, driven 4.5 hours and was literally bursting with excitement to see her. We embraced, we kissed, we reveled in each others presence and began to let the weight of our days dissipate.

We fell into an easy rhythm as we chatted and eventually wiggled our way (not so gracefully) into the hammock where we could snuggle and reconnect. As we rubbed our faces against each other like cats, we began to find our balance and that familiar feeling of home.

As we swayed, she pointed at her lips and with a small smile told me that she’d lost her lip ring; I blushed, embarrassed that I’d been so wrapped up in my feelings and our shared energy that I  hadn’t seen something right in front of me.

Had I not looked at her in the half an hour we’d been together?

It seemed so obvious now that she had pointed it out. And her kisses did feel different, not better, not worse, just different. What kind of partner doesn’t notice a missing facial piercing? I apologized for being a terrible girlfriend, for not noticing something right before my eyes and as always, her response was perfect.

It’s OK baby, I know you see the inside me more than the outside me.

Then she smiled and she kissed me and I just knew that she understood. She is so much more to me than the body that houses her soul.

Friendship and Affirmation

My mom always told me that people come into your life when you need them, and sometimes they leave when the experiences you were meant to share have passed. She also told me that the friends worth keeping are the ones that can be absent for years, but when you connect, everything feels the same. She is a wise woman in this respect and I take her advice very seriously.

Lately I’ve been working on letting people go; people who feel I’m too much or perhaps aren’t supportive of the place where my journey is taking me. There have been tears, emotions and an utter lack of clarity, but through it all I have embraced my authentic self and stood proud. I’ve extended olive branches and I’ve tried to bring back friendships that were once strong, but everything is different now.

I AM different now, because I appreciate and honor all that I am.

I am a hard working woman who provides for her family and strives to raise boys that respect not only themselves, but those around them.

I am a responsible, independent woman who owns a house, tows her trailer and knows her way around a budget.

I am gay and completely, ridiculously, head over heels in love with the most amazing woman and I don’t care who knows it.

Anyone who doesn’t respect and honour all of that doesn’t deserve my energy or my time; I am a strong woman and I will never again change for someone else.

I recently had the opportunity to reconnect with a few old friends, people I haven’t seen (or stayed well connected with) in over 10 years and when I saw them, I could feel my heart flutter with happiness and joy.

THESE are MY PEOPLE.

And they love me (and I them), despite a distance of years, just the same as they did the last time I saw them. And the most beautifully affirming thing happened while in their presence, they told me (unprompted and not in the presence of each other) that my authenticity and sense of self was just as they remembered it.

They both said I had barely changed.

I know that’s not true but it re-affirms that I’m on the right path. I’m not creating a new version of myself, I’m rediscovering and redefining the girl that I used to be and the woman I was always meant to be.

I was lost for a long time, but now I’m found.