there is sunshine.

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As Anthony Bourdain would say, there’s a metaphor in here somewhere. It’s fluttering around my head, teasing me. But it’s late, I just faced a long-avoided fear of mine, and I’m shooting a wedding tomorrow. I’m much too tired to reach.

What I need to say is, I feel like I’m finally, at long last, beginning to find my voice. After years of working through co-dependent tendencies of living for and through other people, breaking down walls of fear and slowly starting to shovel the heaps of low self-worth out of me, it feels like it’s finally happening.

I think, on most days at least, I’ve managed to be what I am, and love that thing. It sort of feels like I’m asking for trouble, but I just want to acknowledge that right now, I’m happier and more satisfied with my life than I have been at any other point.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to be bad at things. That if I’m interested in something, or completely green with envy of the people who can do that thing, I should be doing that thing as well. And that I need to pursue it relentlessly, push through all of the looking stupid to get to the good stuff. Because it’s there, eventually. After a lot of tears and uncomfortable situations. And that it’s okay – no – necessary to cut out of your life what isn’t working anymore, because it makes room for better things. New, more edifying ways to pass the time. New friends who make me feel like the most worthwhile person, who are the most worthwhile people with so much to teach me.

I’m just happy. I see so much beauty every single day. I’m creating, and there is sunshine, and I like my life.

how are you ever

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We go to California. Sunshine and perfect temperatures and swimming pools and the sea. We come home. Oh, home. I am in love forever with home. We spend a few nights watching my nieces. I don’t understand how people do this, parenting. I can’t sleep wondering if the doors are locked, if a child-stealer has broken in to take them. As usual, I allow imaginary events of horror to take over me completely. I picture my family’s faces after learning their daughters and nieces are missing. I think that it wouldn’t matter what they said, I know they would never be able to forgive me.

Do I tell myself that this is a dramatized, ridiculous, and most importantly, completely untrue series of events that aren’t worth losing sleep over? Well, I try. But this is my mind we’re talking about. It doesn’t listen to reason.

I’m exhausted. These kids sleep better than most, but anyone under the age of 12 tends to have a way of sucking all of the energy out of me. I don’t know what to do or how to act around kids. I understand how mothers are always saying they feel like a failure. It kind of seems like a losing game, raising humans. You have to let go of your ego, surrender to the sticky, loud, messy situations that inevitably come.

My mother helps in the baby sitting, thank heaven. Somewhere in there, she looks at my crumpled frame on the floor, asks, “Oh Meghan, how are you ever going to have a baby?” And I laugh. Because I know she doesn’t mean it in a rude way, and because it isn’t as if I don’t ask myself this exact question most every day. As if this isn’t the entire reason I’ve lived my childless life the way I have in the first place.

Though, this did bring me to realize: people do seem to like to talk that way about me. “I just don’t know how she’ll ever graduate if she keeps ditching classes like that. I don’t see how she’s going to hold a job if she keeps sleeping in like that. I don’t see how she’ll keep her figure eating like that. I don’t see how she’ll do things the way she should if she goes on doing them like that.

And it’s true. I agree. They don’t see. They never do. Because what people mean by “the way she should” is “the way I would (or already did).” But those things are not the same. I’m not going to do things the same way as anyone else, I’m going to do them however I see fit.

People never seem to stop expecting you to be exactly like them, even if nobody ever has been throughout all of the generations of time. Even if that was never the point in the first place.

I can’t find what I am. All I can see is how I fail to be others. And if all you can see is how you fail to be others, how can you ever be what you are?

little self

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Childhood should be safe and warm, filled with light and love and all things nurturing.  But it rarely ever is — at least not entirely. Because grown-ups aren’t perfect. And neither is a child’s perspective.

There are things that happen to us, when we’re young. Things unfair and unjust – from the smallest incident to the biggest abuse. They happen, and oftentimes we find ourselves, many years later, still tangled up in its grasp. Because at the time, we didn’t get the chance to fully comprehend the situation. Because, at the time, we couldn’t make sense of it, were powerless to escape it. We were only children. What could we do? Other than feel forgotten, stuck, sorrowful, angry, resentful — and continue on with life.

Only, sometimes, I think we’re not sure how to properly do this after such events take place. How to properly deal with this anger, this hurt. And so we stow it away, far down, deep below. As deep down within us as we can find, into the smallest cupboard in the darkest corner of our own heart. And we try to forget. But this thing, this harbored injustice, it is alive and breathing, like a great sleeping dragon. And, eventually, sleeping things stir.

And when they stir, resistance is futile. Like a screaming baby in a crib, it needs to be cared for. It needs to be acknowledged, validated, seen, understood. Don’t you see? You cannot grow by shoving parts of you back into the ground. Even the darkest and ugliest of them. Without them, you become something untrue. Instead, you must stare them in the face. You must say, “I see you. I know you. What happened to you? It wasn’t fair. And maybe it wasn’t the worst possible thing in comparison to others, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt. That doesn’t disappear your own scars. And so, I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry that you felt left, afraid, and broken.

“But when you were alone, you learned about yourself. You learned to feel in that great, big way that you always have. You learned to think your own thoughts, to make your own decisions. You learned that there is value in peace, quiet, and stillness. You learned that there are invisible helping hands, always there to hold you up. You learned that there is a great deal more to entertain yourself with in your own head than anyone had previously lead you to believe. You learned about the things you could create from them.

And, when it comes down to it, Little Self, what would we trade that for?

Solstice

Would you dance for me through those last, shaking breaths of sacred daylight? Would you let me show you the beauty you emit so distinct and free? Would you chase me through the centuries, give a tap on the shoulder, haunt my dreams? Would you dance for me through these last gasping breaths of golden euphoria?

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