My sister has a PhD in Geology. She also got married last weekend. Let’s just say she’s the younger, smarter, more successful daughter😉 I love my sister, but we are exact opposites. She’s tall, blonde, gay and a scientist. I’m short, brunette, straight and an artist. She’s analytical, I’m intuitive. She trusts facts, I trust feelings. Even on the Astrological wheel we are opposites (Pisces/Virgo)..
Speaking of Astrology, I guess I should finally out myself as a believer and a student. I respect it as an ancient study, and it’s as close to organized religion as I am willing to get. I know how lame that sounds… “believer” is someone who joins cults and watches televangelism. Astrology gets a bad rap: it’s up for public mockery in our society. Psychics, mystics, gypsies, fortune tellers, mediums (remember Miss Cleo?) are often touted as crazies, sensationalists, and even worse: money-hungry frauds who prey on the vulnerable and ignorant. The sun-sign columns you read in newspapers and pop culture magazines are toilet fodder, time killers, titular pieces of entertainment, nothing to be taken seriously.
So why? I am college-educated. I know money doesn’t grow on trees. I’ve worked hard for what I have, and I pride myself on being smart, resourceful and self-sacrificing above all my other attributes. The planets don’t pay the bills, I DO.
Yet.. I’ve always had an innate sense of just how small I am; how minute a human being is in the scope of the universe. I know there are things beyond my control. I’ve witnessed instances of the inexplicable. I’ve been the recipient of incredibly good luck.
There are things that have not yet been explained by science, and some, like the gravitational pull of planets, suns and moons.. that have. Just like the tides, there are things that effect humans on a molecular level.. dare I say it, energetic level.
My sister and I were visiting our Aunt in Sedona, AZ this weekend. If you haven’t been there, it’s a hot spot for psychics, astrologers; anyone who is into “New Age” living. The reason? Supposedly the red rock formations that encircle the valley are home to Vortexes of Energy. According to local believers, you can see evidence of the energy in the warped growth of nearby juniper trees. I’m pretty sure any biologist will disagree with this theory, citing a number of scientific reasons for the shape of the trees. But I think there is something to the “energies” of the vortexes.
My friend is going through a break-up. It’s been devastating for her, magnified x1000 because she also suffers from anxiety and depression. It’s bad enough feeling severed from something even in the best of circumstances, so yeah..I feel terrible for her.
My last break-up was with my babydaddy, and it was so traumatic that I refused to be in a relationship for 8 years after. I spent a great deal of time in mourning, but eventually became a cheerleader for the single life. As hard as it was to be a single mom, it was easier than the alternative: trusting someone. I soon realized I was the in the minority. Most people prefer being partnered. I didn’t. I understand now that it was probably due to the circumstances that surrounded the end of my relationship (raising a daughter alone, watching her father get married and have a baby with a new woman..etc). I had bad taste in my mouth about relationships for a LONG time. It also didn’t help that I witnessed many of my friends cheating on their girlfriends/boyfriends, and watched my own parents’ marriage dissolve into a baffling series of events (more on that later).
I generally regarded articles like this with a degree of scorn and superiority. The following statement just didn’t apply to me:
Someone with a partner would have a person to lean on during this time.
I mean.. when I was single I’d lean on my friends, and that was enough for me..99% of the time. They gave me enough support, love, acceptance and strength so I could get through my daily life. Sure, I had moments where I’d feel alone, scared, hopeless and miserable. But those moments weren’t unmanageable. I realize now that I was lucky as HELL. For some people, it’s not just about moments that pass.. It’s about EVERY DAY being made up of thousands of moments of pain and sadness.
Now that I’m coupled, I understand the luxury of having someone to lean on. My friends were amazing, but they didn’t offer the 24/7 access to comfort the way my boyfriend does. When I’m scared in the middle of the night, he’s there. He also makes it easier to deal with many things, like mentally checking in when he sees me going down a Cortisol-induced spiral. It’s incredible having someone to put a dampener on your inner voice, the one that tells you “OMG THIS IS THE END OF THE WORLD!!!”. When you’re single, you don’t have that. It’s just you on the front lines of your own mind.
But life’s not a suffering competition . Nobody’s pain is more or less valid than someone else’s. We all have feelings, and we shouldn’t try to legitimatize of someone’s pain based on what we think they’ve been through. Unfortunately, I did a lot of comparing when I was single. It was my coping mechanism. It helped me get through the struggles and sadness I felt.
Confession: It gave me comfort knowing another person might have failed, or fallen apart when I succeeded. It was a selfish, prideful, self-promoting feeling, but I indulged in it, because I was alone. Because my friends were coupled, and I didn’t have someone to learn on.
Well guess what? I’m not a rock, not a f***ing superhuman, and I’ve failed just as many times as I’ve succeeded. Being in a relationship forced me to confront my false perceptions and vulnerabilities. Being single let me build a bubble around them. My bubble needed to be popped..
But more on that later..
So I’ve been trying to write again.. good lord a YEAR between posts, really? SHAME ! (GoT reference there) I must have a life or something outside this blog. Actually a life that in the past 18 months included: moving to a new state, new house, new job, in with a (relatively) new boyfriend, getting my kid started at a new school… you know…basically starting a new life (no big).
Oh and my kid is TEN now. When I started blogging, she was less than a year old.
Here’s some perspective:
BLOWS MY GD MIND..
I started this blog in 2007 because I had recently become a single mom, was struggling to find a place to live, and was generally overwhelmed with how I was going to handle parenting alone.
Is it cavalier for me to say that parenting was the easy part?
Yeah.. it’s relationships that are hard…
OK so parenting is hard too. But after being single for 8+ years, I was comfortable with it. I had gotten into a groove where I was competent at handling my job, child, LIFE .. etc on my own. In fact, I was good at it. By the time LB was 5, I had a decent paying job, nice apartment, excellent schools for her, and my cooking had been upgraded from cans and boxes to mostly fresh food.
Yeah, it was hard work, and there were times when I was lonely, but I eventually I began to really enjoy my life as a single mom. I also think I was very lucky, obviously being the recipient of white privilege. I managed to make a chunk of money on donating my DNA, which has floated me through emergencies and drama, and I’ve been awarded a good amount of free time while my daughter spends summers with her dad (Roofie and I are on civil terms now).
But best part of it was.. I called all the shots in my life. I made all the decisions, the choices.. AND I took all the credit. I was the hero of my own story.
And that is a glorious feeling.
But now I’m in a serious relationship…..and it’s hard. But more on that later friends😉
Guess what? Yes, I know, I actually blogged, but more importantly….. It’s that time of year again in the southwest!
I could feel the slow Capsaicin burn creeping up my fingers, making me smile at the pain that would linger on my skin for hours. This is gonna be a hot batch, I thought to myself with glee. Funny how a plant probably developed this chemical in order to keep humans AWAY from it, and yet we “put that sh*t on everything.”
Ahhhh the therapeutic ritual of prepping chile:
Peeling off the blackened, fire roasted layer of skin.
Stripping the seeds off the slimy vegetable flesh; reminds me of octopus tentacles.
Pulling out the pulpy green innards…
Straight up GUTTING, Yo.
I LoOOVEEEEEEEEE chile season.❤
Yesterday was all doom and gloom. So here’s some enlightenment from Skeletor himself. Smile errrbody. Today will be grand!
My mom has been writing me letters. Real letters, not email. When she wants pics of her grandchild, or make sure I’m still alive, she will call or text. Sometimes we Skype with the kid. She decided she wanted to write letters because she felt disconnected to me. She doesn’t like the distance between us. I think my moving 400 miles away was an emotional slap in the face to her. She thinks it was physical evidence of my desire to escape her.
Anyway, over Christmas she felt I was being cold to her. I’ve never had that mother/daughter relationship where we did each others nails and told secrets to each other while brushing our hair. The more trouble I got into, the more I tried to keep her away from my problems. Eventually I had no choice but to let her help me, and since then I’ve had a hard time getting over the guilt from that.
I like to blame Astrology, so this all can be tied back to Saturn Returns. When you are 29-30 you are forced to deal with your “mommy issues” and my mother sending me a big box of stationery seems to be its materialization in my life.
A lot of things came out during our exchange, most of it painful. She’s worried about me being alone. She thinks her relationship with my dad has set me up for a life of failure when it comes to men. I don’t think she can blame herself for my screw-ups, but I was kind of scared she was right in one respect: That I was doomed.