Magic Lives

November 6th, 2016

You know those days that just remind you how good it is to be alive? Today was one for me. I started the morning energized and early (despite an anxious night’s sleep), met up with an old friend at one of my favorite spots for brunch, experienced serendipitous connections walking around the city, and finally accomplished a days work with smooth sailing. Not only that, but my husband brought me my favorite pesto salmon and a little massage over my break. Days like today are like the proverbial rainbows after the storm. 

A few days ago, I also experienced an incredibly healing conversation with my mom. It wasn’t a long hoopla of apologies and emotion. It was a simple, “this is why I didn’t tell you what I needed…I’m sorry” with reciprocated compassion. It was likely the most mature conversation I’ve ever had with her. Basically, she and I have had a volatile relationship most of my life. I would like to say that its because she’s fantastic at holding a grudge- but the truth is that I have had a tendency to harvest my hurt by denying my offense and holding the stick to her when she gets crazy. But for some reason, I feel like those days are over for us. Maybe we’ve both just gotten old enough to realize life is too short to nurture bitterness. Whatever this place is, I’m happy to know we’ve discovered it.

Over all, this fall season, like most magical autumns, is bringing on the magic. I’m feeling a flow of life that presents challenge, growth, and even if just an illusion, some sort of consistency. The struggles are real, but somehow, that Bible verse about suffering producing character is possibly proving to be truer than I assumed.

Furthermore, after giving some thought to why I began this blog, I’m finding that it truly is my journey into fearless living. I’m surrounded by so much goodness that it’s difficult not to feel beautiful gratitude for this place and time- without the insistent criticism I’ve used to beat myself into conformity. Even if it’s just for today, life is good and magic thrives on. 

Here’s a little bit by Alan Watts that I think pairs well with this day-

“The mystical experience is nothing other than becoming aware of your true physical relationship to the universe, and you are amazed, thunderstruck by the feeling that underneath everything that goes on in this world, the fundamental thing is the state of unbelievable bliss.”

Alan Watts

Breaking Free

November 5th, 2016

What a shit-storm of two weeks I’ve just survived! The main thing I’ve gained from the mess? I’m a fucking beast. While my natural tendency goes to self-deprecation and self criticism, I have to say that the fire has proven to reveal a bitch who can persevere through the worst.

Perseverance for me has always been touchy. Being the fairy that I am, when shit gets tough, I usually strap on my running shoes and bolt. But after recognizing how much I’m capable of, it’s suffice to say that I’ve grown a bit. Facing the reality of my complicated marriage and difficult work life, I’m settling into removing the unnecessary pressure I’ve placed on myself for too many friggin years. Yes, I may be pushing thirty, feel that peculiar maternal clock ticking, and feel that I’ve accomplished very few things that I’d hoped to by this time- but I realized that my time line is my own. I do not have to subject myself to society’s stupid fucking expectations of what a woman pushing 30 should do (in the words of my mother. Thanks, mom.)

There were a few things that I needed to take action toward this week to implement this newfound awakening. First of all, I had to let go of a toxic, four year friendship. Second, I had to own my skills and confront my supervisors on what I believed to be shitty business decision. And third, I stopped trying to force myself into feeling or doing things in my marriage simply for the sake of keeping things “good”. Basically, after a week of hell, I realized that people pleasing was causing the biggest distress in my life and I, alone, was responsible for changing things.

While the world has all its rules and expectations about how people should live their lives, it’s truly the rebels that live outside of the box and do meaningful things. It’s the rebels that challenge the systems and confines of traditional thinking that make impact on the worlds they leave behind.

It occurred to me that if I want to live a life that matters, I absolutely cannot use the measuring stick of modern American life against my own; for example, being a consumer of a life I can’t truly afford is a sticky web I want to avoid at all costs. Living without a car is inconvenient at times, but it also means living without a car payment, insurance, gas, and parking expense. Sharing a run-down studio apartment with my husband is a bitch at times- but we also pay nearly half of what our friends with the same income do. These are all simple examples of rebellion that dwell on lifestyle, but then, most of my concerns about the future and identity have been connected to performance and some illusive ideal of status.

If I am ever to live the life I imagine; enjoying the pleasure of running my own business, building incredible wealth so I have to option to retire at 50 if I’s like, and living out intimate relationships built on vulnerability and brave trusting, I must first embrace the journey and learn to challenge what needs to be confronted. That is what your twenties are for, right? Learning what the fuck you want, what you can and cannot control, and facing the fears that threaten to suffocate your dreams to death….oh, and taking action toward what you learn. Otherwise, what you learn doesn’t mean shit. So here I am! Do you see me? I’m a fearless bitch and I will leave my imprint on this planet. Or maybe I’ll just leave a few imprints on the lives in my world. I’m ok with either. As long as I live free from the confines of a plastic reality.

Sparking Fire

October 25th, 2016

Yesterday, I decided to try and spark the romance between my husband and I. Dirty and sweet text messages…attempting to build some anticipation. Though sex-ting inst my hub’s strongest talent, I spent the day looking forward to some naked play time when I arrived home from work. Instead, I was welcomed by sweet catering; my favorite mixed drink (vodka and sparkling grapefruit) and a sensual massage. By the time we got to the kissing, I really wasn’t into it. He was just kissing me. There was no caressing my body or feeling me up. Just… kissing…

I felt terrible telling him but it was that or try to force sex. When I expressed that I wasn’t really feeling it, he told me “it’s all in your head. You’re only dwelling on an expectation.” He was right. I expected him to ravish me. I expected to feel desired; things I knew he wanted me to feel but I simply didnt.

This morning, my husband snuck out without giving me a kiss goodbye; usually his sign that he was upset and wouldn’t talk to me for most of the day. As I began to process the wrestling of wanting to reach out and apologize for the night before or let him be, I decided to journal and realized that it wasn’t just the attraction issue I was up against. It’s been in large part due to the response given to my pleas for what I desire. Lord knows that I’ve coached him openly about what I like and what I don’t. The problem, I think, is that he needs affirmation- he desires me to pursue him when I’m desperate for him to pursue me.

One of the other issues I believe we’re facing is do to our past experiences. B was a virgin when we got married and I’m the only one he’s been with. While in the past he’s expressed that this isn’t an issue for him, my having such a rich experience with past lovers (ya…I got around a bit), but the truth came out in our last conversation. As I was sincerely explaining the hurt I was feeling about the state of where we are, I began saying “I love you so much and cherish what we have…” he interrupted me to say “No. You cherish the experienced you’ve had with other men.” That didn’t go over well. I followed that statement with a conclusion that we either start seeing a counselor or pursue separation. He concluded we seek counseling. 

This coming weekend, we have a little romantic trip planned over the course of our friend’s wedding. We are heading up to an incredibly romantic resort, and hopefully doing more than just sleeping; and by that I mean enjoying the resort and maybe…just maybe, some steamy action. We haven’t had sex in a few days and I truly have no desire to, but maybe a change in the monotony of life will spark some romance. Here’s hoping!

Letting Go

October 23rd, 2016 

Last night, I talked with the mysterious man. Today, I told my husband that my hope for our future was disseminating. Throughout the day, I longed to process all that I’ve learned and now- I lack the words to explain.

Without sounding like a drunken poet, I can simply say I’ve never felt more perplexed. As a single person without ambition to create a stable life, typically, I would pack my bags and move back East for the next new adventure. But if I’m honest, even if I were single, my days of chasing the possibility of thrilling romance ignites a sense of exhaustion. Even so, I deeply the East Coast; my family, the turning of seasons, and the familiarity of a place I once called home feel like a nostalgic dream. But to start over again, abandoning my promises and commitments here, feels like an overwhelmingly difficult poor life choice.

The biggest fear of moving forward in my marriage is the sense of never experiencing the passion I greatly long for. The fear of bailing out, however, is letting go of what I hope to be possible- a passion that could possible develop over time. Thus, I’m left with heartache in knowing I must let go of something.

In my conversation with the mystery man (we’ll call him M), I realized a definite mirrored reality; what attracted me to my husband is possibly the same thing that attracts M to me. In my husband, I found the idea of settling down, possibly becoming a more sable person, was the natural transition for my adventurous soul.  This is what M is attracted to in me. That’s the void I would fill for him. That’s the void B has filled for me.

In the two years I’ve been with my husband, I’ve experienced security; something entirely foreign and obviously uncomfortable. And there is a joy that comes from being a stable person- someone another can trust. Yet I question if this is the person I want to be- furthermore, I question if I’m cut out for a life committed to building legacy over living each day like it’s my last.

Nauseated by the perplexity of my emotional state, I leave this entry with a knowing that I’m capable to live whichever life I choose. Both paths propose difficulty and sacrifice, as they each posses the potential to be extraordinary. Now it’s time to choose. What will I let go of?

Unfiltered Belonging

October 19th, 2016

It’s 4am, and while this hour is considered to be magical by many poets, I would have sincerely preferred a longer night’s sleep. But in this hour, I sense a deeper clarity to why I so deeply fancy this feeling of “love.”.

If you belong to my mother’s side of the family, you regard the way I, quote “turned out” as nothing short of a miracle. While my mother would describe her fault, as my grandfather did, as “spoiling,” anyone on the outside would consider my mother’s style of parenting to be considerably reckless. Though I deeply cherish the current relationship I have with my mom and the healing we’ve experienced in the near decade of living apart, there’s no denying the emotional abuse of our early years together.

Details sparred, the essential elements of my childhood can be summarized by overexposure to the lives of free-spirited parents, filled with heartache and regret, displacing hurts into addiction and escapism. In my short life, I’ve come to understand that regardless of how troubled my parents behaved, while certainly damaging to my psyche, in no way negated the love they had for me or the efforts they made to find healing.

Fortunately, my struggles in life are much different. While I never got into drugs, seem to be free of psychoses, and never came to develop a palate for alcohol, it appears my greatest battle rests on defining a healthy sense of belonging and love.

Interesting enough, what seems to be thriving most in this season of life are friendships, career, creativity, and self awareness. While sneaky skeletons seem to arise every now and again, I’m learning to process each as they come, much like the one I’m tending to this morning.

Thinking back on the ghosts-romance-past, there’s a pretty clear pattern of co-dependancy; each boyfriend cast into the leading role of what ever I felt was “missing” in life. If I needed to escape from monotony,  I expected the boy to deliver the fun. If I needed someone to obsess over me, I sought the hopeless romantic to bring on the gushy-mush. But before the slew of two-week-trial boy toys, there was a guy who loved me in a time that I couldn’t have needed love more. We’ll call him J.

When I was fifteen, my mother and I had our final fall out. She was having a mid-life crisis and I was desperate for anything self-destructive. After trying to take my own life, our season of living together became unbearable for my mother to handle much longer. My suicide attempt was the last straw for her. So I went away to live with family friends while my father prepared for me. That’s when I met J.

We were magnetic; simply drawn to one another for what the other needed. Of course, we had a blast together and loved all the same things. Though I wouldn’t consider him my first love, he was certainly my first boyfriend; kind, chivalrous, exciting, and handsome. At 15 and 17, it’s hard to call this anything more than hormones, but for what it was, it kept me from despair.

His love for me provided hope for a brighter future. After having been rejected from my mother and my family (they decided against “helping my mother raise me,” in their words), and the feeling of belonging to another saved me from total darkness. And perhaps that is the feeling, the one that kept me alive in the midst of hopelessness, is the one I feel missing in my marriage. While my current reality is hardly hopeless, the monotany of daily routine and lack of passion reflects the hopelessness I felt in that time; a possible future filled with further rejection.

There’s enough scientific evidence to tell us that feeling those kinds of emotions in a state of such extreme vulnerability can dramatically impact one’s ideology of human connectedness. This realization is most certainly not the entire issue behind my marriage battle, but I think it’s helpful to recognize.

As the sun begins to rise, I’m determined appreciate the newness of this day, to hold gratitude toward myself for having come this far, and to delight in being a person who is capable of healing from the past instead of repeating it.

All I Really Want

October 17th, 2016

As I reflected today on the frustration I feel toward my marriage, it struck me as odd that I haven’t quite defined what it is I want, or reflect on what it is I currently have.

This struggle of being in-love verses loving is nothing new to the world or relationships, but navigating this myself is nothing short of a maddening process. The “thing” I sense missing from my marriage is that flame and passion, but the greatest frustration exists in the unknown of moving forward. While there is hope of making my marriage last, I’m also realizing that the unnecessary pressure I placed on getting married by a certain time is what got in into this mess, but trying to adhere to “non-pressure” is just as much pressure as trying to move forward. Moving forward means making plans, and making plans is committing to an obscure future reality- one that I’m not entirely sure will happen.

My husband fears abandonment. I see it in his eyes and feel it in his reflections of love for me. But as he draws closer, I push away. I could always imagine myself growing old with my husband, but Im struggling deeply to be young with him.

The biggest difference between he and I has always been how we socialize. B is a thinker; an introvert. He prefers to be one-on-one in meaningful conversation and that is how we’ve always connected. We are both dreamers, slightly cynical, and seekers of truth in all things. We both love coffee, watching the stars, spontaneity, and traveling to new places. But when it comes to fun- we have different ideas. Along with nutrition, exercise, connecting with new people, entertainment, crowds, morally gray, and living beyond our comfort zones, we are very different. We are great partners in many ways. I admire and respect this man very much. I just love him more like a brother than I do a lover.

He is deeply in love with me from what he knows. I’m his first…everything. I sometimes think that if he knew the love of someone who felt as he does for me, he would be better off. The idea of starting a family is beaconing. We’ve talked about the prospect of children and raising a family, and it would be a gift to parent together- if only I felt as he does for me.

So what do I want? I simply wish I felt passion toward him. Communication is not the problem. Respect is not the problem. He’s done nothing wrong- yet I feel I’m punishing him everyday with my desire to want something more. And what can I do?

It’s not that I’ve lost a feeling that I once had for him. I married him with an assumption that love would grow- and it has. Just not in the way I expected. So do I simply stay the course and keep praying that my attention to all that is good can compensate for what I truly desire? Can the passion I seek arise from a will to focus on all that is good? How many more years do we spend trying to create passion?

What if that I desire I seek only exists in a temporal state? What if this feeling I seek is one that only exists in the newness of relationships- in the small spurts of “falling-in-love” but never staying in love.

There was one man, that I loved and still love to this day. He was rather ordinary- but he was all I wanted. There was passion, romance, kindness, faith, fun, and foolishness- and I loved him deeply. It ended because we were both unfaithful. Coincidentally enough, this is also the story of my mother and father. It was only a few months before dating B that I was still involve with him- almost 5 years later. He ended things with me and after he did, I believed I would never love again.

Now that I think about it, meeting the recent spark was much being with my first love.  His sense of adventure and love of life shone brightly in his person. Perhaps the excitement of being in his presence was a simple reflection of past love. Or more frightfully, a reflection of what I most desire in a partner.

Proust may have said it best; “the one who is happy and the in love are not the same person.” I am happy. I am conflicted. And most certainly, troubled by the thought of being simultaneously happy and in love. But can this exist in a marriage? I’m determined to know. 

Super Moon

October 16th, 2016

Tonight is a Super Moon. And though I’m one to find the reading of stars a bit obscure, from what I understand, this event validates my suspicion of an extra special October.

Beneath this super moon, I sit on my tiny lani (patio), the air just brisk enough to make my cup of tea comforting- I’m reflecting on the goodness of God. Especially after a morning of brutal nightmares that woke me after a measly five hours of sleep.

I’ll forsake the details of such an awful night, but it pays to mention the irony of learning Proust’s recounts of insomnia and yet another gift of suffering. Though his insomnia, he mentions the deep appreciation he came to find in a decent night’s sleep. Today, I’m eternally grateful that I no longer endure nights like this on a regular basis, as I once did before coming to into the Lord’s awesome power.

In today’s message on Philippians 2, the theme of suffering in cheerfulness was a prominent idea. The apostle Paul, who like Proust was no stranger to affliction, encourages the people of Philippi with the reminder that God gives us the strength to endure whatever we might experience, and even brings joy to our hearts as we trust in Him under any and every circumstance.

Though this season of life has proved to be a time of testing many of my beliefs and trust in God, there is certainly no lack of harvesting within my character. As I conversed with co-workers today on our personal faith battles, the theme that arose was the kindness of a God who protects us from darkness no matter the darkness for which we subject ourselves to.

Lacking the words to elaborate any further, it’s suffice to say that today stood as a reminder of a Love that pursued my heart with extraordinary ferocity despite the messiness of my life. As He called me to Himself with the reverberating words, “My grace is sufficient for you” in the midst of my darkest days, I conclude this day knowing that what makes this day even more special than a super moon, is the super love of the God to Whom I belong.