Monday, March 28, 2016

My Journey To My New Normal - You Coming?

So anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I do my best to follow the simple instructions of that post-it at the top of this post. And that is why it's especially vexing to live in our Facebook fairytale world these days.

Take this past Sunday for instance.

Easter Sunday.

Resurrection Sunday.

Christians and even many non-Christians kept a string of happy pastel colored photos in my stream all day. No ill feelings for that. I am one of those folks is happy when people I love are happy. But I'm also one of those folks who feel sad and feel deeply when my people are sad. But it's a fine line these days for the extended tribe. Of course those who are close to me are intimately aware of what's happening. In my desire to live authentically, I don't struggle with sharing my current state of affairs openly and regularly. But in our social media highlights versus day-to-day living, it is tough to keep it real.

How do you express sadness without evoking pity in our Facebook era?

How do you keep it real about where you are without bumming everyone out?

Well right along with all those other things that Sunday was to masses, it had been a very special day to me in the past. Sunday March 27 marked what would have been the 15 anniversary of my marriage that crumbled under the weight of depression that swallowed up my partner of 15 years late last year.


I am not hiding or hesitating to state that every chance I get.

I am sad.

I am mourning as are my two kids.

It's natural and normal to feel this way but it's whole 'nother thing to post about it. But I'm hoping to change that. There is dignity in opening mourning your losses. People learn how to love you when allow yourself to be broken before them. And we are broken.

But like the hope that is in the hearts of those who actually celebrate Easter and Resurrection - we all know that there can be no Sunday morning without a Friday afternoon. Trauma. Sadness. Death. All necessary to rise again. Well that space between the death and the resurrection is where we are living these days in my house. We are doing the best we can under the circumstances we have.

We could not get all dressed up take photos of our holiday happenings because it was all we could do to make our food and smile and be with each other this year. And when I finally looked at the calendar at the end of the day and saw that it was a day we used to celebrate with fervor, the sadness overcame me and I had to share it.

My relationship with reality is too solid to fake it for the masses. So we must endure these days and this pain to have our resurrection as a family in its new form. We are gonna talk about it and share it and hope that others will join us on our journey to our new normal.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Little Token, Big Value

The platinum band I bought myself Mother's Day 2000

Little token.

Big value.

16 years ago this coming Mother's Day when I was neither a wife, girlfriend, love interest and definitely not anyone's mother - I bought myself a platinum diamond ring.

I was a few months ahead of my self-imposed Spanish exile, planning and saving for my move to Spain set to commence that fall.

I remember vividly as I saw friends and family after that purchase some of the questions:

Who bought that for you?

Why are you wearing it on that finger?

What's up with that, Denise?

Wow, is there something you want to tell us?

I faced those questions with the same answer over and over.

I bought it for me.

Because I wanted it.

Because I'm worth it.

At that time, all my closest friends had married and were starting families. Most of my family had written me off as a career gal "who couldn't keep a man." And I'd started to doubt I'd ever find love.

I was 28 years old.

But then I saw that band. And it meant to world to me to gift it to myself. I had found love... me loving me. Me accepting me and where I was in life. I was about to embark on an adventure living in Europe - Spain to be exact if not then, when? Would I wait for a man to buy me a platinum diamond ring? With no prospects in sight - that seemed absurd. So I did it.

And almost 16 years later this ring does for me MORE than it did for me then. As I am transitioning from married woman to single woman, my finger was bare for a few months. It felt naked and weird after 15 years "belonging" in my marriage. Then I looked in my jewelry chest and pulled out this band.

I wear it today with much pride. I love me today WAY more than the me who bought this ring. I am even more confident of what I have to offer and who I am. And that purchase which at the time seemed bold and big - really speaks to me on my new journey of recalibration.

This little token has big value and is a reminder of the great woman I am even in the midst of great change.

My 28 year old self was wise enough to foreshadow what my 44 year old self needed.