When there is no common consideration, there is not respect. When there is no respect, there is not love. The end.
When there is no common consideration, there is not respect. When there is no respect, there is not love. The end.
If you are in a slump, or are looking for a reason to smile, the best place to look is an area full of dandelions with children. There is something magical about dandelions – they are such bright, wondrously yellow beacons of hope, thriving regardless of the world around them. I have even seen a dandelion grow in the crack of a sidewalk. Or, perhaps even better, the ethereal white wisps of seeds, ready to be blown to freedom along a breeze (or blown forcefully and in an arc of spit from a toddler 😀 ).
My son knows how much I love flowers. In the past, when our backyard had a plethora of dandelions (and I was trying desperately to put my new bike together without the right sized allen wrench … oy!), I gave my son a basket and told him to go fill it with treasures from the yard. When he came back into the garage, the bottom of the basket had some blades of grass, there was a beautifully perfect pretend light saber (aka stick), and about six dandelions – bright as could be. I couldn’t help but stop and smile. The look on his face was priceless when he gave me the dandelions to “put inside on the table, just for you, Mommy!” Talk about melting my heart!
I’ve always loved them, so I thought nothing of it, but pure joy and elation.
Then I thought about how so many people would begrudgingly take the weeds and throw them out behind his back. Not me. Not here, in the place where I am thriving through my darkness. I am almost upset that anyone calls them weeds to begin with … I’m sure they could take over the lush, green lawns we all seem to desire, but they’re happy. How can you not smile when you see one? And why do we, as adults, forget the magic of a simple smile? No, I don’t care that so many people think that dandelions are worthless. Why do we have to measure every treasure we get against some societal rule about whether it’s good enough or not?
Frankly, I am tired of being measured by those rules, too. You don’t get to tell me I’m worthless anymore. (I do that enough myself sometimes, to be honest.) We do the same things to each other – we see who is worthless and who isn’t. We make determinations on somebody, as a whole, instead of viewing the simple beauty of them. Maybe you don’t want dandelions in your life, which is absolutely okay, but that doesn’t mean your neighbor shouldn’t be able to enjoy them either. I refuse to allow someone to throw me away as a meaningly, worthless weed.
No, I will be as sickeningly bright and happy as a yellow dandelion, hopefully bringing a simple smile to your lips to help you get through the day ( … or bike construction).
You want to know the best part? …
When the wind blows, the seeds I sow are blown across the plane of my existence to give birth to more happy, yellow, and apparently annoyingly persistent, blooms of love and acceptance.
I am working on some lectures for my upcoming class, but I find myself sitting here and staring at the wall instead, caught in a mess. It’s hard to put words to all of the mess and have anyone understand every piece and how they all fit together to create a web of emotion, the messy web of love.
If there is one thing I have learned from my many years of watching Doctor Who, it is that things are not always a linear progression, most things are not at all. Yet, we still grow up thinking that you are a good kid, you are loved, you do well in school and are loved, you find the right spouse and the work of love starts, but you are still loved, your children will love you, your grandchildren will love you, etc. etc. Cause and effect. This, then that.
If time can be wibbly wobbly, timey whimey, then I am for certain that love can be wibbly wobbly too. It is not always a fairy tale … sometimes it looks more like the Young and the Restless. That doesn’t mean it’s any more or less love than the fairy tale. Sometimes you have faith and you are burned, sometimes you hang on and it’s your way to prove that your love is real. Sometimes, you have no other options because for whatever reason your soul is keeping you right where you are. Sometimes the heavens open up and angels sing and the love is an amazing gift that you cherish for fifty plus years. Sometimes, you learn that a loved one is battling something that even they do not understand; making compassion not only necessary, but essential. All of our love relationships – family, friends, lovers – are not going to be like the fairy tale, like the TV family shows, or even like a soap opera. That doesn’t mean it’s all useless.
Roll up your sleeves ladies and gentlemen, love is just plain messy.
When you’re climbing out of your rabbit hole, sometimes you hit stumbling blocks. Like big, massive tree roots shooting out of the earth that you can’t see around. No one is there to help you and if you want out of that hole, you have to figure it out. Sometimes, when you’re making progress, you need to have a setback – a major setback – so that you can figure out a way through it instead of avoiding it (again). That is the only way to get out of the hole …
Over the last 24 hours, I can tell you honestly that I am broken into pieces. That tree root came out of no where, knocked me backwards, and I’m pretty sure I have a concussion. I am still hanging on, mind you, but dammit. Dammit!
I have been living with a great deal of pain. I learned to live with it and have tried my hardest to grow from it. I have been one hell of a strong person for a very long time. I started to crack two years ago, then I had to glue me back together good enough, then another crack, glue, cracking, glue, then I was dropped, glued, and now it feels like I exploded. Picking up those pieces, it’s hard to tell what is an actual piece and what is the residual glue.
Something happened last night that set me on edge – someone who is or should be very close to me made a general comment about someone else’s hobby, how great it was, I should look into it, etc. Funny thing is, this person also knows what my hobbies are and I haven’t felt any support from them. They go on and on about their life and their struggles and where they want to go, but none of it has anything to do with me. And it never has. Why, then, have I spent so much energy building them up, helping them, being their support structure? It’s because I know I have to do it. It’s who I am, but sometimes I am tired of being the strong one. Sometimes, as shy as I can be, I would like some attention – someone to know I’m alive and well and actually have hobbies where I excel.
Enter today. I was working on some exercises where I had to conjure up my happiest memory from childhood. I was asked about this later in the day. When I tried on my own, I couldn’t think of one. When I was asked later, it took me 30 minutes to come up with something I could use. Instead of my reminiscing about that happy memory, it opened up a lot of memories that I had hidden and did not want to remember. I had to sit still and sift through it, feeling all of the pain again, one crack after another, until I was a sad, lost little girl who needed to be comforted.
As I continue in my growth, I realize more and more the importance of being kind to yourself and of being able to comfort yourself. Honestly, it irritates the hell out of me that I have to do this all alone, though I understand its importance. Along with the sad, little girl, though, is this angry woman … and I mean one hell of an angry woman … who cannot understand why that little girl was never comforted. She wants to stand up and yell and scream and call attention to these people who do not know how to empathize and comfort and support others. In fact, I am pretty sure the headache I currently have is that woman still screaming inside over it all. It makes me sick … quite literally.
For now, I will soothe myself, both the child me and the adult me, and continue to work my way up the rabbit hole. I think I have figured out a way around this tree root, though it will take a few days journey to fully put it behind me. The angry woman will still be upset that no one saw fit to help trim the root for me or that it’s as big as it is to begin with, but I will still climb on no matter what. I am strong. I am honestly tired of being strong and would love to take a rest while being held up by a loved one, but that is not in the cards today, tomorrow or the next day. Instead, I will nurture my pieces back together in order to take another step
But dammit. Time for me to go practice Mountain Pose …
I try to write regularly, but the past week had me focused on some other things – enjoying my mini-man before he left on vacation with his papa, working hard at finishing up my position with dignity, and putting effort into healing myself. A lot of things which ended up taking most of my energy – I had just enough left to shower!
But here I am … back! Writing for this blog is very cathartic for me, but it also allows me to explore my thoughts in such a way to offer more clarity to and insight into my own soul. For that I am grateful. For the feedback I receive – thank you ever so much!
I have a few topics lingering on my mind that I will be writing about, but today … today I need to get out what is on my mind most – what my thoughts drift back to because I am not yet over it. I had a job where I was good, I was getting things done, and I was making a positive impact with my employees. I had a small staff of seven to eight people. I had five bosses. But … I was good. I made mistakes, like everyone, but at the end of the day, I was shocked at how much work I accomplished daily. There was a period of two months where all hell broke loose – I was fresh in the position still, had another new member of the management team, and my right hand person resigned. A lot of things got done last minute and some things were forgotten if not essential. That’s what happens when there is such a huge transition. I did not get the advantage of having the previous manager get me up to speed on projects – I struggled through with the help of that right hand person, and then I was alone. I worked hard to make sure the rest of my staff did not have to feel that; I would put aside my duties to make sure they had the information and support they needed to keep plugging through. Unfortunately, when I would not back down, some took it upon themselves to weave stories of conspiracy and loathing, which affected me and my staff.
My problem was that I actually believed in myself. I knew what I knew and I knew what I did not know. I stood my ground on a lot of issues. I had to work for people who respected me and some who did not. There were people who knew what they did not know and leaned on me. There were people who decided they did not need to be educated by someone who worked for them. Yet, they hired me, because I have experience and because I have a doctorate degree. I know what I know. I do not know what I do not know. End of story.
I was offered a new job, more in line with my expertise, better working conditions, and with people who respect me. Even more, they came to me with an offer, did not hesitate when I countered, and have been nothing but supportive. I took the opportunity. I was nervous, and still am, but am also walking through the doors that open. I resigned my position, to anger or indifference, depending on the person. I had wrongfully assumed that this would ease some of the tension and allow me to support my staff and offer the transition management that was needed.
There were numerous times throughout my being in this position where I was worn down and went home believe I was failing – maybe I did not know anything. I would beat myself up for not being better, more organized, having managed my time better, etc. I would spend time thinking about this issue or that, taking phone calls at night, or putting in more research, taking time and attention away from my son. It was too much and necessitated the change.
Ultimately, I was going to be asked to vacate my position before my last day. It was going to be a big scene and I did not want to wait for that, so I proactively decided to leave after three weeks, instead of four. In doing so, I fear I have let down my staff and many others who I had worked with on numerous projects.
Why do I write all of this? Because yesterday I was sad and upset. But today … today I can look at things and see that God is working, as He always does, guiding me to the doors he has opened wide. And in case I still wasn’t getting it, I received a text message from four of the seven staff members I had to leave – one asking a question, three checking in on me, with one person stating “[you] are an excellent person and leader that cared more about her staff than herself.”
When all is said and done in my life, I can look back recognize patterns and recognize changes in myself. I stand my ground and I am unyielding – open-minded to a lot, but unyielding on my integrity. I continue to educate myself and grow in a lot of ways, learning how to better myself and become better for those that I serve, both as my employees and as my ‘client.’ I have never been that good at being a follower, but if the messages I’ve gotten from my employees are any indication, damn if I am not a good leader.
I do believe I am starting to like the person I’m becoming.
This is not exactly the blog post I was ever planning on writing, or ever voicing outside of my mind. This is the blog post where I share an overwhelming apology to so many people, but most of all, myself.
As a child and a teenager, there was right and there was wrong. Things were black and white, yes or no. Honestly, I needed that in those days when daily life was so unsettled and unsure. I was a hippie chick, a skater chick, a drama nerd, a track and field wannabe, a this, a that, and nothing. I look back and note, however, that my high school world cultures teacher saw my aptitude before I ever realized it – she requested the high school pay for me to attend a leadership conference. It was great, and telling that my world cultures teacher of all of them saw this – I ended up with a doctorate in geography.
But, as I went off to college and started on that journey of finding myself, I realized … slowly … that the world is not black and white. I lived in many shades of grey. However, I still made judgements like the world was black and white. This is a friend, not that. This is good, that is bad. On and on and on. I almost can’t stand how monotone my view of the world was. I know exactly where it came from, and while I was a strong, independent young woman, I was not exactly independent in my thoughts. I need to apologize to the world and the universe for that.
I have been struggling with a lot of choices I made, a lot of coping with choices I didn’t make, and how to forgive those that fit into that black and white judgement zone. It’s so easy to say that this person is horrible because something they did was horrible. I could make a snap decision, stick to it, door slam the hell out of it, and move on with the wind. Except when I couldn’t escape it myself.
Recently, I have not always been the good, polite, wonderful person I thought I was. I worked so hard to do things the “right” way and my world collapsed. In my desperation to come out of the failures, I made some missteps. That is all on me. But I also know that I would not have survived without some of those missteps (certainly, a lot of them I can still do without!). The me that thinks of the world as good and bad, black and white, got on the soapbox and charged at my esteem and confidence with abandon. The shame of what I had done … engulfed me into this pity and hate-filled pit of self loathing.
The past two weeks, I have come out of the fog, a little bit at first and then a whole lot. You know what I have found? The good, polite, wonderful person that I am. I am not bad, even when I made a misstep or two. I’m just a shade of grey, scratch that, I am blue … I am a damn brilliant blue … instead of fitting into that perfect or imperfect judgement box of my youth. Amazingly enough, I have finally accepted that and I’ve started to notice all of the color again. It is not only glorious for me personally, but the fading of the judgmental part of my persona, that I clung to for so long, has faded away.
We all have to make judgements on what is right for us, wrong for us, and what is okay in our lives. While there are still things that are bad and lines that should never be crossed, the small box I put myself in prevented me from ever feeling like I deserved a life or love. I’m working on that and I’m going to claim the love I deserve … from myself.
Eventually, I will claim it from another, but until then … watch out for my many adventures in the life of color.
I have been moving upwards toward the light, out of this rabbit hole I’ve been stuck in for a while. Typically, I would sit here and write about how I’ve been in such need of a hug and the depression has kept me in bed, yet another weekend while my son was with his father. Well, I can honestly say that did not happen this weekend!
I have not felt this strong in probably a decade. I was strong when I left my home, but I filled the empty space with so much stuff, that I did not feel strong so much as busy. Now, while I have major setbacks, I feel strong even in the lonely times and spaces. I do not have to be busy.
I am pleased to tell you that this morning, I stayed in bed until 11:30 am. I woke up at 8, did some roaming around the house, and then, when I decided I needed a big, warm hug, I went back under my cozy covers, snuggled up, and had a glorious nap/hug that lasted a while. I shed quite a few tears when I got up, not because I felt worthless, as usual, but because I felt like no matter what, I would be okay. I’m tired of being in that hole … for now on, I will be okay or I will be glorious.
I’m not that naive to think I will not be back in that hole again, but I can tell you that my tenure in that hole is getting shorter and the hole itself is getting more shallow.
It has not been an easy period in my life. It will not be easy from here on out as there are many difficult things that have not settled. I still am scared of the connection I seek, nervous to open up to people for fear of being hurt. Hell, I am still hurt. But I am getting angry … really angry. I’m told that is a step in the right direction. I may not be perfect, but I am tired of feeling bad about myself – I am struggling in this crazy messed up world just like everyone else. To hell with anyone who thinks I’m any worse than they are, nor am I better. I am unique and intricate little me, but damn, am I amazing too.
Sometimes, let your blankets hug you … snuggle up, wrap yourself tightly and smile with your hug from the universe. Today, it set the tone for my strength the rest of the day.
Now … back to my covers. 🙂