Everything Is Hard Sometimes

So, I got engaged 2 months ago. And everything has been a whirlwind. Because I’m getting married in February, and that’s 3 months away and I don’t know what I need help with but I feel like everyone has an opinion. But it’s our wedding. It’s my and Bobby’s wedding. So the only opinion that should matter is our own.

We were only supposed to be here 3 months. But we’ve been here 6. So we’re trying to move. And moving is hard. Finding new jobs is hard. Finding a place to live is hard. And I’m so afraid we can’t do it. I’m so afraid that moving home and all the things since have been a terrible mistake. Even though I love my job. Even though I make enough. There’s never been anything for me here. And there’s definitely nothing here for Bobby. He’s why we’re leaving. Because he gave up everything to move across the country with me. But things have only gone wrong. If I could turn back time, I probably would have done things differently.

I’m depressed and everything feels hard. I’ve been off my meds since the summer, because I couldn’t get health insurance. And apparently my home church has changed so much that I’m not allowed to be depressed here. Because depression obviously means that the love of my life isn’t really the love of my life. Even though he is. And he was there for me when no one else was. What a great way to make me not feel at home in my home.

But mostly, I just miss my mom. I hate planning a wedding without her. I hate that she won’t be there when I marry my best friend. I hate that she’s never met him. And I hate that I can’t even talk about it.

White Carnations

I need to write.  I’ve been meaning to write.  I’ve been meaning to set time aside.  I’ve been meaning to.  I’ve been meaning to.  But there are so many things that have almost lost the words.  Or maybe just one thing.  Because I’ve felt a little numb.  Or maybe I’ve felt as though something was missing and it’s not a space I can fill.  And I haven’t even been trying to fill it.

I’ve missed my mother lately.  I always thought that we never learned to love each other right.  I thought we were too different to understand each other, but I have realized that we were almost too much alike.  She raised me to be strong and independent.  She raised me to value intelligence and adventure.  She raised me to never say no to the possibilities.  She raised me to value my own opinion, but to learn the opinions of others.  I am who I am because of who she raised me to be.

I find that I talk about her more now than I ever did before.  She was always a fixture in my life, even when I moved thousands of miles away from her.  She wasn’t everything that I thought a mother was supposed to be, but she was a thousand times better than her mother could have ever hoped to have been.  She was everything she knew how to be.

And maybe I’m just angry.  Maybe I’m angry that I never got to show her my new home.  I’m angry that I can’t ask her questions about living on my own that a daughter should get to ask her mom.  I’m angry that I’ll never get to introduce her to Bobby and ask her how she likes him.  I’m angry that I can’t travel with her anymore, even though she’s who put the love of travel in me.  I’m angry that life goes on, even when it doesn’t.

And I think I’m allowed to be angry.  And I’m allowed to not talk about it, because there’s nothing for anyone to say.

On Sunday, while I worked, Bobby spent mother’s day with his family.  He told me that his dad had gotten me a white carnation, because that’s a southern tradition.  You get someone a white carnation if they don’t have a mother on mother’s day.  It was my first mother’s day without her.  It was my first carnation.

Me Too

You know when you’re certain something isn’t going to happen, because every time it could have happened; every time you thought it might happen; every time your heart made peace with it happening it didn’t happen?
But then at the time when you least expect it, when you’re thousands of miles away with not much money and only a frustrating phone call to go on, it happens?
Me too.

You know when you spend months planning, in innocence, half-heartedly fighting something; giving up and moving on, then accidentally giving in?
Every time you turn away and say no more something within you rebels and you know you’ll give in again, most nights?
Me too.

You know when you make conscious decisions to change your being for the better, making an effort to leave it all behind you?
But then something is destroyed and you discover that you brought it all with you anyway?
Me too.

You know when the crowd is constantly standing in ovation, while your heart, though elated, is still sunk in grief, and no one understands because you hide it well, so you find yourself sitting in a sea of standing bodies?
Me too.

But, you know when all you know has been uprooted, when you find yourself wallowing, when you feel more numb than you’ve ever been?
But you are loved anyway?  You are accepted anyway?  You are forgiven anyway?
Me too.

The Case of the “I Don’t Matter”s

I’m experiencing an increasing case of the “I don’t matter”s.  So much that it’d probably be easier to disappear.  And I don’t need people to try harder or act smarter or to learn to remember.  Because it’s me.

And it makes me think.  Maybe no one really matters.  I mean, people matter to each other, and it’s my fault that I have no one.  I’ve never really learned to have anyone.  But in the largest meaning of the word, no one matters.  We are all just blips.  Time keeps going, and the longer time gets, the smaller chance our existence will impact anything.

I feel really abandoned, but I’m the one who abandons.  I’m the one who packs up and moves away.  I’m the one who doesn’t stay in touch.  I’m the heart breaker with a broken heart.

I went to a friend’s family’s thanksgiving.  I traveled to be there.  On the way home, I realized it probably would have been better for everyone if I hadn’t gone.  My being there changed nothing.  I was just overwhelmed.  Because I don’t like lots of new people.  I don’t like feeling stuck.  I’m not good at socializing.  Why do I think that because there is a holiday, I need to spend it somewhere, when I’d be happier at home?  I don’t matter.

I entered into something I didn’t mean to enter into.  But it wouldn’t matter if I was here or not.  They can argue over everything without me anyway.  And there would probably be fewer arguments if I didn’t show up, because I’m too liberal, apparently.  Anything I have to say just gets interrupted and forgotten.  I don’t matter.

And when people say that nothing is going to change, it always changes.  When they say you won’t get dropped, they’ll have excuses for when you do.  Because it’s impossible to articulate anything real at all.

I feel alone.  But I feel alone because I don’t know how to express what is inside of me.  I don’t know how to make anyone understand this grief that has built up.  I don’t know how to be anyone else.  I don’t matter.

My Thoughts on the Day Before Thanksgiving

I don’t really care what you have to say about Thanksgiving.  I know that it became a tradition in an unsavory way.  I know that people want to say it’s a white privilege holiday.  I know that this land is stolen.  I know this land isn’t promised.

But I don’t really care.  And I’m not even a Thanksgiving advocate.  I literally just don’t care.  I have never once thought about or celebrated this holiday because of pilgrims having a dinner.  I don’t even think of pilgrims.  I associate this holiday with thankfulness.

There’s a guy I know.  Not a guy I like.  This guy always has to have something to say.  He always has to be right.  He always has to have the last word.  And when I tell him to stop, he refuses.  He says sexist statements because he thinks it’s funny.  He calls me militant.  But that’s not what this is about.
This guy.  This male specimen.  He has spent more than half of his life in the United States.  I’m pretty sure he was born here.  He just spent a portion of his growing up, elsewhere.
The other day, he made a big, offensive deal about how he hates Thanksgiving and he doesn’t even know when it is.  He never paid attention because “we all know what happened when that dinner was over.”  To have spent all this time in America, regardless of whether you celebrate a holiday or not, something is major cannot be ignored.  You’re going to know when it is.  Everyday Muslim, Jewish, and Jehovah’s witness know when Christmas is.  People know when Thanksgiving is.  You’d have to be stupid, more than ignorant, not to.
How does he not know that you can change the meaning of a holiday?  I know it doesn’t matter.  And I know he’ll never care.  But I needed to say something.  Thanksgiving is in the name.  It is always a time that I have believed to be set aside to be thankful.  He believes everyday should be thankful, which is true.  But that’s not the point, is it?  We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, don’t we?  Shouldn’t we be showing how much these things matter on a day to day basis?  How bad is it that we set aside a special day as well?

This is my first Thanksgiving away from California.  This is my first Thanksgiving since losing my mother.  I don’t even want this Thanksgiving.  But it is a part of life.  So I’ll live through it.  Maybe.

Can’t we celebrate if we want?  What is the point of making someone feel bad for wanting to have a little joy in their life, even if it might be manufactured propaganda?

The only one who loses, is him and the turkey.

Everybody can shut up now.

Time Passes Differently

My mother died almost two months ago.  I’m not really sure where to go from here.  But I have some thoughts.  I always have some thoughts.

I spoke at her service.  I wrote a poem and shared some thoughts, along with a poem that she wrote more than 30 years ago.  It was something personal.  Not something I planned on dwelling on.
But people keep asking me to send it to them.  People keep asking for copies.  And I don’t even have it typed up.  I’m not sure that I was planning on typing it up.  Not for a long while.  I feel like asking that of me is a bit insensitive, isn’t it?  I write a lot of things.  Why is this the one thing people keep bugging me about?

So anyway, after all of the mess, I’ve decided to put it here.  Here’s a poem.

 

There is pain
And there is peace
Pain for something lost that words cannot do justice
Peace, because there is no more pain

Songs are sung freely now
Lungs are not aching for breath
Mountains are climbed with ease, now
No need to stop and rest

Adventures can still be had
She’ll go with you still
With every new experience
Delight is more than real

It’s okay to laugh
I’m sure she’s laughing more
In fact, she’s probably dancing now
Her feet never touching the floor

There is a freedom to be basked in
A joy, lighter than air
A truth in her heart she can finally know
The promised land she always dreamed of

I’ve heard time passes different now
So while we’re down here mourning
She spends no time waiting for time to catch up
Saying “I’ll see you in the morning.”

We have pain
She’s in peace
Words can’t do this justice
But remember her peace, now, as she learns to dance in the rain