I haven’t felt much like blogging lately (as you clearly know). It feels like a lot of pressure: there are classes and groups and ideas about blogging; ways it should be done, stories that should be told, arcs that should be followed; it feels like it has to be substantial if I’m going to bother doing a whole post. Sometimes I have something to say but it just doesn’t feel like it deserves an entire post. So lately I’ve been doing something else: writing longish posts on Facebook. I’m not sure how much I’ll be back here (though I may change my mind again and suddenly take up blogging whole-heartedly. I’m trying to put less pressure on myself generally), so if you’re interested in keeping in touch, please come join me on Facebook. You can follow me here.
Here’s a sampling of some things I’ve posted recently:
Well, it’s officially official: we’re on the move again! This time we’re moving to New York City! We’ll be living on the Upper West Side in Manhattan and I’m so incredibly excited for our new adventure. We’ll miss our family and friends terribly, but we can’t wait to make new connections and experience new things. My life is never boring, that’s for sure!!
(Oh yeah, we’re moving. Again. More on that later. On the Facebook.)
Thoughts on Awakening:
Almost exactly six years ago today I stood on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro after six long, cold, hard days of hiking to get to the top. That moment was the beginning of a transformation that would affect almost all aspects of my life. It was a moment of awakening and though the darkness shuttered my eyes many times in the days and weeks and years that followed, I had felt the joy of standing with my eyes open to life and I could never go back to the numb sleepwalking I’d done up until that moment.
My life has changed in almost every way since that day. At the time, I was working 80 hours a week at a job that I hated, I was chronically fatigued and in nearly-constant pain but for the numerous prescription drugs that I took, I suffered with depression and my coping mechanisms were self-destructive and harmful to my work and relationships, I ate pure crap and had no understanding of how it might affect me apart from my pant size (and often skipped eating to keep said pant size low), I walked through life in a fog of thoughts that I wasn’t even aware of, and I stayed in toxic relationships because I didn’t believe I deserved any better.
Today I’m pursuing my passion and though parenting keeps me tired, it’s a healthy tired borne of hard work and it sits above a well of energy that keeps me buoyed. I take no medicine and I’ve come to realize that healthy food is the best medicine of all. I’ve left behind my self-destructive behaviors and learned a whole new set of coping mechanisms that I can draw on for the rest of my life. I feel positive about my body and I eat in a place of joy and gratitude for the food and my health. I practice mindfulness and the quiet space that I find when I consciously let my thoughts fall away is one of the most peaceful experiences I’ve ever had. And I’m married to a wonderful man who’s given me the two most beautiful children I could have ever asked for.
What was that moment of awakening that caused so much change in my life? Read more here.
Thoughts on Memory:
Today I took the kids to the stables where we kept our horses when I was a child. I hadn’t been there in almost twenty years, but it was exactly the same. The barns, bright red and white against the blue sky, but faded pink and beige when you look up close; the arena, dusty and dim; the outdoor track, complete with a young woman riding loops, sitting pretty in her shiny black English saddle; and the pastures – oh, the pastures! – endless and green, dotted with pale white clover, a deep, still backdrop for the horses, mostly grazing calmly, except that one, rolling joyfully in the dirt then standing, front legs first, one then the other, then slowly push up the back legs, knee to foot, and a pause as she gathers to collect herself, and in that pause you’re not sure she’ll make it and then, boom, she’s up, shaking herself in a manic shimmy as the dirt rises off her in a cloud.
We walked through the main barn, past horses flicking flies off with their tails, teenagers brushing down their tired horses, a pat on the withers as the horse flinches to let the steam out of his tired muscles, a woman mucking a stall. Everything so familiar – the sights, the sounds, the place itself. But like Marcel Proust searching for lost time, it was the smell that really did it. It smelled exactly like it did when I was a child: the musty sweet of manure, the gritty dirt, worn for years into the walls and floor, the hay, broken apart in the stalls and drifting up into the air, the leather of tack and boots, sweaty and soft from overuse, the fresh grass, wafting down the hall from outside through the open doors, the horses themselves, salty sweat and sweet and hot breath and earthy damp.
As I stood in that barn I was a child again, all long legs and unfettered optimism and courage I didn’t know I’d had. And I was me, now, today. We were one, in that barn, with my daughter and my son gazing, amazed, at those horses, and I think, though I didn’t have a chance to ask her directly before the present moment brushed away the past back to where it rightfully belongs (saved but not-often-accessed, not cluttering up the moment that we’re living in now); I think she was proud of me, that child I once was. And I think she was happy I came by for a visit.