Press Pause!

Stop! Everything just stop for one god damn minute!!!

I know this is a ridiculous request but I feel like my world is spinning out of control and I have no way of slowing things down so I can just make a quick list of what the hell is going on then put things into motion again.

Kinda like playing a game. When things get too much or you lose sight of your objective, you can press pause and make a note, check your positioning, then you hit play and the game goes on.

But this is life, it’s not a game. And I’m completely lost. There is so much going on I feel like I’m in the middle of a storm that has no end in sight.

First there is the loan process. We’re applying for a home loan and the steps taken just to get that started has been migraine inducing. Then there is the timing. We have a lease till June and we’d like to buy a house to move into so we can’t look too soon or too late. Too soon and we’ll be stuck with double payments or breaking a lease. Too late and we’ll have to find temporary living quarters. So when it the right time to look? I feel the strain of being stuck in limbo and the pressure is making the migraine in progress get worse.

Now for the kidlet. He’s been struggling and fighting against school work. So we’re changing things up. A sitter is going to come to our house and take care of him and help him with homework instead of him going to daycare. This will give him someone to work with in the comfort of his own home. We hope to see some positive outcomes from this. Although it’s a great move, it makes me nervous. We’re saying goodbye to a center that is always open and always there and relying just on one person to make sure she arrives on time to take care of him. I don’t feel that she wouldn’t, we’ve interviewed her and feel good with our choice, but I feel like my safety net has been removed beneath this tightrope I’ve been walking.

On top of that, the kidlet asked to be in baseball this season. A sport neither his dad nor I play. Well, we were very unprepared when we heard that we are committed to two practices a week and two games, one weekday and one weekend. Huh?! How in the hell are we supposed to fit this in?! So now we’re scrambling (at least it feels like we are) to figure this new twist into our already busy week.

I could cry… And I have. My emotions seem to be sitting on the surface and I get teary without much provocation. Watching a show, I cry. Reading a book, I tear up. Playing a video game, I choke back my sobs. The stress and swirling madness that is our life right now seems to be weighing on me heavily and I can’t find a calm place to rest my mind and detach from all the changes and the big life questions we have in front of us to just breathe and recenter myself.

And the worst part is that I don’t feel I have time or the availability to really get everything out. I don’t have an outlet. Even my running isn’t defusing the issue. I run and put all my hurt and sadness and frustrations and anger on the pavement. I’ll feel a little relief but it lasts a few hours then I’m back to square one feeling shitty and overwhelmed.

Deep breaths. Loud music. Quiet reading time. Lots of water and less junk food. I’m taking all these steps to alleviate my frustrations and sometimes it works. Most times it doesn’t.

I’d just like a break…

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Dreaded: From The Top!

The other day my husband and I were playing a video game. Actually it was more like he was playing and I was trying my hardest not to feel ill from the movement. We had picked up where we left off months ago in Enslaved. As he played along I made a comment about the female character’s hair, how I thought Trip’s dreaded locks and band wrapped red hair looked kinda awesome.

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In response, my husband agreed and said I’d look good with them, an unexpected turn in the conversation. I hadn’t expected him to like the look of dreads but somehow it made sense. I mean he was the one that encouraged me to follow my wish to have pink and blue hair so why not dreadlocks?

This revelation turned into a discussion between us about me turning my natural curls into locks and the choice to have a natural but alternative hairstyle. The convo didn’t last long but it was long enough to plant a seed.

From that moment on I started reading and searching for all the tidbits, guidelines, and suggestions around the web for creating natural dreadlocks. I can’t explained what compelled me to consider doing thing at this particular time but it isn’t the first time. Many years ago I had this same inclination to dread my hair and allow it naturally do its own thing. I asked around and brought it up with a trusted family friend and hairstylist. She gave me some pointers and supported me in my quest to find out more. But that was it. Instead of taking the leap,  I ended up choosing to go natural and let my curls be free with no more combs or towel drying. I switched all my products to curl enhancing and natural. Lots of coconut and argan oil were harmed in the making of those natural curls. So much oil…

I wore my curls for a good four months without using a comb or any heating items. I just used my fingers and wrapped my hair into a lot of tee-shirts and other soft cottony things. But soon, like most hair styles, my interest faded and I went back to normal. I started brushing again and towel drying and straightening my hair for special occasions. A couple of months later I bleached the bottom third of my hair and dyed it red, then blue, then red again. That lasted a good 9 months and I even wore my hair bright pink to my wedding. Since last July my hair has officially been left plain and my bleached portions are slowly growing out.

Now I’m back to that same first square where I’ve got all this information and the inclination to make the change but not quite ready to make the leap. And I’m left with a burning question I must answer before I start: why? Why do I want to do this?

I can give a few reasons. First, like some people, I like to change up my look from time to time. Short hair, long hair, curly, straight, pink hair, blue hair. Style is something that is discovered and changed over time depending on where you are in your life. And right now I’m up for a change. Secondly, it feels like the a natural next step for my curly hair. First, I continue washing with my natural products that I use my hair already but I stop combing, something I’ve done in the past to keep up the curl. But instead I keep myself from separating my curls with my fingers, too, and allow the natural progression of the locks to form. Plus I wouldn’t mind seeing what I would look like with them. My curiosity is winning me over.

Aside from these shallow reasons to change up my do, I’ve been wrestling with some pretty big concepts about beauty and vanity and society all from considering this drastic change. As I watched and read people’s suggestions on how to start and the best method (I’ve decided to mostly do a neglect/natural process but to help it along a little twist & rip), I’ve also listened to their stories, their reasons and their personal agendas. For the most part, people mentioned they had deep personal reasons and spiritual connection with their dreads and their choice. I was completely enthralled by this. To me, hair is hair. It’s on my head, I can cut it or grow it but I’ve never thought about my relationship with. How it defines me. It’s such a back-burner thought, something that isn’t up front and constantly on my mind. But, after watching a few videos and sharing my concern with my husband about the big step this would be, he made a comment that stopped me for a second. He has done the same. Not with dreads, but in choosing to shave his head continuously.

About four years ago he realized his hair was thinning. Even in his still youthful days, he recognized that the end was near for his head of hair. So he decided to shave his hair completely off. At first with just a short buzz left behind. Soon it went from a short buzz with the electric razor to a full on straight edged razor shave. Smooth as a baby’s bottom. And it’s been that way for years. His lack of hair on his head was a source of discuss from family members that weren’t pleased with his choice but soon everyone adapted and accepted that it was his choice and his right. It was his release and his freedom but also his new burden and responsibility.

I know I have his love and support, completely and totally.

Hair, it’s something a lot of us are born with and we all have the power to control and do things with it but so many of us stick to what is known in our community as the norm and don’t venture beyond that for fear of being the black sheep. Every time I dyed my a wild color, I had the part of my circle of people that were jealous and wished they had the balls to do so, then there was the other group who all loved it and felt inspired, but then there was that last group who didn’t understand and felt it took away from me. They felt it didn’t add to my natural beauty but detracted from it.

And, in all honesty, every time I dyed or bleached my hair, there was a sense of apprehension about the enormity of what I was doing. How would people react? Would I be able to handle the looks and comments from the people I know and the strangers I’ll see everyday? As I ask myself these questions I almost have to laugh. I’m talking about HAIR! It’s just hair. But it’s also apart of your identity.

So I’m torn. I’m torn by my willingness to shuck the norms of society and allow myself to be free but I’m also struck down by the gravity of something so small that defines so much of me.

For now my choice is to slowly allow my hair to naturally dread and to take this journey step by step. I keep telling myself I can always brush it out if I don’t like it. It’s not permanent. I’m also telling myself to be honest with how I feel about it. About the shaking free of the shackle of normal vanity and beauty and instead embracing a more natural look and finding beauty in that. This is also an exercise in my need to control my hair and to allow it to do what it naturally is inclined to do. I’m that girl with the shiny curls that always wishes it was straight. This will be a test to allow things to go, to let go of my vanity and to believe that my hair doesn’t make me who I am or define my beauty.

So, after all that soul bearing and talk of hair (again it’s just HAIR!), let the journey begin!

Fall Memories

Today I’ve been hit by wave after wave of muted memories. Scents and feelings and visuals all played a part in bringing forth things I’d long stowed away at the back of my mind.

Memories of a sweater bought by  my dad. It was large and colorful in the rusty hues of fall. It was during our beginning of school shopping that he got me this monstrosity of fall colors to wear on the weekends when the winds were chilly and the skies overcast.

The wind blowing against my face as I took my walk at lunch brought back visions of our yard strewn with leaves and cloudy skies hanging above me. There was a storm, once. I was much too little to remember the big details but I remember standing outside, surveying the damage.

Pumpkins and baking and visits from Grandma and Grandpa for Thanksgiving all played across my mind. Trips out to my great-grandmother’s home where she would can jams and preserves in the warmth of her golden and copper colored kitchen. The tastes of cinnamon and cloves dancing on my tongue as she hugged me goodbye against her cushioned bosom,

So many memories of the years I’ve lived, switching from summer to fall, from shorts to pants, from sandals to tennis shoes and warm socks. To the dying hum of the fans and air conditioners and the crackles and pops of the lit fireplace.

Soon I felt dizzy, my mind and body swirling with the memories coursing through. Some were only partially formed in my mind while my senses took over, reliving that moment, those feelings. I could taste and feel the memories more than I could see them. The crisp winds, the sprinkle of rain on my face, the fresh grass beneath my feet on a soccer field. The slicing of a knife through the thick skin of a pumpkin and the hours spent drawing in our warm living room with the fire burning and my dad playing the guitar.

Then I remembered fall when my son was a baby. The walks we took on chilly mornings, bundled in blankets and hands and gloves. The pumpkin patches we visited and the carvings we made in the tiny kitchen of our first apartment.

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I remember rain puddles and his little boots that looked like frogs with oogly eyes. Cold mornings with his tiny toes tucked under my legs. The way the sunlight changed in fall to more of a golden honey and the way the air smelled so fresh and clean in those foggy mornings when we walked together.

My memories are so wide and varied from my own younger years to my son’s that it’s tough not to stray down that path and relive them. The path lined with changing leaves and hot cocoa. Shorter days and glorious sunsets. Crisp apple cider and hearty stews.

I welcome fall and all the changes and good memories it brings.

A Brainful

I am resistant to change. Good or bad, change is just that, change. Things will be different. My brain and my heart has a hard time accepting this for fear that these different things will be not as comfortable as the current state I’m in.

I like comfort. I like knowing as best as possible what tomorrow brings. Tomorrow is Monday and for me that means work and school, waking early for showers and making lunches and the unfortunate commute from home to school to work. Monday means payroll and printing new reports, a large mail load after the hiatus of the weekend.

Monday is Monday. And I like it that way.

Lately though, nothing is predictable. There are new signs to watch out for, new sensations to be wary of. A closed door could mean a meeting I’m not included in or a rough morning or tears or a hidden broken heart. An unexpected email could mean someone is asking something new of me, something bigger than I am capable of offering. Or a request that is completely inconsiderate of me.

So now Monday is the reminder that I’m no longer free to hide my head in the sand and pretend nothing is wrong. It’s the end of my freedom where I can choose to run wild, do what I want, cook and bake or spend time with those I love. I can live on the weekends, live in the vicarious way my six year old runs down hills and up slides.
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Monday is the day I have to face the reality that I’m not free and that not all dreams are meant to be realized.

Oh how I wish I had friends. People to speak these concerns to, truths that I keep to myself. My fears of the unknown and this dreadful feeling of limbo. I hate limbo and I hate talking when plans could be made. But I hate making plans when I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing.

Having no close friends but one, I’m forced to find comforts in solitude and things I love. My nose is firmly planted in books these days, escaping to the fictional worlds where people are introduced, the plot is brought to climax and then a resolution is secured within 400 pages. I also retreat into my movies, actors and scripts I know so well I can repeat them myself. Movies I needn’t watch because I know each scene by heart. The comfort in knowing there are no surprises soothes my soul.

Oddly, I do see why I’m in this state. I know that I’m meant to learning how to be in the present and how to live each moment as they come. To prove to me my strengths and abilities to cope. I’ve seen so much change over the last 2 years and the hits keep coming. Just when I think things will stop shifting and changing, I’m dealt another blow and I’m left standing with no support.

Change is inevitable. It’s how the soul adapts to such drastic alterations that matters. So I’m left. Left accepting I can do nothing but go with it.

I’m weary. I’m waiting for the next scene, for the next chapter. I keep watching, waiting for the characters to discover themselves and be done with this charade. Or for the author to stop playing with the lives of their characters and to end the story. I’m tired of trying to guess what will happen next or what the grand scheme of the plot is to be. I just want it done, finished, so that the dust can settle and we can begin to make the adjustments to our new lives.

I’m resistant to change. Especially when I notice the need for change in me.

The Grief of Metamorphosis

Lately I’ve wondered who am I?

Who am I and what am I doing?

Have I always been this person or…

Was I molded into this being by my experiences?

Does what I’ve been through affect me or…

Does who I am affect what I’ve been through?

 

So far I’ve received no answer.

No deeper understanding of who I was or what I’ve become.

Did my dreams change or am I the person I’ve always wanted to be but…

Couldn’t?

The grief is deep as I struggle within my cocoon.

The painful ripping and tearing of flesh as my new wings sprout.

Who ever thought that the beauty of a butterfly was achieved so peacefully was wrong.

To break forth a new being is incredibly painful and scary.

It’s the loneliest point in a life.

To change.

To reveal.

To be all that you are meant to be.