January 8

Good. G ended up having to work so we went rocking climbing without him and it was great. Enjoyed the last days with the kids before school starts again.

January 9

Ok. Overall pretty clear head although today was the first day I have missed sex with G. I try not to think about it too much though. Trying to be more conscious and observant of myself and my thoughts. As bedtime comes, I’m missing the routine of G in my bed and tv shows and sharing fruit bowls, but I know it will pass. Tomorrow I volunteer at the horse ranch again and I’ll begin writing again so it should be a good day.

This year I plan to respond to the open invitation I’ve given myself to be here. To be present and awake for the discovery. I know my closest friends’ quirks, patterns, intricacies… but I don’t know mine… or at least fully. I know I’m hormonal, but when are my mood swings? What are the specific moods? I will make notes and ask questions and observe. I will, however, NOT ask why.

When I was in the Christian world, I became obsessive about why I acted, spoke, thought the way I did. If someone else didn’t like it, that meant there was something wrong with me – something so deeply ingrained in my psyche that I was unaware of its hold on my life. It meant excavation was in order and I went mulling through any possible “pain” I could remember or even think about remembering.

And if someone approved of me or my thoughts or actions, well, then I must continue to do/think/be THAT. What could have been perceived as so “healthy” (self-help) and productive, turned into a systematic shaping of myself that I had little choice or joy in. The result? Ah, that’s the sad part. The result was living a life full of Representatives and devoid of… ME. I got lost in the heap of shit I was digging up in my past and when that phase finally ended with my separation from Tyrel, I got buried alive in chaos, stress, trauma, and eventually, grief.

I’m six feet under and it’s time to pull me out and let me breathe and dance and LIVE again. I see this year as an “undoing” of all that’s been “done” over the last 15-20 years. I’m unraveling the tangles of trauma, the knots of abuse, the cords of grief and disappointment, and I’m laying them all out in straight lines. They’re all pieces of who I am, but none of them single-handedly define me. I am not just a sum of all that has happened to me. These things are part of my story, but they aren’t who I am.

I am a living, thinking, choosing organism. I change and grow. I morph and expand. I shift and contract. Of course I’m worthy of life and being known. This part of my journey is more about being at peace and being allowed to not produce and perform. I get to sit back and watch from a different point of view – as an unbiased observer. I’m not judging or even fixing anymore. I’m simply noticing. Who I am. What makes me tick. What motivates or immobilizes me. I’m not trying to be anything for anyone else this year. I’m just learning who I am at ground zero – before I was mom, before I was wife, before all the responsibility.

So anything that doesn’t support me observing or creating space to be me, goes. So far:

  • Figuring out “why” is out.
  • Liquor is out. (This is a mindset and here is mine: Wine is conversational and reflective for me. Liquor is to feel tipsy and get lit.)
  • Dating is out. Even “looking”. The pursuit, the idea, and desire for it distracts me from ME. I don’t know how to date yet without making it all about what HE wants or without my Dating Rep, so it’s out for now.

At the end of this year (which really could be six months or six years), I see myself at a New Beginning. A new startline, where my past is just my past and not a constant reminder of pain, trauma, and disappointment. This is the emergent year for me, where I make peace with the first 35 years and neutralize them, allowing the next 35 to be new, fresh, and complete with me being fully ME.

I am so excited! This has come over the last few days and in the wake of navigating my first hormonal/ovulation-induced week of “blues” without G or any other person or drama around to mask it (or blame). I need this. To be with myself and get to know every part of me without the messiness of another person’s opinion clouding mine.

For instance, working out. I’m doing it now when and because I want to. Not to look good for G or attract a certain kind of guy.

My phone. I don’t need it. I don’t want it. It’s a crutch and an escape route out of my loneliness and it’s a way of finding attention/affirmation when I’m feeling insecure or small.

My free time. Made for peace and rest now, not serving someone else or figuring out my place in the relationship or the world. I just get to be whatever I am – insecure, happy, lonely, fulfilled. All of it or any of it. I don’t have to run away from myself anymore.

I’ve invited myself to be present in my life – for my kids and for peace. There is actually no timeline, although I’ve penciled in one year. This is a practice. There’s no specific end goal. I’m just giving myself the gift of time and attention.

On the other side, I know I will have found my voice. I will be the kind of partner I want. I will not be wrestling with my past. I will not be a slave to my mind. I will be open to and ready for love… my Great Love.

Up until now, I’ve wanted a man to come along and usher/draw/push me into finding myself and peace in life. Now, I don’t want anyone else involved in my bloom. All this time I thought it was about my career and making my own money, but as I’m writing this I just realized it’s about THIS. I keep telling my friends I’m not ready “to commit” or “settle down” with anyone because I need to “make it” financially first and prove to myself that I can. But really, I just need to give myself freedom to BE. Alone. Wild and free. Coo-coo and nutty. Amazing and creative. Loving and passionate. For myself.

XO,

M

P.S. I’m reading Big Magic by Liz Gilbert. I’m going to be like a nun for 2019 only instead of serving God, I’m going to serve myself. Although I know part of that invariably means serving and loving others better and more. Oh how “worship” changes for me over time! LOL

M: Me

Tyrel: My first love, husband and my abuser 2005-2015, father of my children, died by suicide September 2016

Children: Jane and Peter

G: Ex-boyfriend and best friend

S: G’s ex- girlfriend

A: Widow and best friend (one of the “hos”)

L: Younger sister (12 years younger) and best friend. Technically, my half-sister (her father is my stepdad, R)

R: Stepdad, father figure from age 11 on, and Opa to my kids

Z: Widow and close friend (one of the “hos”)

H: Older sister (two years older) and best friend

W: kindred spirit, beloved friend, licensed therapist

I began my self-study by documenting myself in my everyday life in hopes that after a few months, I could see patterns and understand some of my own rhythms. I kept 3 journals (the — symbol represents distinction between journals 1 and 3): 

  1. An emotional/mental well-being journal where I daily jotted 1-3 sentences about my overall internal stability.
  2. My mind-body-spirit (aka moon phase) journal, which was a calendar where I noted my hormones, diet, activity, and overall feelings about myself each day.
  3. The mamma-jamma journal (the main chunk of this memoir) where I pain-stakingly detailed out my experiences and my every thought about those experiences.
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