The Fury and The Silence.

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Coffee is moving on May 1st (over the course of a chunk of time since there’s no real rush to it) and this has, apparently, brought forth many feelings again. I would like to say that I am handling those feelings with grace and stoicism but, alas, I am not.

Much like when someone dies, there are all the things you expect to have feelings about – I am familiar with this process – and then there are all the random things that you do not anticipate. Can’t anticipate, really.  I know this, too.

The ending of this marriage is the ending of a bunch of little dreams and half-baked plans. The things I took for granted (because that’s what humans do) and the things I didn’t even realize I had planned or hoped.  Everything from renovating our home to taking a road trip to the east coast to the moratorium on getting a new pet to having all of the kids out of the house. The comforts of the daily routine. The comforts of the conversations. The comforts.

It is the end of the backup person. The comfort. The safe place. The person who, for lack of a better way to phrase it, I sort of considered the other half of my brain – who held on to the knowledge that made my life a whole life.  Every time I went to the hardware store, for example, I might realize that I had no idea what size of a thing I needed – so I could ask him and he’d know.  Not just the practical – the everything. The “do you remember..” answer-holder. The “remember that time when..” The inside jokes. The nicknames. The habits. The rituals. The routines. The other half of all of my experiences, even if he wasn’t there, for the last 20 years. The person I told everything to. The first person I went to with my happy news, my sad news, my joy. Gone.

I suppose part of what happens now is that I learn to trust myself. I learn to make mistakes and undo them. I fuck around and find out. I replace that backup person with a better note-taking system.  I find ways to comfort myself. I find ways to make those memories less excruciating. I find new adventures to daydream about.

Despite all that is happening – the divvying up, the packing, the deposit paid for the new apartment and the key readied, the removal of his belongings from the bedroom/office, the discussions about finances and paperwork, the change of insurance, and on and on – I still don’t fully believe this is happening.

My fury has nowhere to go. My sadness has nowhere to go. My fears and anxieties have nowhere to go. My WTF has nowhere to go.  It all just sits there, staring me down.  I keep bursting into tears. I can’t sleep for more than an hour or two and it is making me even less resilient. I feel like there’s absolutely  no point to anything. I’m trying to stay afloat. I am trying to trudge forward. I am trying to give a fuck about anything at all.

Sometimes it is okay. Mostly it is not.

I remember grief. I know this is grief. I know the grey will lift. I know the colours will come back. I know it will ease. I know it will change and be different. I know it will never fully be gone but it will stop being the giant wall in front of my face. I know that I will be okay, one way or another, in a way that I can’t yet visualize. I know I will solve things. I know I will muddle through. I don’t want to. That’s the thing. I just don’t fucking want to. And I don’t have any choice about it.

I am alone in this world. I mean, we all are, ultimately, right? But I thought he was my person and I was wrong. I thought I could count on him to always be there and I was wrong. What do I do with this aloneness?

 

Welcome Back.

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On Saturday, I was completely and utterly overwhelmed by missing my Dad. I cried about it in a way that I haven’t cried in years. Just soul-deep.  Ache.

On Sunday, Coffee was sorting and packing a bunch of his stuff and came across the small container of my Dad’s ashes.

Those ashes have been missing for almost 10 years. I have looked for them endlessly – in every single possible spot. Drawers, cupboards, boxes, bins. Places that I wouldn’t have put them in a million years. Re-checked places over and over and over.  Put it out of my head and then.. one day started looking all over again. Repeat. Repeat. Ten years.

I was mostly convinced that one of the kids must have taken them – the container they’re in resembles a flask and it is unlabelled (nothing to identify who, or what, is inside). I asked them and they denied it. But both of them have a history of .. removing things.. and I couldn’t think of any other possibility.  I figured I’d never see them again. I tried to make peace with that.

And now my Dad is back. Well, you know what I mean. He’s sitting on the desk next to me right now. I have started looking for a pendant that I can put some of the ashes into and wear. His wedding ring has been too big for me for a while now – I used to wear it every day. I don’t want to have it made smaller, even though he actually had it enlarged and there is a small space that, if removed, I’m pretty sure would make it fit me again.

I am so overwhelmed by the timing of this. So grateful. SO grateful.

Planted.

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I was walking to the parking garage after work yesterday, carrying two small jars with some plant cuttings in them. One of my friends gave them to me after noticing how well my office plants are doing – she suggested that these might root quickly. I am, however, out of space on my window ledge so decided to bring them home to put under my grow lights for a bit.  (I intend to shuffle some work plants to home, re-home a few to friends, etc., but am waiting for the weather to be warmer.

As I was walking, I had an overwhelming feeling like when I was a little kid – carrying a tiny plant in a tiny jar – and it made me smile and cry at the same time. I don’t know how to better explain that. It was weird and nice.

Related, nearly every plant I have in my possession at this point is budding, blooming, growing new shoots, or otherwise thriving. Even my Christmas Cactus is full of new buds which is wild, given how recently she finished her winter bloom.  Honestly, I’m not sure how my indoor plants, under lights and temperature controlled, know that it’s spring.. but it’s pretty great.  (I realize that I have just jinxed that.)

A Manifesto Of Self Love by SK Lumen

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(subtitled, “things to work on, Violet”, by me.)

Because I love myself, I take the time to cook a hearty, delicious meal for myself. Even if cooking is not a preoccupation of mine, even if it is a chore, even if I’d rather be doing anything else. I take the time to nourish my body, because I know I will feel so much better, and stronger, and relish the gratitude that blooms in my chest for being kind to myself.

Because I love myself, I take the time to tidy up every day, to make my bed in the morning, because I know it gives a lovely start to my day and gives me a boost of satisfaction. I take the time to put my clothes away, and fold the dry laundry, and neatly prepare my outfit for the next day, because I know future me will breathe in relief and feel even a little more at ease for having a task already handled and sorted out, one less worry on my list.

Because I love myself, in each moment I mindfully and intentionally choose what is healthy, joyful and uplifting for me. In each moment, I choose whatever path is brighter and brings more ease and gentleness into my heart.

Because I love myself, I write out my to-do list as often as I can, because I know it will give me more peace of mind and focus so I can achieve my goals.

Because I love myself, I am mindful of my shortcomings, triggers, traumas and anxieties, and take mind not to trigger them; avoid actions that I know will trigger them, while at the same time lovingly working through then within myself, taking the time to address, evaluate and release what I can.

Because I love myself, I am mindful not to be hard on myself, or be overly critical, or demanding. I know that in each moment I am trying my best, and that is good enough, always and forever – even if my best happens to be 5%. It is ok. It is my best, and it is enough. Each day is different, and I welcome the beauty and diversity of that. I know that mistakes are inevitable, because that is life, and that ultimately there is no wrong or right, in the end your life choices simply are, and you take ownership for your decisions, because it is the path you have intentionally chosen for yourself.

Because I love myself, I understand that I am complex, that like nature itself, my spirit moves through seasons where I am reborn, bloom wildly, recharge or hibernate; like the moon, my spirit moves through cycles where I burn brightest and then withdraw, even drown, in my own darkness. Because balance is necessary for the spirit, mind and body to integrate all its intricate, miraculous facets, both dark and light.

Because I love myself, I know that life is not a race, or a competition, and so I do not strive to be better than anyone else, other than myself; I strive not to outdo anyone else, but myself; I strive for the highest regard of no one else, other than myself; I strive for self development, and not artificial (and consequently subjective and relative) perfection.

Because I love myself, I forgive all those that have wronged me, not firstly for the sake of others, but for my own peace of mind and soul, so I may release myself from the captivity of painful bonds, relationships, memories. I forgive all those that have wronged me, including myself, because I know myself, and know my value, and my worth, and most of all know that I deserve to be happy and at peace – with myself, with others, with my past.

Because I love myself, I know that I am not a fixed definition in the vocabulary of all that know me. Instead I am a concept, an ever changing enigma even to myself. I am always evolving, improving, transforming; and that is something that nobody and nothing can withhold from me, or hold against me.

Because I love myself, I know that life is not about doing the right thing according to this or that. Instead, life is about choosing for me what makes me happiest and most at peace (but never at the negative expense of others). I understand that I am the protagonist of my story, and that the only editor of my narrative is me – not my friends, or lovers, or family. I can erase, rewrite and draft my storyline as many times as I need, as many times as I want.

I love myself, because that is my base nature, it is my natural self. When I relax into my being, when I let myself to simply be, I relax into my most natural state, and that is love.