I’m about to redesign my site. There’s a lot of things I’ve wanted to do, and say, and write, but I’ve found that I usually only write when I’m upset. I don’t like that my blog has come to that, especially when I used to be so much more entertaining. So it’s time for a new look & new content to reflect my new attitude & new life.
“I have lost my mind. If you see it, please put it in a box and send it to some research facility.”
“I really cannot be held responsible for anyone else’s mind, since I obviously can’t take care of my own.”
“True. We should probably be eligible for grants.”
Have you ever tried to put a puzzle together, only to get to the end and find a few pieces missing? I’ve felt that way for quite some time, but now, I finally feel like I have all the pieces. The big picture has become crystal clear. I think I may have made a few bad judgments along the way, but ultimately, I think I made the right decisions.
I am truly far more naive than I give myself credit for. And here I was, thinking I was all jaded and cynical…
Do you ever come across something you wish you had not seen? An image that you wish you could erase from your memory the instant that it hits your eyes? I’ve seen too many, evidence of a time I wish I could go back and make different choices. Perhaps if I had, things might be different now, and I’m not sure that would be a good thing. I *love* my life now. But it is not built on a solid foundation.
D & I had a pretty rocky road getting to where we are today. There were lies, deceit, and betrayal on both sides. I won’t pretend I was innocent; there were some nights I was crushed by loneliness, waiting for promises to be fulfilled and changes to be made. There were so many lies. Lies on top of lies, on both sides. His inability to commit made for too many lonely nights, and I found solace in the arms of someone else. It wasn’t a lack of love; I loved him so much I was willing to let him go, and tried several times, so that he could figure out what he wanted once and for all.
He always came back. But with one foot in my home, and his other foot in another.
Perhaps that is why TBM hates me so much. I often wonder what it looked like on her side. Was he telling me the truth? Was he telling her something else? Was I the stupid and naive woman on the side, waiting for the man to leave his “wife?” According to him, he was already long gone.
But the pictures paint a different story.
I was already so damaged. My trust had been ripped out long before I met him, yet something in me trusted him anyway. Imagine my shock when the first email came…
So I held him at arm’s length. I fell fast and hard, but still did not give my heart entirely to him. Something just wasn’t right. Something was missing. Something in my gut told me to wait… because something was not right.
Do you ever ignore that feeling? Do you ever convince yourself that it’s just the devil whispering in your ear, trying to make you doubt yourself, or keep you from finding happiness again? It’s the worst feeling, going against that intuition. And then the events unfold that tell you, no, you were right all along. And still you stay… because you can ignore that stupid feeling in your gut, but you can’t ignore the one in your heart.
You know the story. Eventually, I walked away. I walked away from the lies, the broken promises, the countless disappointments, and the most difficult love I’d ever experienced. I jumped headfirst into the first disaster of a man that threw himself at me, and convinced myself that it was better than living with D.
But love will not die.
My story makes no sense. It’s a complete train wreck. We were both genuinely AWFUL people. We both denied what was completely obvious in the beginning. We made all the wrong decisions at all the wrong times. I don’t think we could have hurt one another any more if we’d actually pulled out weapons. I can’t count the number of times I was sobbing on my kitchen floor in rage and frustration, or screaming wild-eyed in a fit of madness. My heart would go cold and numb with each transgression, but as the anger would fade, the ache was too difficult to bear. It took every single ounce of will power to walk away from this man… yet I could never stay away.
I sound like a pathetic country song. “But Momma, I LUV HYIM.” But I do. No matter what happens, no matter how much is revealed, no matter what the mistake, I forgive. But each time, the ground beneath my feet starts to crack. I pray for solid ground, for some sort of foundation that will carry the weight of the life I’ve built. I believe in change, and I believe you can overcome the past. I’m living proof.
I just don’t know if I believe he can.
“Ms. Z, L says you got cake.”
“What cake?” I asked, only to be greeted with hysterical laughter. This is usually a sign of my stunning uncool ness, so I pulled out my iPhone and headed over to Urban Dictionary to see what new phrase my beloved children just taught me.
cake – a woman’s nicely figured booty, fat, juicy, plump, voluptuous
damnnn that shawty qot a cakeee, she look like she tryna marry betty crocker !
Irony, that they would call it the very thing that helped create it.
Today marked a family milestone. For the first time in my life, I felt truly worthy of my Suburban Goddess title. Most people don’t understand that name is a personal joke. I really don’t take myself that seriously; I have an extreme lack of domestic skills. I am the furthest creature away from anything suburban, and I certainly do not consider myself a goddess.
But today was different.
I stepped on the scale to discover I am now officially 20 pounds lighter, with nothing more than pure determination and will power. That’s pretty empowering. My skin has cleared, the headaches are gone, and I feel awesome. That’s given me the drive to start running in earnest again, and today, I was fortunate enough to have a team run with me. But not just any team. My new husband (old boyfriend) and my two beautiful little girls both hit the pavement with me.
I know I’ve become a portrait of yuppie bliss, and the irony is not lost on me. I pick out my organic food at Trader Joe’s while I rail about the injustices of politics, education, and my students socio-economic situations. In some ways, I’ve become everything that I used to hate, but I’ve come to realize that I’m in such a better place. My life is good, and that’s not something I’ve had for a long time. When life is good, your biggest issue becomes finding a way to eat the fruit in your house before it goes bad. Seriously. That’s a really good life.
Sure, I’ve got issues. TBM has episodes, my kids are whiny sometimes, and my Jeep is a money pit. But those things are truly nothing in the big picture. I’ve failed so many times that it’s just a speed bump in my life. Have you ever gotten to a place where failure no longer matters to you? I can’t describe how amazing that feels. I see with far more clarity than ever before. I want to keep learning, to grow, and to truly make a difference in this world. It became crystal clear as my old students came by this week during Open House. The hugs, the smiles, and the stories lifted my heart and gave my feet wings today. I am in the right place. I have found my true calling.
Today I ran with joy… Not because I had to. And as my girls held my hands I realized how incredibly blessed I am, and I know that this was the color at the end of the period of darkness. My life is vivid, full & beautiful. Each color represented something amazing in my life.
The darkness is gone. Laughter has returned. And somewhere, up in Heaven, I know Daddy is smiling, too. Finally, I have the family I have always dreamed of.
Sometimes, I have to take a hiatus from the news. For one, it’s so damn biased on both sides, it’s unbelievable. Two, having a husband in law enforcement has shown me that most of time, it’s not even true. Seriously. It’s scary how reporters, when lacking facts, seem to have absolutely no scruples about just making shit up. I can’t imagine how I would have survived if I’d actually became a journalist. I guess I’d be okay; I’m a pretty decent fiction writer.
More disturbing to me, however, are the comments on these sites. If you read the comments on any news story, it quickly escalates into the most meaningless troll-fest on the planet.
It’s almost like people have forgotten that truth matters.
I know, truth is a relative term, but really, it’s not. There is truth, then there is opinion. And those perceptions are relative to the experiences, beliefs, and opinions of the beholder. But truth is still truth. No matter how loudly you scream your opinion, or how snotty your Facebook updates allude to your version of reality, it still does not make it truth.
The fact is, most of us don’t even know the truth.
Unfortunately, nobody seems interested in telling it anymore, either.
I constantly search for the truth. I’ve hit many brick walls in my searches; I’ve had people hide the truth as a means of power, and I’ve had people hide FROM the truth in a stunning display of complete denial. It’s both frustrating and infuriating to me. But somewhere along the way, I came to the realization that some people simply must live that way, because to confront the truth would make it impossible for them to live with themselves or the choices they have made.
I get it. You’re a miserable bastard. But why would you hold onto that? Seriously? And how does a cap-locked tirade on a news site make you feel like you’re worth more than another human being?
I would rather bleed out the pain of truth than rot in the hatred that comes from denying it. Why is it so hard for people to compromise? Why don’t more people question the garbage that they are fed? And why don’t we call them out on the carpet for the lies that they perpetuate?
I am all for spirited debates… but let’s put the intelligence and respect back into them, rather than demeaning ourselves with personal attacks and a litany of bad language (which is often not even spelled correctly.)
I recognize this may be a bit hypocritical of me, given my past penchant for Internet tirades. The difference? I don’t hide behind an anonymous name, and I acknowledge my ignorance when I am wrong. And above all, I WANT to be a better, well-informed, understanding and flexible individual.
Alex and I lay out on a lounge chair next to the pool, looking up at the stars.
“I wonder which one is grandpa,” she mused aloud. I smiled sadly.
“I don’t know, baby.”
“It has to be one of the brightest ones.”
I’m 100% certain of that.
For the past few years, I’ve really started to struggle with my weight. I love to run, and I love to kickbox, but time constraints and general lethargy have made it more and more difficult to commit to an exercise routine. (<— LAME EXCUSE) I knew the heart of the problem was the food choices that I made, so one week ago I finally made the commitment to make the life change that I know I’m capable of.
Part of the problem is finding the right motivation. Mine came in the form of a picture, sadly, of my wedding day. For years I’ve turned to that slimming 45 degree angle that I’ve instructed all my clients to turn to. I know every photographer trick in the book, and on my wedding day, I used them all to no avail.
It’s not the just the vanity. In the mornings, I slammed about four cups of coffee loaded with sugar before I can even function, only to crash horrifically by 10am. I don’t sleep well, and I’m easily irritated. I used to blame it on my crazy schedule, but the fact of the matter is, I LOVE my schedule. Every single day, I have so much that I want to accomplish that there simply are not enough hours in the day. The schedule is not going to change. I KNEW the answers lay within the food that I ate. Sugar, grain & high-fat. Cookies. Cake. Ice Cream. BREAD.
When I was growing up, we didn’t have dessert every night. We had dinner. I wasn’t allowed to have soda everyday. I did sneak candy every chance I got, because at an early age, I had a wicked sweet tooth. But sweets, and excessive sugar, were a TREAT, not an everyday occurrence. When I made that transition into adulthood, I took advantage of my new-found independence by eating whatever I wanted. That wasn’t a problem in my twenties, when I had the metabolism of a race horse. But as I started my 30′s, the pounds started to stick.
So when I saw this beautifully shot photograph of me & my wonderful new husband, I came to a realization. I am starting a new life, in every way. What a perfect time to change. It wasn’t just a decision to change the way I ate, either. I wanted to show him, every day, that I appreciate all the things he does for me as well. Instead of being the wife who “let herself go,” I want to be the wife that he’s proud to show off. (Let me point out, he already does, but inside, I’ve always struggled to find that worth that he views so easily.) I need to feel it from the inside.
So days 1-3 were absolute torture. I put down anything that had sugar or grain, and set out to eat clean. I thought it would be hard to find foods, but when I made my list, I found that there were only a few items that I could not find at my grocery store. I drank my coffee black. I ate my eggs with no salt. In fact, I ate ALL DAY. Cucumbers, carrots, almonds, clementines, plums…. and yet I still wanted a COOKIE. That was my first red flag into my past life; I KNEW this was the wrong reaction. I was STUFFED, why did I still want to eat an entire cake? My head ached. I just wanted to sleep. I tried desparately not to snap at my children. They seemed to sense the danger, hiding beneath blankets when I walked into the room.
“Don’t look her in the eyes! She’s gone CRAZY!!”
Day 4 was different. I woke up without that groggy, achy feeling I’ve learned to live with. As the day progressed, I munched steadily on different veggies and fruits, with the occasional handful of nuts. At no point did I get the raging urge to jump into the car and race to buy a candy bar. That evening, I went for a walk, and when I got home I realized I was refreshed, not tired.
The biggest test of my will power came when D & I went to see a movie. Popcorn has always been my Achilles heel. The wonderful aroma filled my nostrils as I stepped into the theatre. I froze, waiting for the uncontrollable ache in the pit of my stomach to seize control of my feet and walk me over to the snack bar.
But it didn’t. It just smelled good, and that was it.
As I stepped onto the scale this morning, Day 7 of my new Sugar-Free life, I did not see what I expected. 6 pounds lighter.
6 pounds! I’m not starving, I’m more focused than ever, and the amount of energy I possess has increased my productivity in ways I’ve never imagined. I’s only been a week! But the most wonderful feeling was pulling my jeans over my hips without having to perform the jump-jump-stuff-and-groan move that I’ve become so accustomed to. There’s still a hint of juiciness that peeks over the back, that plumber’s crack giving the world a wink, but I know I’m going to kill that bastard soon. What a wonderful day that will be.
I’m not going to sit here and lecture anyone on their diet. Statistically, the odds of this endeavor working are stacked against me. But I can say this; YOU have to want it. And when you want it bad enough, YOU will make it happen. And holy crap, I want it.
My mother-in-law and I were out running errands yesterday with the New Kid in tow. One of the stops along the way was Spec’s, a large-scale liquor store, to pick up a case of wine that my mother-in-law ordered. Since it was over 100 degrees outside, there was no way I was going to leave H in the car, but I couldn’t let my mother-in-law carry out a case of wine either, so H had to go in the store with us. I knew H was heavily sheltered, so I braced myself for the questions when we walked in to display after display of alcohol.
“Whoa! This place is a wine wonderland!”
My thoughts exactly.