Mostly Peace, Love and Light…….And a little F-You.

Every time there’s a big political event, our social media News Feeds fill up with fake news, ugly memes, and depending on who your friends are, flat out personal attacks, from people you thought were somewhat decent. Or at the very least, who had a base level of respect for highly regarded people–like say, a favorite High School Teacher–to not equate them to a “whore” for participating in a march; or call them a “cry baby” when they post their views; or tell them to stop their whining and “go make a sandwich”.

On their own Facebook page, at that.

After the women’s march on Saturday, I saw a lot of that kind of thing. Parents were told they were failures. Marchers were told they were “bitchy fat women” who Trump “finally got off the couch”. People sent prayer memes to Jesus, asking that we all get sprayed with rubber bullets. And of course there were lots and lots of assumptions made, about who was marching, and why.

So let me just say this: I was there, and at least here in Portland there wasn’t one single reason why everyone marched. Each person who went, had their own, deeply held reasons. While some had shirts and signs that said it out loud, others had motives that were very personal, and private, and traumatic; and coming to this march, may have been the first time they had even admitted those reasons to themselves. But to really know why any one person was there, you’d have to ask them yourself.

Maybe without calling them a Fat Ass Failure Whore.

Not that anyone was nasty on my page. I put a lid on that long ago. Because at the end of the day, we all get to choose how we play this thing, and my one rule of Facebook is this: Say what you want on your own page. If I don’t agree, I won’t make myself your victim, because I had the choice to read it or not. And with those handy little functions called “Restrict”, “Block”, and “Un-friend”, if I repeatedly get pissed at the things that you post, and I still keep you in my News Feed, I have no one to blame but myself. On my own page though, it’s all my rules. And anyone who trolls for the sake of trolling, or who can’t disagree or discuss with a certain amount of decency, doesn’t get to stay.

All of that being said, it also makes me think, that even with this weird window in to another person’s life, we still know very little about each other at all. The real stuff, I mean. All we see is a momentary snapshot of any given time in our lives: where we are, who we’re with, what we’re doing, what we look like, what we’re eating, or what we think or believe. But that’s not who we really are. It’s just a basis for assumption, and then our minds fill in the blanks, for everything else about each other, that we couldn’t possibly know. And I have to believe, that every single one of us, is so much more, that any one picture, ideal, or activity that a moment in our News Feed reveals.

A couple of weeks ago, I took a big bunch of coats, hats and gloves to a homeless shelter downtown. If I would have stopped to take a selfie, next to a huge pile of bags, with a big heart emoji, along with a hashtag “HelpingTheHomeless!”, certain assumptions would have been made about who I am, and what I do. And in that one single moment, some of them may have been true.

But if anyone would have recorded me, not 5 minutes later, after some douche in a BMW almost ran me over in the crosswalk on my way back to my car, an entirely different assumption may have been made about who I really am. And whatever goes along with running down the street with both fingers in the air yelling “YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME MOTHER EFFER!?!?”; at least for that moment, it would have probably been true too.

So which one do I get to be?

I’d say I get them both.

Because at this point in my life, I have zero desire to spend the rest of my existence, trying to live up to some of my best moments, or live down some of my worst. I’m just a normal slob, who tries for the most part, to do the best I can as life comes my way. Sometimes that means doing the right thing; and sometimes that means waking up the next morning, and promising myself that I’m going to suck a little less today, than I did the day before.

While some people are truly awful, and purposefully look for an opportunity to be mean, I can only assume, that when it comes down to it, we’re all mostly the same; and that on any given day, a glimpse into our life, would find us dropping bags of clothes at a homeless shelter, or something relatively good. But then every now and again, especially at times like this, when we feel threatened and defensive, like we’re in the crosswalk of life and about to be run down, we turn into the potty mouth crazy lady, who’s running down the street, and screaming after a black sedan, with a double finger salute.

The other day I saw a quote that said “I’m mostly ‘Peace, Love and Light’…..and a little ‘Go F**k Yourself”. If a meme could be my Spirit Animal, this one would be it. With a few rare exceptions, I think if we’re really honest, we’re all more like that than not.

Or at least that’s what I try to remember, when I see so many great people—including myself at times—letting the state of our divided country, bring us all down so low.

 

P.S. My passion isn’t politics. It’s trying to understand who we are as people. And I don’t care how anyone voted. I love us all.

P.S.S. Sorry to anyone who already saw this on my Facebook page. I keep forgetting I have a blog now. And by “forgetting”, I mean running back to Facebook, because I’m not that brave and it still seems so much safer.

Dear WordPress. You’re the only one who truly understands me.

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Dear WordPress,

So here we are again.

You: still waiting patiently.

Me: cursing and crying and digging a hole in the wall in front of my desk with an anxious big toe, as I Write. Erase. Repeat. And then press my fingers into my eyeballs as far as I can without causing permanent blindness, and think “Who even does this?”

Like really. What kind of person feels the burning need to vomit words into space where anyone.

Or no one.

But mostly anyone.

Can read them?

For the last month. Every time I’ve tried to write this post, that’s the only thing that comes out.

And why do I need to do it? For the love of all things holy WHY, when it’s way easier, and far more enjoyable to eat my feelings the way normal people do.

Maybe I should have known these things, before spending an hour on the phone with The GoDaddy Saint, who toddler walked me through choosing packages, and in-depth explanations of technical terms, after I spent weeks and weeks of googling “WTF IS A WIDGET?!?” with teeth gritting angst, all on my own.

“I’m sorry you got me today” I said.

And I really was.

That’s what I’m here for, he assured me. Which was both a comfort, and a disappointment, because I was half hoping that the minute I called, the wise millennial owl on the other end of the line would say “No. Absolutely not. We do not sell blogs to people who have no actual proof that they have anything new or important to say. So piss off, okay?”

Then that would be it. I’d take their word for it, piss off, and I’d finally be free.

“What will your blog be about?” asked Saint Daddy.

“Narcissistic personalities.” I blurted out. “And abusive relationships. And toxic families. And cults. And faith destroyed. And faith restored; well, sort of.  And being adopted. And finding your birth family after your life is half over. And missing them so much, that even when they’re standing right there in front of you and you’re squeezing them tight, your heart still feels like it’s trying to pump cold molasses through one of those little green coffee straws. And how not to drive yourself off of a cliff when you finally hit 40, and realize that the stories you thought you had neatly stacked and hidden, weren’t really hidden a bit. And now they’re hanging out all over the place, like the identity crisis closet of a teenage girl, but instead of the real stories you wish you could tell, they look like anger, and sadness, and outbursts, and phobias, and depression, and all sorts of socially acceptable addictions that make you feel weirdly cozy, and absolutely miserable all at the same time. And it’s about hatred, and healing. And bitterness, and peace. And finally telling the truth, for the first time in my life. And you know…..maybe some cute animal stuff too…….”

“Oh.” was his reply. “Well, good luck with that”.

Yeah. Good luck with that.

And now every day since, It’s been you and me, and some combination of Oreos, Fireball, and Trader Joes Turkey and Stuffing potato chips (strangely delicious btw ) in front of a dead white screen. And besides the fact that I can’t seem to sleep, or get rid of that sandpaper feeling that’s itching beneath my skin, I’ve pretty much convinced myself that I’ve just spent $119.99 to finally figure out that I’m not strong enough, or brave enough, to even do this kind of thing.

Except I am.

I know I am.

Or at least I think, I know I am.

A little over 8 years ago now, my friend J.—and by friend, I mean therapist, but whatever—asked me what I wanted most in my life.

I told her that I just wanted to be a real person.

Not that I knew what that meant, because even as a married adult, with a real job and a real family and all sorts of other things that seemed really, really, real, I was also fully owned—body, mind, spirit and soul—by everyone, and everything, other than myself. And no matter how real I looked on the outside, I had no idea what it was supposed to feel like on the inside. What I did know, is that driving down the freeway and staring longingly into the eyes of an oncoming semi, and silently begging it to wipe me off the planet, probably wasn’t it. Neither was spending day after day, sobbing next to the dog dish on the laundry room floor, while my kids binged on Animal Planet, and picked trail mix from between the couch cushions instead of asking me for a snack, because “Mommy was sad and scary”.

And for whatever reason, writing it down, and sending it out, makes me feel as real as I ever have. Fear has a way of doing that, I guess.

So maybe that’s the reason why, I feel this constant need. Because I desperately crave the realness and the clarity, that only writing brings. And because until I started writing my own stories, on my own terms, life was the opposite of clear; it was a murky green soup with bits and chunks of the nasty unknown, and I was choking on every bite.

I fully believe, that either consciously or unconsciously, functionally or dysfunctionally, we’re always telling our story. Knowing and accepting the real story, is what keeps the rest of our lives, from being nothing more than a metaphor, for the things we’re too afraid to say. And reconciling the truth, means stepping into the life we were made for, instead of wasting everything we’ve been given, on surviving the one that we weren’t.

Healed people, heal people. But unless we tell out stories, that’s kind of hard to do. Not that I’d call myself healed. I’m too stumbling and bumbling and reaching and slobbering to ever live up to that. But I have done some heal-ing; so I guess what I’m trying to say, is that I’m showing up, and I’m ready to share—run on sentences, iffy punctuation, crap grammar, and all.

Even if it’s just with you, WordPress.

So just as a little side note: I hope it’s ok, that I’ve started to see you as a weirdly attractive, slobbish older man, in my mind. Not too hot, or I’d start picking my nails, and laughing like a goob. And not too interested in what I have to say, or I’d think that all of this matters way more than it does, and end up right back where I have been; miserably frozen in that hellish combination of Imposter Syndrome and Fear-of-Pretty-Much- Everything (besides eating chocolate covered nuts, on a broken-ass recliner, and binge watching Netflix, while I pretend not to notice that the dog is scrubbing his butt on the carpet again.) I’m picturing you like The Dude. Maybe a little more sober, but definitely in your underwear, and listening just enough, through half closed eyes, to say something kind of encouraging, and kind of rude, like, “Get over yourself girl.  And just do it already.  It’s almost time for my second morning nap.”

And will you look at that? I think maybe, I just did.