Tag Archives: love

Generosity. #reverb14

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Look back at the last year and consider: how did generosity open your heart? How can you cultivate generosity in the coming year?

My mother was generous. She laughed a lot, gave what she could and when we needed help, help was given to our family. I made it to the age of 13 knowing that people were warm and kind. That when you suffered, that was the best time to help others.

We were one of those families that have their names, ages and a small wish list put upon some random office or school Christmas tree. People fulfilled those wishes for us. It was nice. I remember sitting on the twin size bed that shared a room with my brother’s at my dad’s apartment, playing with the slime lab that I was given. We got some clothes, some toys. People always gave us food.

After my mom died, I learned that not everyone was generous. I remember being 15 and asking my dad for lunch money, $20. Enough for $1 a day, which was the bare minimum to have a lunch, a cup of noodle soup. He gave me $5. My friends fed me and then I got a job when I was 16. This is not new information. I’ve mentioned this many times.  But I learned from him that sometimes when you ask for what you need, the bare minimum, you don’t even get that. I learned the feeling of shame and guilt in asking for anything.

My goal is that whoever comes to me for help, I don’t want anyone to feel ashamed. So, I give. Love, joy, time, concern, sometimes I can even afford gifts. I want Josh to always feel cozy and loved at home. Home should be a safe space. I give big hugs, because people forget how wonderful they can be. I’ve had someone cry in my arms because of how loving my hug was. FOR REALZ. She just burst into tears. She was, incidentally, a big crier. But still. My hug made someone cry in joy.  I want to be that safe space for people.

I’ve been lucky in that my life is full of generous people. I always feel like I take more than I give. It is a perpetual guilt that I feel. My car, my home, even my bed are mine because of my friends’ generosity. There are beautiful things in my life because people have given them to me. I’ve gone to wonderful places and had great times because of my friends’ generosity. I feel grateful to them but also awkward,  because I’ll never be able to give them the things they give me. How can I ever match the joy and love they provide me with?

I try to make the world better in little ways that mean so much to other people. I don’t like talking about it because it’s not about getting a pat on the back. It’s about making a conscious choice to make a difference. When I’m having a hard time in life, I try to give, because making someone else happy makes my day better too.

With all that said, I’m still a dick. I’m still judgmental and abrupt. Making people uncomfortable with my honesty will always be an unfortunate side effect of being me. Awkwardness is embraced and accepted. I just know that I can do small things to make others happy, so I do those things.  Cultivating my generosity is something that I try to do daily. Sometimes I fail, but most days, I can get one or two things done to make someone’s day brighter.

So, thank you. Thank you for helping me through my life.

Lift your voice. #reverb14

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what is the sound of your own voice?

Strong.

My voice is strong.

It is in literal terms, odd. It can be light and feminine. It can be a bit nasally, and in singing, off key and awkward. When I am unsure, it tends to get vulnerable and childlike. My laugh is a cackle. My sneeze is a tiny achoo.

But in a metaphorical sense, it is strong. It does not waver from me. I speak up, for me and others. Since I was young, I’ve had a driving sense of fairness and equality about life.

Life isn’t fair. But we should do our BEST to tilt the axis in that direction. Our lives are for each other as much as our selves. Its our duty to make the world better for each other. That’s what our voices are for.

In writing this, I did not take time to think over my answer, so I’m not sure what else to say that won’t lead into a feminist rant or one that fights for the rights of this nations black citizens. Our world needs help. Needs love. Life is feeling bleak and hopeless and its time to lift our voices to speak up for each other.

To revel in love. #reverb14

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It’s all too easy to put off loving where we are until everything is perfect. What can you love about where you are now?

My typical day is nothing special to most people. I wake far too early, go to work, come home, go to the gym, do laundry, etc.

I wake next to a man who is my partner. Sometimes partners make mistakes and then we work through them as a team. I wake surrounded by warmth and love, a pile made of blankets, a dog, a couple kitties and Josh. Sometimes the cats throw up and we step in it. Sometimes the dog wakes us by dropping her toy on our faces.

Getting ready for work, I get to have quiet moments to myself. Doing my makeup makes me think of the people I love as most of my really awesome stuff was given to me by friends and family. Because of them, I have more eye shadow in my life than I know what to do with and I adore it. I can attribute my use of my skincare line to my friends who work in salons. A picture of my mother hangs so that I can see her over my shoulder as I get ready. I get dressed and then go back to turn on the light and kiss Josh goodbye. He rolls over and smiles at me in his sleep, then wakes and smiles more.

When I come out of my house, I say good morning to the three chickens outside our door and then head to work. I drive a beautiful 40 minutes to work, passing water and mountains and the glorious views that the Pacific Northwest offers. My work is a lovely place, full of its problems, sure, but all in all wonderful. It’s hard, but challenging work and I’m lucky to do what I do.

When I drive home, I’m tired. I come home and my dog greets me as if I’ve been gone for years. My cats come running to the door. I change into my gym clothes and pull out whatever I need to make dinner. Sometimes I’m too tired, or forget. I gather Josh’s clothes and meet him at work. We grumble and go to the gym. Our experience at the gym is one of work, laughter, and people watching. Sometimes we fight when he demands lunges and I don’t want to do them. Most times we grumble and then are happy with our workout afterward. We part ways and meet at home.

Josh winds down with video games and I cook dinner. We laugh about our days. We watch the Daily show together as we eat. He holds me to put me to sleep some nights. Some nights we fall apart in a tangle of limbs and sweat and high five our approval of each other.

I see my friends, I laugh with them, I commiserate. They know I love them. I love my family, though I am not as good at being a family member as I am a friend. But I love them, and will fight tooth and nail for the best for them. I am loved. I am rich in the joy of life. I am warm of heart. It is not a grand life, full of money and fame, but it is mine and I love it, for better or worse.

My life is good.

My life is love.

I cannot find fault in the joy of it, in the humanity of it.

 

Her heart grew three sizes that day #reverb11

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Being Moved – tell us about a time this year that you were moved by the generosity of another.

I feel as if this might be repeating myself, but I cannot stress enough how much I owe the current sanity of my life to my friends. They saved me. Leslie as we knew her was eroding away under the constant tears and pain. It was noticed and I was saved.

While I may not be able to say I don’t have friends, I feel as if I’ve always been a bad friend. Mainly because I don’t want to burden people with my problems. Lori forced me to accept her help, to ask for it, and to stop feeling guilty about it. Her favorite thing to say to me was along the lines of “Shut the fuck up. Would you do this for me if I was in your situation?” to which I would answer, “Yes of course, but…” “But nothing. Shut the fuck up and stop telling me how to be a friend.” Maybe it’s not verbatim, but its close. There were probably more “fuck”s in there.

Her love forced me to open up and relax. She showed me what true sisterhood was. I can talk about her loaning and then selling me her car, I can talk about how she helped me financially, but ultimately, she was the one that made me wake up. Lori gave me her love unconditionally. She laughed with me, cried with me, railed against life with me. I’m part of her family now. Because of her, I have learned how to be a friend.

I’m still trying, learning.

Dixie is my second hero. I can thank her for my home, my job, etc. What I can’t ever thank her enough for is the support that she’s given. Again, we bonded over laughter and tears, shocked at how similar our patterns were. I’ve never seen tears flow the way that Dixie’s do, and it has taught me that I’m allowed to cry too. When life hurts, tears are okay. They are a part of healing. She’s helped me laugh over ridiculous things and given me love and happiness.

I am awed by the generosity of my friends. They are the reason I can stand up. They are the reason I am myself again. I am moved to tears when I think about all they have done and will continue to do for me. Not because they have to, but just because they love me. I strive to be like them.

Facing Philophobia

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How can I trust my choices? How can I know that I am safe from myself?

Simple. Making bad ones, and recognizing them. Not continuing to see someone who ignored me, or was rude, or disappointed me. Allowing myself to say to someone who was wrong for me, “No thanks, it was fun, but I’m done now.”

This past weekend, I was super hormonal. Luckily, because I’ve been so terrified of feeling… stuff… it sort of forced me to feel that stuff in a crazed, overly female type state. When I say this, I just mean that I’ve noticed that I don’t feel the same way women around me do. A lot of the way that I handle feelings is more like men do. I sort of ignore them, or maybe just don’t have many. I’m pretty relaxed, so its hard to offend me because I can usually identify with the way that people have said something or what not. I hear what people say in their own voices, not in my voice. I’m unsure of how to really explain it except to say that I’m usually more comfortable around dudes.

In my superfemme state, I realized, as women do, that behaving like a man is stupid. It doesn’t matter who was behaving like a man, just that someone was, and it’s asinine. I realized that I was being asinine. I’m trying to not let fear keep me from good things, but I’m afraid of loving someone. It scares me because of how I love. I really throw myself into it. When I love someone, I don’t hold any of it back, because that doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve been holding myself at arms length and telling myself that its not a smart plan.

Dixie started the thought path. She asked me if I was not planning on that path with the gentleman I’m seeing. I told her that I could see it happening down the road, but for fucks sake, I didn’t want to be a relationship hopper. I wanted independence. Lori told me something simple. I just have to open myself up again. I have to accept the possibility of love. My guy friends get the feelings I’m fighting and why. They explained to me that sometimes you don’t end up losing your independence just because you love someone and they love you. I know this seems a strange thing to have to explain to someone, but I didn’t really get it.

I know that there are reasons I’m scared of love. When I try to expound upon it, I end up feeling like a gibbering idiot. I know that I might be capable of loving someone in a different, healthy way, if I try. Maybe I’ll love him. Maybe not. I’d like to give it a shot though. It might work, if I move slowly enough so as not to spook myself. Stupid little fool is trying something new…

The edge cuts deeply

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I am adrift in emotion right now. I miss love. As I sit here, tears roll down my cheeks, hitting my pretty yellow table top and I just miss being someone’s home, and them being mine. I’m lonely tonight, on purpose, but still lonely.

It is what I asked for. I asked for a loneliness that was mine only. I’ll come out of it. I’m afraid to say the words, “I love you” and mean them. I’m afraid I’ll choose wrong again. Or he will. It’s a consuming fear that bases itself in my breath, so that if I even think about taking in the air to release those words, it suffocates me.

But gods I want monogamy again.

I want a man who looks at me and sees me. The complicated crazy fun mess I am. He kisses my cheek when I’m being OCD and tells me that I’m cute because The COLORS Must Be In Order. He tells me my eyes are beautiful, and watches me with intent. He finds me sitting in the tub with a glass of wine and washes my back as we talk about nothing. When his mind is stormy, I hold him to chase the clouds away. He bunches my curls in his fist and lets the ringlets grip his fingers. We find each other frustrating, delightful and fascinating. We laugh, we rage, we cry, we soothe. We are partners.

I have never had this. I thought I did. I pretended to, but the cake was a lie. So instead, I pull on my yoga pants, dry my tears, snuffle a bit and make some dinner. Maybe the Christmas Party will assuage the loneliness.

 
Sometimes though, I chase away a little of the pain with my phantom man. If only because a relief from the constant pain, even if made up, is relief of some sort.