When I was pregnant with Beanstalk in 2001/2002, I had a house.
I know! It's so shocking!
I had a house and it was mine. Well, not exactly. Technically, it was a tax shelter for Buddy. Whole other story. But it was my domain--all three bedrooms , etc. I also slept in a real king sized bed. Mostly. There were a few very overburdened moments there when I slept in a recliner. Meh. I painted the walls, hung up my art, had my very own furniture and dishes and such, and ran around in various states of undress. Beanstalk had a nursery. Not even kidding. (Someone out there is wheezing with laughter). And only my husband at the time lived there--that's a marked decrease in population compared to my average situation now, huh? But he traveled extensively...so. My kingdom...or was it a queendom?
Attrition and Mystery lived only a couple blocks away in a monstrosity of a house. When they moved in, they put in a gorgeous pool. After I "retired" for the first time, it was the highlight of my day to put on my ugly polka-dot swim suit with the patronizing bow tie between the boobs (such is the state of most maternity swimsuits) and go clean the pool and get in my work out. I also had a pretty killer tan. It was my reward for giving up caffeine. Or something.
One day, it had rained heavily, and after sweeping and skimming the pool, I finally got in. My first thought was a rather incoherent, "Oh criminy, I've finally gained enough weight with this kid to overflow the pool." and then a split second later I realized that rain actually fell in the pool. I was slow. Hormones, right? Something.
I remember bobbing there as the water lapped over the edge of the pool and enjoying what a cool effect that made. Less like a bathtub and more like a mountain lake with a shore. Full to the brim. It was a very fitting metaphor for what I felt was happening in my life at the time, too.
About three or four months later--when Beanstalk was born and diagnosed--a war of attrition began for my life, all that I loved, and even my soul. I only started coming out of it a little over a year ago in some ways. After it started, life was like watching a setup of dominoes after the first domino has been knocked over. Almost fascinating in a horrifying way. Inevitable. Bit by bit everything that filled me up was ripped apart, taken away, broken, injured, or spilled out. I felt gutted and wasn't even sure I could get up any more. So I fought sitting down. Until all I could do was throw rocks while curled up in the fetal position of my mind. Beaten. Perhaps I had run out of luck? Maybe that God I thought had been helping me out all that time really wasn't? Well, hell. That would suck. I couldn't even follow that thought through. The possibility was abysmally terrifying. How did I get here from there? I'm the same person! I did what I was supposed to do, right? Followed all the rules. Whatever those are. I know I made bad decisions. Sometimes I just had to make a decision. Any decision. And the options weren't always that great. What exactly were my options? I wasn't sure at all anymore.
But about two years ago, I decided to renew the fight for myself. It was an uphill battle entirely. All the way. I discovered a unique opinion about how I was supposed to live my life for every person on earth. Some people developed a new unique opinion about how I should do things every third day (conservative estimate). They had free-flowing opinions about many other things as well. "Ooooh. You're going to try that again. That didn't go so well for you before. Maybe you should give up." That's the short version. Pick a topic. I "should" probably not try it.
The understood portion of that statement is: "YOU SHOULD NOT TRY THAT BECAUSE YOU'LL JUST FAIL."
I would even go so far as to say there is an additional sentence to tag onto that: "AGAIN."
Hogwash. Who falls in a mud puddle and doesn't get out of it because they might fall into another mud puddle again if they were to get back up? Um, no one. So, I would look like a dumb shit to cozy up in my mud puddle for life. I just would.
And since when did six years of, well, very dark and difficult times mean that the rest of my life is going to reek as well? You know what? I've pretty much figured out that no single day is necessarily a precedent for any other day. The same goes for weeks, months, and years.
Do you know how I know that?
'Cause lately? I find I'm full to the brim again. Life is not perfect by any means. Who would expect that? But it's good enough for me to open my arms wide in the car and scream "woo hoo!" for joy or even spin around in circles on the lawn until I fall over dizzy (I take a five-year-old with me as an excuse--they are convenient that way). Sometimes I even blow bubbles in my milk with a straw (bendy straws work best as does chocolate milk, really). Other times I sing really loudly along with the music. Or I dance however I want to dance. I write in this blog. I send random texts to friends. Even stay in the bathtub until the water is ice cold. Or I strut my bizarre t-shirt collection. And more. Really.