Time Warp Tuesday: Advice

Oops–it’s Thursday.
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Here we are again, the second Tuesday of the month and it’s time for Kathy’s monthly blog hop called Time Warp Tuesday. This is an opportunity to revisit some of our favorite posts from the past and see how far we’ve come since then.

This month’s theme is advice. I knew I’d written plenty on advice, and I thought I’d surely choose to share more derision of our court-appointed counselor. But no; instead I chose this post.

A post on the consequences of advice; the consequences of decisions; tue consequences of actions.

A lot has changed since the time I ignored all the advice I was given and bulldozed my way through.

Because last weekend, I went back to work. At the place I thought I burned my bridges and even rerouted the river three years ago. Okay, so it’s only been a few days, but it’s different than it was. And different is good.

I wanted to go back because I missed the job, and I missed how I felt when I was working there. I wanted to be part of a team again.

And yes, I know I’m part of a team with my family, but it doesn’t always feel that way. Sometimes I feel like a third wheel in my own home, and I hate that feeling. It feels separate but equal, even though my head knows I’m not equal.

It’s hard to deal with sometimes, and I wanted an escape. I guess I could have just brought Lappy up to the library every day for some novel finishing time, but this is paid escape. It doesn’t feel so much like running away.

But what does this all have to do with advice, you may ask? A few things, here and there. It’s different now, being back. It’s actually about me, not me in my poor situation. Most of the advice givers are still around, but it’s almost as though they’ve forgotten whatever advice they had to give.

It feels like three years ago to me, because I don’t have any of that intervening time to cloud my memory, but it really has been three years for them, and I’m old news. It’s such a strange feeling. Nobody even seems to remember why I left; what they remember is my skill set.

I wrote my post last year while out of the loop, with their superior words still fresh on my mind. I’ve learned that I can forgive and forget, as easily as they can simply forget. No, they can’t take those words back; they’ll always have been said. The difference is that I was able to distance myself for long enough and far enough that it doesn’t matter anymore. It wouldn’t matter if most of them said the same things today, because I have taught myself that I don’t need them. They’re not important enough to hurt me like they did before.

I am more than that. I am more than one choice or one mistake or one job. I am a whole person.


Time Warp Tuesday: Change

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It’s Time Warp Tuesday again, and this month the theme is ‘change.’

Time Warp Tuesday is hosted on the second Tuesday of the month by Kathy at Bereaved and Blessed, and the idea is to peruse your archives and select a post related to the topic to review and reflect on.

Here is the post I chose.

So many changes since that post, fourteen months ago; and yet, so much remains the same.

It is still hard to be where I wanted so badly to be, at times, but I’ve found so much more of myself along the way to where I am now.

I’ve written a novel; I’ve made actual goals and intend to achieve them; I’ve found new purpose and joy in every day.

I don’t wonder any more about failings in myself. Sometimes shit happens, and it’s not my fault. I’ve been able to say that for a long time, but only recently have I been able to believe it, to say it with conviction. It’s not my fault.

I’m not a bad person, and it’s much easier for me to cut myself breaks than it used to be. I can accept that I’m not perfect, I’m not going to be perfect, and it’s okay for me to admit that. It’s okay to ask for help when I need it, and it’s okay to accept help when it’s offered. That doesn’t make me less of a person, less deserving of anything. It means that I’m not trying to set myself up for failure and disappointment.

I know I can’t fix everything. I know some things can’t be fixed. But I also know that all things can be lived with.

And even though I’d forgotten this post, forgotten my vow to reclaim myself, I feel that I have done so. I am more fun, a million times more confident, and slightly more adventurous than I was a year ago. I have come far enough around the circle to be able to see the April-that-was not far ahead of me, and I know that I’ll be there again soon.


Time Warp Tuesday: Left Behind

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It’s Time Warp Tuesday again, and I’m actually on the ball this time around!

This month the theme is Left Behind. Kathy says, Look for a blog entry in your archives where you wrote about what it feels like to live on after the death of a loved one.

This is the post I chose.

I cried writing that post; I’m crying now after reading it again. Grandma Inez’s memorial service was August 5, in Rhode Island. Ian and I had originally intended to go, bringing Abby with us, but after discussing it and thinking about it, we took that time we had set aside for the trip and spent a week with my mother and stepfather. Because I wasn’t just feeling selfish when I wrote that post, I was being honest.

My father has never really cared about me, or Ian, and he doesn’t want to talk about Abby. When I called him to tell him we’d decided against coming to Rhode Island, the call dropped. He didn’t call me back, and hasn’t called me since. He didn’t call me then; he doesn’t call me now. And it’s fine.

I do have people in my family who love me and are always proud of me no matter what. I have Ian, and I have Abby, and I have my siblings, and I have my stepfather and my mother.

And that person I want to be when I grow up? The one who loves you unconditionally the way you are and is always proud and happy to see you? I am that person. I love my family and I love my friends.

I am going to make pillows for them, because that’s what Grandma Inez taught me to do when you love someone.


Time Warp Tuesday: Fear

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Yes, yes, I know it’s Saturday. Kathy, I promise one of these months I will figure out that Time Warp Tuesday is the second, not the third Tuesday!

This month’s topic is fear. Such a recurring and recurring and recurring topic for me! After browsing through my tags, I ended up selecting the post that first came to mind anyway.

Here it is, I’m Scared.

While it’s not a post I’ve read lately until today, while it’s not a post I refer to over and over, it’s still a familiar post. Familiar because I still feel the same way. Familiar because so many other posts remind me of it. Familiar because I wake up to fear every single day.

And I say I hate that, but do I, really? Why don’t I do something about it? I feel like a child in bed, covers tucked under her feet, arms rigid at her sides, quivering to suppress the urge to call for help that would only attract the monsters sooner.

I’m barely making it some days, but making it nonetheless. I’m scared that any change will tumble that delicate balance into oblivion. I’m scared that any disruption will call the monsters. I’m scared to my bones.

This post did not go as planned at all. I think it was never meant to go as planned anyway. But I don’t think I know what the plan was. I think it was something along the lines of how I’ve faced my fears instead of letting them consume me, but while I have faced some, more continued to pile on until I can’t always see my way out anymore.

So no, not much has changed from that post to this; I still try to tell myself to buck up, buttercup, and I still feel guilty for the days I remain paralyzed in bed, waiting to be eaten.

Ugh, how depressing.


Time Warp Tuesday: Mothering

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It’s been a long time since I participated in a Time Warp Tuesday, but I was just thinking I should go check to see what this month’s topic is, when posts started popping up in my inbox. It’s been a winding road for me to really get back into the swing of things around here, but since she started it, I’ve always loved, if not participating, reading everyone else’s take on each topic for Kathy’s brainchild.

And this week it’s ‘mothering.’

I did start out wondering just how many posts I’ve published that relate to the subject at hand. I know I’ve posted a few about my own mother, but it turns out not so many about my own mothering, of a child, at least, and that’s what I wanted to talk about.

So I found this.

What strikes me the most now about this post, aside from how much huger our little baby’s become, is how my own feelings have changed so much, in direct proportion to Abby’s verbosity.

It’s been a long time since I felt the need to articulate, even to myself, the feeling that I’m not a mother. Okay, a long time to me, but still, at least a couple of months.

All the feeding and bathing and dressing in the world never stopped me from feeling that way before, but a constant barrage of ‘Mom!’ has made all the difference. Mom, look, Mom, help, Mom, I want! It’s validation from the only person who can really make me mom.

Two days ago at the grocery store, we saw another mom and her baby at the deli counter. Side note: I suck at small talk, always. After a few sentences, other mom announced her tiny 15 month old’s birth weight and length, and asked Abby’s. I realize now it would have been entertaining to add ‘I wasn’t there’ after the ‘I don’t know,’ but just the ‘I don’t know’ stumped her enough to stop talking to me.

Looking back, I can say without a doubt that last year, I would have spent at least half an hour crying over that encounter. But really, to what end? Who cares about a birthweight? Who cares about some stranger in a grocery store? I did, but I don’t anymore.

A year ago, the three of us ran into an old high school friend of mine at the same grocery store (we only have the one), who remarked that she hadn’t known I was pregnant. I held it together long enough to respond that I’d never been pregnant (confusion galore!), but I was upset for days over that one. That wouldn’t bother me the same way now either.

I think the biggest change is that while the situation is almost exactly the same as it was a year ago, I feel a thousand times the mother I did then. Nothing can take away the number of times I’ve already heard ‘Mom, look!’ today. That’s what matters.