Reflections on 2014

I know it’s been a long time since I posted anything to my blog. I’ve spent most of 2014 with my head down and regrouping after the demise of the 4-corner relationship Husband Darling and I were in. Becoming a hermit was quite appealing for a time, but I also knew that what I truly needed was to withdraw from my very active social life to work on myself again. I had ignored my spiritual self for far too long. I realized I had taken a wrong turn on my life path and found myself lost. I asked the Universe for help with my spirituality and went back to where I knew I was happy–healing others. So I got my license and resume in order.

I applied at the place where I had been receiving massage for the past few years. The clinic administrator had already put forth a soft offer for me to work for her if other places didn’t work out for me. The day I dropped off my resume, I had an impromptu interview with the CA and the regional manager who happened to be in the clinic that day. I also did my practical (giving massage) to the RM then. I gave them my availability and was told to come back in three days for training. I started the following week and have been at that clinic for nearly a year now. I’ve amassed a loyal following in a very short time. By the time mid-September hit, not only was the rest of the month booked but so was the entire month of October! Most of my clients are regulars. Admittedly I have a few favorites, including a pregnant woman who is having her first child after many years of her and her husband trying to get pregnant. Oh! How I love working with expecting mothers! There is nothing more beautiful in my eyes than a woman pregnant with child.

Healing others has been my calling for well over a decade now. Being able to help others heal their bodies is gratifying and humbling. There are days when I’d rather be home because I am tired or want to spend more time with Husband Darling, but the pull of my clients motivates me to go. I am one of the lucky few who absolutely loves their job. The human body is endlessly fascinating, and I simply don’t get bored (unless someone just wants to be petted for their entire session). The unexpected bonus from working my very physical job is that I’ve lost inches throughout the trunk of my body.

Accepting my body has been a lifetime achievement. Once I had Kidlet my modesty button was pretty much removed. Hard to feel embarrassed when several people are looking and poking at my vagina before, during, and after labor. One of the things I taught my massage students is the sooner and more completely you can feel comfortable in your own skin, the better therapist you will be. Clients will be able to tell if you have body issues. Touch does not lie. If you feel uncomfortable, so will they. Moving regularly for hours at a time sculpted my body. When my bestie got engaged as asked me to be one of her matrons of honor, I set out to find a dress. I found something I liked online and went to the brick and mortar store to try it on. I knew I had lost weight/inches but not how much. I was amazed to discover I had dropped two dress sizes! I still get asked what I did to lose weight. I’ll even give all here my secret to successful weight loss:

  •  Belief that my job was good exercise so I should lose weight/inches.
  • Embracing a positive mental attitude.

That’s it. I really haven’t changed too much else in my life. I’ve been slowly changing over the years eating habits and healthier food choices. Working a physical job has helped me rebuild my strength and endurance. The pain I’ve been living with for years has lessened. More than anything else I’ve done, I fully believe that it’s my change of attitude that’s done the most good. I decide whether or not I’m going to have a good day. More often than not I wake up on the Awesome Side of the bed. When others ask me how I’m doing, my answer is almost always positive in some way. I stopped focusing so much on the bad and started focusing more on the good. I’m amused by the typical response of silence as they take that in or wait for the “bad news” that rarely comes. I’ve noticed that more and more of those who are closer to me have started focusing on what’s positive in their lives as well. Our conversations are usually full of happy news or troubleshooting problems instead of bitching about what’s wrong in our lives. I’m loving this trend! I’ve continued being positive even through social media. When I find myself answering someone’s post with anger or resentment, I scrap the whole thing unless I can find a positive, non-confrontational way to respond.

The nifty thing about social media is I’ve been able to meet and friend many wonderful people over the years. As I’ve told Husband Darling some of my Heart Family are people I simply haven’t met in person yet. In early November I picked up a few new followers on Twitter. One person in particular I was interacting with regularly almost from the start. He and his wife were somewhat new to polyamory and had been coming to meetups here in the Portland area for awhile now. My internet 6th sense kicked in and told me these were Good People. I offered to meet with them on a Friday after work, and we did. I immediately liked both of them and wondered if they’d be open to hugs, because as some of you know I’m a very huggy person. Lucky for me I didn’t even have to ask because Q’ouarin (the husband) asked me first. He hugs the way I love–full body and with enthusiasm.

From there forward things moved fast between us. We had our first date November 28th. Uty (the wife) and Q spent the long weekend over Christmas with us. Yes, Scrooge McKitten got over the bah! humbug! of the holidays and actually got into the Yule spirit. And remember when I stated earlier that I had asked the Universe for spiritual guidance? Yeah, that came in the form of Q’ouarin as well. He is a unicorn otherkin (more on this in a future post) and was looking for someone like me himself. The Universe answered us both, and boy! has it been a wild ride so far!

My life has changed and is changing rapidly for the better in just a few short weeks. I’m back on my chosen path of being Love and Light and expect I likely won’t recognize the person I am now in a year. I’m planning to write more, do more, and be more in the next year. I’m looking forward to all the exciting changes 2015 promises to bring.

Happy

I’m finding myself in a strange place of wanting to write (and often do in other media), but not really having the time and sometimes energy to do so since I’ve been busy living my life. I’m working again (WOOHOO!!), and my days off are often spent with Husband Darling making sure we are connecting on a regular basis or doing mundane but essential tasks that need to be addressed. The best part of it all is I’m feeling really good emotionally and physically, better than I have in far too long. To paraphrase Husband Darling from one of our recent heart-to-heart conversations, I’m closer to the Me I was when he and I first met–vivacious, fun, and bouncy.

I’ve started a few posts that get more into the whys and wherefores and will be posting as I get them completed. In the meantime I want to share this video that a long-time friend of mine posted on FB a short while ago. I think I found my new favorite musical group. Enjoy, my freaky darlings!

Ohana

 

Ever since the heat wave earlier, I have been feeling the pull of Kona again. I have been to Hawaii less than a handful of times, twice to Oahu and twice to the Big Island. Every time I acclimated in less than 24 hours. My body loves the heat and humidity, and I have less pain. I love the tropical blooms and plant life that has never triggered my allergies. I love the smell of the ocean more than back stateside even though it’s the same ocean. Oregon is my home state, but Kona is my home town. I am at peace there.

Whenever life got too overwhelming, I’d get in my car to drive. No destination, no packed bags. Just me and the highway or back roads to get lost on. Since my first trip to Honolulu when I was 17, I’d wish I could drive to the Islands. Unfortunately, no one has built a bridge between here and there, and so when the urge to get in my car and drive hits I stay in my home state.

These last few months with all the changes and all the feels, I’ve had the desire to just take off again. Only this time I dream of tropical breezes and the easygoing attitude of my hometown. Only one thought stops me from packing a bag and booking a flight: my Family, my Ohana. I am not willing to leave them behind. I am not willing to put them through the pain and distress my leaving would cause. Because if I ever go through with actually leaving, I know that I won’t be coming back. Not for a very long time. Maybe not ever. I have never been one to run away from my problems. Ignore them for awhile, sure, but not run away. So I stay in my home state with my Ohana because I refuse to leave them behind and dream of my home town when we can all go together.

My Spicy Enchilada

Have you ever met someone who you just knew without a doubt that this person would be someone Important in your life, quite possibly for the rest of your life?

When I went to school at Southern Oregon (before it became a university), I met my spicy enchilada as we were both moving into our dorm. Long after I had unpacked and parked my car, I watched as she continued passing by my open door loading more and more into her room next door. I thought this woman must have packed up her entire life to go to college. I had no idea just how accurate that thought was until after she knocked on my door and invited me down to the mess hall for dinner. We bonded quickly in that first week and grew closer as the year passed. One day late in spring term we were sitting outside in the courtyard of our hall. She looked at me very seriously and asked me to just listen while she talked. I obliged while she told me how much I had impacted her life over the course of the prior nine months. She told me that my unconditional acceptance and love helped her through a very rough time. She was depressed over the “Freshman 30” she gained, but drew comfort and inspiration from my self-confidence and the fact I always saw her, not her weight. There was much more she confided in me, but through it all I was simply speechless.

Up until she said all this to me, I was very unaware of the impact I made on anyone else’s life. A part of me knew that I made a difference to others, but I had always believed that my influence was small or non-existant. How could I, just by being me, have such a significant effect on another person? I was completely floored by this revelation. What was even more amazing to me, however, was I had finally realized my Purpose in life. She showed me that I was a beacon of Light and Love. I was a lighthouse that shone through the darkness with a promise of safe harbor. To this day I can’t speak or even think about this moment with my spicy enchilada without tears springing to my eyes and a catch in my voice. You see, she’s made just as significant an impact on me as I had on her.

Our friendship would come to be what I have sought to emulate with every relationship I have begun since she and I met. We have unconditional acceptance and love. Never have either of us attempted to change the other. Our only expectation of each other is to be who we are, no matter who or what that is. We have celebrated triumphs together. We have cried and comforted each other through our struggles and low times. She is one of Boo’s first aunties. She was the first of my long-time friends who fully accepted me when I came out as poly. She wasn’t even surprised. She simply said, of course. Of course because I had so much love to give that how could I not love more than one person at any given time?

Over the next two decades we have remained good friends. We have fallen out of communication for months at a time, exchanging cards near birthdays and Yule. Perhaps chat on the phone now and then. We’ve gone years without seeing one another in person. In fact the last time I saw her was at my wedding nearly three years ago. But every time we talk or see one another it’s as if no time as passed, and we pick back up where we left off. In the 19 years we have been friends, not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. Every. Single. Day. And with each thought of her, I wish her love and happiness.

PS–Who has been that one (or few) person who has made a huge difference in your life? Comments welcome.

Whole

When I was young I looked for love and happiness outside of myself. I found very quickly that to depend on others for my happiness was to be let down time and again. Even those who professed to love me and want my happiness would at some point or another would say or do something (or not) that would make me sad and question whether or not they truly loved me. Often it wasn’t anything they had meant to do intentionally, though I had my fair share of those who wished me ill for whatever reason that only made sense to them. I was determined to find Love and Happiness within myself. While my heart was broken, I learned to mend it myself. Wholeness could only be found within myself. So at a tender age of 20 I went on a quest to discover how to heal my broken heart and learn to find the answers in myself how to be Happy.

The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person – without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other. — Osho, Being In Love

I learned to be my own Best Friend. I learned I didn’t necessarily need anyone else in my life, and sharing my life and myself with others was something I could choose. I looked for like-minded people who were Whole in themselves. I sought relationships that would indeed enhance what I already had within me. I wanted to share myself with others who found that my being in their lives would also enhance what they possessed already.

Over the next two decades I slowly built my Heart Family. I found a man that gets me so completely and shared my odd sense of humor that I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I married him. I have a child who is kind, sweet, and has her mama’s odd sense of humor. She’s learning to be a whole person at a much younger age than I did. While she frustrates me to no end, I’m so proud of the young woman she is becoming. My Twinnie is my sister of another mister. I always felt like I had a twin but was somehow separated before birth. When she came into my life I had no idea how bonded we would become. Boyfling and his family have been wonderful additions in my life. All in all I have to say I’ve been very blessed with so many people who enhance and share love and happiness with me. Even with all these blessings, I began to notice that I wasn’t finding as much joy in them as I once did. What the hell happened?

At first the changes were subtle. I’m usually the Pollyanna in my circle. I find the things to be Glad about. Kidlet is struggling in Language Arts and Social Studies, but look at her rock math and science! We’re down to one car, but look at how money much we’re saving without the additional gas and insurance! I’m always able to find the silver lining in every dark cloud. I still had more up days than down, and even then I didn’t stay down for long. But it became harder and harder to see the brightness until one day all I saw were dark clouds and the silver linings were either a tiny sliver or non-existant. What happened to the vibrant, bouncy, positive woman I once was?

Somewhere in the brain fog brought on by the constant pain and fatigue the Light that once shone brightly from me sputtered and started to die. I was relying on everyone else around me to remind me there was still Joy in my life. After awhile others became more aware that being around me was draining. I felt people pulling away, not realizing why until my dear friend expressed her concern. I am forever grateful to her for smacking me upside the head with a gentle bludgeon. I could either do nothing and lose the people I loved, or I could start putting the pieces back together again.

Awhile back Husband Darling introduced me to the Japanese art of kintsugi. Broken pieces of pottery are mended with resin made to look like gold creating a whole new piece of art. The beauty of each piece lies in its flaws. In a way I am an ongoing kintsugi project. My heart has been broken, but I learned to put the pieces back together in a way that creates a new work of art. Yes I am flawed (as are we all), those flaws have a beauty of their own. My Heart Family knows I am flawed, but they still see the work of art that I am. While I am putting the pieces back together, someone passes me a pot of resin. Another helps keep two pieces together as I bind them. Eventually I’ll be whole again with all these wonderful people by my side who cheered me on the entire way. Tomorrow I may hand someone else the pot of resin or help hold pieces together while they do the hard work. After all we have chosen to be part of the Happiness in each others’ lives, and there’s lots of Love in that pot of resin.

Who does the rock turn to?

Do you have a go to person whenever you needed advice or a shoulder to cry on? The person who’s solid as a rock and you can always count on them to be there? That “go to” person has usually been me. I’ve always been the Strong One. I have been steadfast for most everyone in my life. Lately I haven’t felt so strong. Between my health issues, raising a teenager, being a wife, girlfriend, and friend, and financial issues, life has slowly been wearing me down.

Who does the rock turn to when she needs to crumble?

Life taught me early on that if I needed an advocate, that person was Me. My mother and maternal grandmother were usually the ones who went to bat for me while I was growing up, but they weren’t always going to be there so I knew I had to learn how to self-advocate. Problem was few people were willing to hear me out (“You’re so young, what do you know?”), or they would betray my confidence, or didn’t care one lick about my well-being. So many people freaked out whenever I asked for help and support, or just simply needed a shoulder to cry on. “You’re the Strong One! Shouldn’t you be able to figure that out on your own?” Even my former partners either brushed me off or dropped me like a hot stone whenever I turned to them for strength and support.

Who does the rock turn to when she needs to crumble?

For the most part I do pretty well managing life’s challenges. I walked away from car accidents with little physical damage to myself though my cars didn’t always fare so well. I moved from my small-minded hometown to find a supportive and loving community of my own. I left an abusive relationship with my infant and my sanity. I balanced going back to school (and later going back to work) while raising a toddler (and beyond) as a single parent. I turned a loss of employment and steady paycheck into a fulfilling and enjoyable job as a stay-at-home mom. I gave my husband emotional support during the loss of his old job and his dissatisfaction with his current one. I kept being optimistic through my current health issues.

Who does the rock turn to when she needs to crumble?

I hadn’t talked much with Husband Darling or Boyfling about what’s been going on with me. Frankly, it hurt more to see the look of worry and concern on their faces than it did to hold onto all the pain and fear to deal with on my own. One of my meds for pain and fatigue was changed about a month ago which when I started really noticing how fragile I was becoming. I went looking for the side effects for the new drug to see if I might find an answer there. Things fit, so I ignored the truth yet again. I’ve been fine all this time. Or so I kept telling myself. You know what FINE means? Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional, to paraphrase a line from The Italian Job.

Who does the rock turn to when she needs to crumble?

I have a very wonderful Heart Family who are very loving and supportive, but I did everything I could to keep all this to myself. I’m not used to having someone who has my back, much less a whole family of people who do. Too many people have abandoned me in my hour of need that it’s hard for me to let myself crumble and allow someone else to help me put the pieces back together. I could pull up my bootstraps and keep on keeping on. I always have in the past. Then I received an email last weekend that, to be honest, I had been waiting to get for a few weeks now. Granted not all the content of that email I was expecting, but I knew then that I could no longer ignore what I have suspected for several months now: I have been sinking down into the depths of depression. I no longer have the strength to swim, or even float.

Who does the rock turn to when she needs to crumble?

I’ve been kicking around going to therapy for awhile. That email told me it was time to stop putting it off. Yesterday I started seeing a counselor. The only person who’s freaked out by it is me. I haven’t been to therapy since I was about 12-13, and that didn’t work out so well for me. All those voices, the tape that plays back all the negative things I’ve been told all my life, had become too loud. Going to therapy just proves I’m broken, right? I won’t go into details, but suffice to say I didn’t have a very good night. My wonderful husband just held me through it all. Have I mentioned I totally hit the Relationship Jackpot when I met him? My Twinnie put a wonderfully positive spin on the situation while we had lunch today. I’m not broken; I’m just purging and re-organizing the thoughts in my head.

Who does the rock turn to when she needs to crumble?

I love my husband. I love Boyfling. I love my Heart Family with every fiber of my being. I know they love me and will support me in any way they can. I now have someone who’s going to help me purge and re-organize the clutter in my head. Third party professional who I pay to unburden my heavy load upon? Yes, thank you!

I’m ready to crumble, so I can pick myself back up again and keep being the Strong One whenever others have need of me.

Meet the Crew

A couple of months ago Boyfling’s wife (aka That Human Woman, as my 9-yo cat calls her) commissioned art from an artist we all admire and enjoy. Lotte is the creator of Poly in Pictures webcomic. Both Lotte and THW did a great job keeping mum on the project, especially since many of our Heart Family follows Lotte on twitter. You can read That Human Woman’s post about it here.

When she presented us with our own printed copy, both Hubby and I were delighted and in awe. The idea of being immortalized in art has always been appealing to me, but I never expected this. Let me introduce you to my Heart Family and crew of the Poly Roger:

The Crew of the Poly Roger

The Crew of the Poly Roger

From left to right: Hubby (in full pirate garb), Mordena, Jirris who is holding the tether  to Tater Tot’s airship, Me, lil D, Kidlet, Dude, That Human Woman, and Boyfling. Lil D and Dude are Boyfling and THW’s kids.

I love our little Heart Family. Our four kids have six parents (good to keep the children outnumbered by adults), and we have a wonderful core support network. For me the only person missing is my Twinnie, but I guess I’ll have to commission my own piece to have them immortalized in art with me. 😀