Trips with the boys have always been chaotic. They’re little, fidgety, and have energy for days. This past weekend, I’d scheduled a somewhat last minute trip to Disneyland. The boys had a long weekend so it was the perfect opportunity for a road trip. The weekend vacation was so much fun. The boys got along for most of the trip. There wasn’t much arguing. They were mostly patient in the lines. The loved riding all the “big rides.” Both days at the park were so nice. I felt reconnected to them. We just enjoyed each other’s company. I think with everything that has gone on with the pandemic, school, and childcare, things have been super exhausting and overwhelming. They call Disney the Magical Kingdom and, honestly, it truly delivered the magic.
I was catching up with a good friend of mine. It had been a while since we’d had a real conversation. During our talk, I had this crazy revelation. He said to me, “You have a beautiful home filled with so much love. You haven’t moved in a while. You spent all that time moving around, when all you needed was to move on.” I don’t even know why I hadn’t even put two and two together. I am coming up on three years in my home, which for my history, is basically a lifetime. Maybe subconsciously I knew my relationship with Ryan wasn’t it. My heart and spirit knew before my mind did, but I am stubborn woman. (I get that from my mother.) At some point, my mind, heart, body, and spirit all lined up and I took the first step on a different path. My friend told me in order to open the door to something new, you have to close the door on something else. Look at me now. One fucking scary first step and look what emerged: love, independence, strength, communication. Fucking fabulous.
her: when we fight, why do you always want to run and hide?
him: i don’t like dealing with it.
her: the problem doesn’t go away.
him: i know.
her: it’s gets even bigger when you come back.
I have been writing since I was a teenager. It’s the only way I ever really knew how to get my feelings and my thoughts out. Looking at this poem makes me a little sad though. How did I put up with communication like that for nearly two decades? I am way too patient for my own good.
Sometimes, when I take selfies, I see my mom, and it kills me a little bit. It’s no secret that my relationship with my mother is very strained. The last time I saw or spoke to her was in June. She makes no real attempt to communicate with me or the boys. Yet, she has time to go on cross-country trips with her boyfriend and his grandson. I made a joke to Nick that she was on a vacation with her replacement grandkid. It just makes me mad and sad. I am grateful that my boys have a real grandma on their other side. I will always be thankful for that and for her. It really is too bad that my mom can’t get over her ego and narcissism. Whatever—her loss, not ours.
The boys and I are back in town after a week-long camping road trip. We drove through Death Valley. Spent the night in a cute cabin near a creek. Explored the ghost town of Bodie, California. Camped at Loon Lake. Had ice cream in Carson City across from our state’s government buildings. Spent the night in the famous “haunted” Clown Motel. There were laughs, and kid fights, and parents worn thin. It was an adventure and a great memory-making trip. My second-time camping was another success.
We spent lots of time at the lake, both in the water and on the shore. We did a short hike—I am sorely out of shape. The boys tried to fish. I threw rocks in the lake with my cute nephew. The boys got to kayak with some of the adults. I was talked into kayaking for the first time and immediately flipped the boat and fell into the water. All around, it was great!
While driving home, I realized some of my favorite memories of trips have been the embarrassing ones. My favorite thing about this camping trip was falling out of the kayak. One trip to Duck Creek in Utah, I slipped off a rope swing and slid my ass down part of a hill. I laughed so hard. I think these are my favorite moments because it shows how resilient I am and have been. I get knocked down and I get the fuck back up. That’s me.
June is almost over. While I do have new, happy associations with the month, it is still filled with a lot of painful reminders of the past. It would have been 15 years of marriage. It would have been 21 years together. It has been 3 years since I joined a club I never thought I’d be a part of. It’s all worked out for the better, but I can’t say I don’t fall into that dark hole sometimes. I still allow my mind to go places it shouldn’t. Even though I know better. It feels like I am out of control. I have to remind myself that healing is not something that you just accomplish and be done with. It’s an ongoing, never-ending process. I have to allow myself patience and forgiveness. I am not going to be perfect and that is okay.
to the past loves
to the ones who never were
to the ones who used me
to the ones I used
to the ones who broke me
the intense romance
the toxic relationships
the lessons learned
the experience gained
the heart rebuilt
some are just not kind
they use you up, throw you out
just a memory
Sometimes, I don’t know who I am.
What makes me, me?
Am I trying too hard to be what and who I was in the past?
If I am not reading,
have I lost myself?
Am I just evolving into someone new?
Do I force the old ways?
Embrace new ways?
Sometimes, it feels like too much pressure.
I feel like my emotions have been all out of sorts. Again. I haven’t been reading. I haven’t been writing. It feels like I haven’t really done much of me lately. I find myself feeling scared that maybe I’ve lost me again. The last year has been a crazy new struggle and I feel like for most of it I’ve just been trying to keep myself from drowning. I’ve swung so far back and forth on the emotional pendulum. It would be nice not to feel so…up and down, all the time.