Saturday, April 7, 2018

Turning Points

Yesterday was my 50th birthday. I wasn't feeling quite up to par, evidenced by just an overlay of exhaustion. We got up and Paul made me this delicious breakfast, complete with fried quick-bread donuts made with duck eggs (he called them duck nuts.... thank God they tasted good enough to get past that image). Then we basically slept again, made an obligatory effort at fun in the guise of shopping and going out to eat, and finally came home and called it an early night.

A gift from my daughter-in-law....who truly gets me.
Truth be told, I'm not that enthused today either. Paul left for work about 6 am, and when I got up at 8-something to go release the ducks and gather eggs, it was a cold and windy MF outdoors! So it will take some real effort to make anything at all of this day! Right now I'm thinking through what's absolutely necessary and watching one of the Ma and Pa Kettle movies.

It's been a hellacious year. It's been a hellacious couple of years. The whole presidential campaign, awful enough on its own but for me following sequential losses of 3 of my dogs, then losing what I had thought of as real connection with parts of my family over POLITICS of all things.... I watched the TV and Facebook just explode with hatred and condescension where once there was love and tenderness. I felt the losses keenly, one after another, until I was just so near the bottom emotionally that I THOUGHT it was the bottom.

Then my uncle died. Killed his wife and then himself. The lowest place I've ever been, and that's no lie. I've been divorced 3 times, had a couple of break-ups that were greater losses than even the divorces. Been in wrecks, had kids rebel and separate themselves from me. But losing Brann Alan completely wiped off the last speck of dust between me and the bottom and made me ONE with the bottom. Opened cans of worms that have been wriggling around in the background for all the years I've been alive, and a few before that. An old family wound ripped open, a new rift trying to sort memorials and funerals and all that business between our family and that of my uncle's wife. Allies and enemies, and old hurts reopened while new ones bled. There were pieces of me everywhere. There still are.

Doesn't that seem just too damn depressing for a birthday post? I say it all to determine that this will be a year of rebuilding. I've realized I cannot rebuild what exists on the shaky ground of insecurity and pretense, even with those whose approval I crave. So I am and will be only me. I have no desire to pick any fight, and I don't rise to too many invitations offered as taunts. I will only be me. Effy Wild says, "My vibe attracts my tribe." So me putting out safe, shallow vibes was just surrounding me with shallow relationships that couldn't withstand the testing of hard times. 

Well I'm 50 now....and fuck that! God made me me. And that's who'll be climbing out of the well of despair I found myself in.

Many people I know well, including family, are very disturbed by the changes in me, feel betrayed by my rejection of almost all things church-approved, GOP-based, conservative-minded. It has been very painful to accept, that those who could know me now see me as such a stranger. Maybe even the enemy. At the beginning my son said I seemed "deeply conflicted" as if that were a thing I needed to fix or resolve, like an illness...but it described me so truthfully that I treasure the words. Another time he said I sounded like I was going off the deep end. I looked up the idiom and it may be used to imply crazy, but it really just refers to the deep end of a swimming pool, and I decided that going off the deep end just means I am willing to move into more treacherous waters, in my effort to seek and find the truth of everything. I hope that my stubbornness isn't the only thing I passed on to him, but my realization of how much more there always is to learn.

I feel like there are deep shifts and rifts happening all around, for the better AND for the worse. Guns are becoming a factor in disagreements and expression of unhappiness. Women are reclaiming their power in a way that isn't at all about castrating men. The religions and spirituality of the world are able to see each other more for what they are (thanks to the internet and more broad-minded television programming) and less for what our "church" or preacher or even parents tell us they are. We can see each other striving to find truth even while we can clearly see others trying to suppress it. The earth is moving and shaking and those loose, ungrounded beliefs that we built upon are falling into the cracks, leaving visible what really holds us together or tears us apart.

I'm a little bummed not to be in my 40's anymore. But hello 50. Are you ready for me?

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