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Cheers.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

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photo via 

I think grief is like a whip cracking; at times you have very little choice in the snap of the trajectory and once you’re in its momentum you just ride it. Whether you want it to or not, it will take you to your shit-level self, to the tips of your mental and spiritual limbs. Even if you try to run away or distract, you’ll have to face the ways in which you’re doing so–hence even in the running and distracting, grief inevitably shows you, to you. That was my 2015: a year in which I traveled and ran, rebelled if I’m honest, where I think I had to let some regret and anger ride out. A year of simultaneous progression and regression, that ultimately brought me closer to myself.

It was a crazy year, but I think that it can sometimes take crazy to show the heart of things and what really needs to be dealt with. I know that I need to put my head down and humbly fix a few specific issues in 2016. To learn how to dwell in what’s possible instead of what I can’t change. Most importantly, to learn to love myself and live wholeheartedly without shame and insecurity driving my decisions. Cheers to all of the adventures and beautiful experiences that I had in 2015, and those to come in 2016. To the precious friendships that continue to carry me, to forgiving myself for the not-so-beatuiful experiences and mistakes that have been and will be.

“So you can take a trip to China or take a boat to Spain / Take a blue canoe around the world and never come back again / But traveling don’t change a thing, it only makes it worse / Unless the trip you taking is to change your cruel course / ‘Cause every town’s got a mirror / And every mirror still shows me / That I am my own ragged company” -Grace Potter

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Lucy Brave + Free

Sunday, September 13, 2015

On the eve of Lucy’s fourth birthday, the parallels between labor and grief strike me–the rhythm, the randomness, the ebb and flow. As I ran this afternoon the world seemed lavish in yellow (sunflowers, monarch butterflies, goldenrod, leaves falling, bright fall sun) and it occurred to me that the parallel extends; I am giving birth again this year, on her birthday. Grief batters and breaks, but it also invites. Who do you choose to become, it asks? Will you allow beauty and compassion to be born from your pain, or will you harden in anger?

Today I finished a 33-day journey in meditation and mindfulness: One foot dipped in to an inner strength and confidence I’ve never experienced before, and so much more to discover. I am more peaceful and powerful than I have ever been; I am being reborn from pain.

Also today, my Arbonne team and I launch a Go Fund Me for the non-profit Nika Collective: Light and goodness spread as babies and toddlers in Nuevo Vida, Nicaragua get their morning milk, micronutrients, and urgent health care needs met as a result of your donations in honor of Lucy.

I’ve said before that anyone grieving knows there’s no sense to be made of it all, no justification for the trauma. But I can tell you from my heart today, that beauty can be born from pain. Perhaps one day it’s possible to be thankful for the very thing you most wretchedly hate, and surely it’s possible for light to come from the dark! Thanks for partnering in our Brave + Free campaign for Lucy. All my love and gratitude to you!

Go Fund Me Link (and find the link to purchase truckers): HERE

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Wild

Friday, July 24, 2015

I struggle with the mundane of the day to day and don’t know if I’ll ever settle down. I make Amazon wish lists for our home: Anthro pitchers for sangria or flowers, gold flatware, always another bolga basket. I pin inspiration for the perfect backyard with a pergola and twinkle lights for summer nights. I dream about the time we’ll actually have the time and money to do all the undone shit.

I feel like I’ve never been young but I’m aging anyway, the window is closing on a period of my life I didn’t fully live–I’m hungry for thrill, adventure, wrong decisions (I did everything “right” and still lost my daughter, who cares? I sometimes think.) In my head I’m a girl with a backpack heading off to hike the Camino; in the mirror I’m tired and sad. I don’t want to meal plan, to worry about having anything in the fridge but champagne, coconut water and a jar of almond butter. I want a mattress on the floor with wrinkly linen sheets and Instax pictures on the wall of all the places I’d stretched my bank account and credit limits to see, life one big open end.

I look at myself in the mirror and wonder why I look so exhausted, why did pregnancy do that? What can I do to feel perfect?

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I want more than I have, to perfect what I have. Completion, creativity, inspiration. Tobin’s art on white walls. Candles lit, playlists and cold cocktails, French press coffee in the morning–content and owning domesticity, making it mine.

I want the opposite of what I have, to run from what I have, to be free and minimal. I want to go back to school, to go everywhere.

I want to once and for all accept ME without the constant question of worth. I love and lust after beauty, always have, and I admit that I enjoy the chase. But it would be nice to really like myself, to “arrive” and have the old questions answered in an objective, once-and-for-all affirmative–or maybe better yet, to let them go.

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I’m wild; I’m tired. I’m ravenous to feel safe; I want to be held close and never have to worry or feel sad again. I’m tired of wishing and outright fantasizing but yet it’s my fuel; I create these elaborate and beautiful alternatives to my reality and chase them to the best of my ability because it makes me happy. I want quiet, a place to land, but it’s almost impossible to imagine what contentment would look like in my actual life. Really though–can I really accept this life. The one here in Nebraska, where I lost my baby. Where I got married really young and where things are really hard, really unfinished, really heavy. The life where I feel the burn of being stuck. The life I’m so hungry in. Can I stop running–do I want to?

I’m reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and I wish I didn’t know what she meant when she says she was levitating in sadness. I wish I didn’t relate to how crazy she went after her mom’s death (as in, I completely understand the mad rush to numb, the head-first dive into any pleasure that makes the pain disappear even for a second.) I wish I didn’t share such an affinity for that type of person, the person who writes books and craves experiences and jumps into a moment without looking ahead.

I think what I’m trying to say, after all of THIS, probably the most vulnerable thing I’ve ever written: I’ve never been quite sure where I fit in the conservative midwest microcosm, and after everything that’s happened, I am even less so. A rest that isn’t boredom, a safety that isn’t stale, a thrill that isn’t destructive, a beauty that doesn’t cost so much…that’s what I want. And I wonder, how will fulfillment and contentment intersect on my life’s Venn diagram? Wrestling through all these things right now.