Puzzle Pieces

Puzzles are a wonderful past time. They are great for bringing people together. Just put a bunch of pieces of a puzzle on a table and soon others will join you. It’s nearly impossible for a person to not at lease want to try to do one.

I liken a puzzle to my life. Imagine, when I was a newborn I had two or three pieces in my puzzle. One for my mother and another for my dad. Then there was a piece for each of my siblings. As I grew I learned there were even more people who would touch my life. There are the cherished friends from middle school, the teacher from second grade, the house keeper when I was tiny, Daisy who taught me to make a tight bed, the math teacher who wouldn’t ignore my questions, the counselor who mocked me, and all of the other hundreds of people who have touched my life.

As I grow older, my puzzle expands as well. The puzzle isn’t ever quite complete. There’s always one more piece to fit in. As I’ve gone through school, graduated, started a new career, gone through a divorce, and years of counseling I’ve gathered many more pieces. My children, also, and their friends all have pieces in my puzzle.

Each person we meet is like a piece of the puzzle that makes us who we are. There are puzzle pieces that are hard to look at, ugly, and scary but then there are those pieces that are so much more. Just one piece missing is an incomplete puzzle. Without this piece of my puzzle I would be incomplete in the end. No matter the future, the fact that this piece exists, it is now a piece of my puzzle. Always a piece to be there. I am grateful for the time I get with each puzzle piece, and the memories that come with it. Some puzzle pieces are short lived and some are there for eternity, but all of them are important. Remember to cherish the pieces that make you who you are. Your life might not have gone like you planned but it is yours and yours alone. You are the puzzle, one day to be completed. You are also a piece of a puzzle for someone else, without which would be incomplete.

thank you for reading,

me

 

Inscribed Into My Heart

It’s not happened to me before. I find myself in a brand new situation yet again. As I live my life and allow myself to meet others I’ve discovered a fantastic man. There’s the tiny fear that it won’t work, that he’ll abandon me, not love me; yet he still stays.

Is it possible that allowing myself to be vulnerable has truly lead to a better life with better people? Is it possible that my life can move in a way I’ve completely abandoned?

I’m still dating the same guy, four months now. Four months – a blink of an eye, an eternity. When you allow yourself to be open to hurt, failure, and pain; you also allow yourself to be open to friendship, fun, and love. I’m taking the chance. I know I still may be hurt. In fact I’ve cried more often the last four months than I’ve cried in a long time. But these tears allowed me to find someone who has decided to love me for who I am.

My old ways sometimes surface. I run from an upset. I try to get away, leave, hide; only to be chased, held, loved. How can that be? Even with a cold shoulder he brushes it aside and kisses me. He ignores the words and acts on the actions. He knows me better than most because he wants to. I’m not a burden to him. I’m worth the effort. I’m not unapproachable, not dismissed. Instead he decided to love me.

I don’t play fair, nor do I hold back. I figure if he loves me then he’ll love all of me, not just what he wants. I don’t hide. If anything I blatantly challenge him. Can you love me still? After this? What about after that? Really? How can you love me when I did that? There’s a communication between us where we both know. We both are looking for ways to scare the other off. We are so unsure of ourselves that we don’t think we deserve the other. But we do. I am worth the effort and so is he.

So bizarre! I never believed I’d find love again and yet here I am. Is it possible? Can I finally allow myself to be loved? He’s already proven he’s gentle, kind, courteous, and loving. He’s inscribed himself upon my heart. Even if this amazing relationship fails I shall not be sad that it began. I shall know that life was worth living after all. In the meantime I will do what I can to ensure it succeeds. I will learn to trust again, to give and to take in healthy ways. I will learn to cherish another and allow myself to be cherished. Life isn’t really meant to be lived alone.

thank you for reading,

me

 

Ex-Catastrophes

As life moves forward in amazing and wonderful ways, there’s a piece of me still stuck to the past. It’s like there’s this squid grabbing at me with all of his tentacles. He loses grasp with some but holds on tight with others. I finally think I’m rid of it and discover yet another tentacle trying to grasp my ankle. Is there no end to it all?

All I want is a break from the past. I want free of his hold on me and on my kids. I want them to be able to breathe freely, not having to worry about ‘hurting’ his feelings. I want my daughter to be able to choose where she wants to go, decide how she sees him and whether or not she sees him at all.

I spend hours worrying how she is, making certain she’s doing well, making certain she’s making good decisions. Things like regular showers, sleeping at appropriate times, not staying up all night. I want her to know that I am firm and loving. I want her to know that there are limits and that living within those is good for her. I’m not a wash over. I have rules I enforce and despite those (or maybe because of them) she prefers to be home with her mother rather than her father?

I never wanted to estrange her from him. I only wanted him to be a good father. I suppose I was wishing for him to change after over twenty years. What is it that Einstein supposedly said? “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” He’s not going to change now, thinking he would is just insanity.

So now, it’s like it’s all going to start over. She’s four years older, I’m four years smarter. We’re moving and we have to reassess our custody arrangement. The one we have is awful, leaving only two days a week that she doesn’t have to go anywhere. There must be a better way.

He’s decided to throw his old ‘feel sorry for me’, ‘you don’t love me’, guilt trips at her. She sees through them though. She told me about how he’s acting. I can only listen. It breaks my heart. A child should not ever have to choose between her parents, yet here we are. A child should not have to ‘prove her love’ either. I want to protect her, keep her safe, hold her tight, and make everything better. How?

Fear seeps in, what if I lose this next several months’ court proceedings? What if he does fight? What if I fail her? I’ve promised I her I won’t stop fighting for her, that I will not give up. She believes me and relaxes. She trusts me. She leaves this to me as she goes on to paint, write, and just be the kid she should be allowed to be.

thank you for reading,

me

Truck dream, what does it mean?

Life has been its normal roller coaster for me. Always keeping busy and always needing a break. I can sleep when I die. Right? Maybe not the best motto. I have been sleeping pretty well, a couple of times a week. Last night, though, was not one of those times. I had a dream to ponder. This one was me driving a little truck out of a field. Mind, I can drive, and I can drive a stick shift. I’m pretty decent at it too. This little truck was a stick I’d driven before. There was no reason for me to have the problems I had in that dream. I drove just fine, but backwards. I couldn’t, for the life of me put it in a forward going gear. The straw from the fields kept getting in the way, not outside the vehicle, but in. Dreams are weird that way, they don’t always make sense. But let’s give this a whirl…

Driving backward, and doing a pretty good job of it. This could mean I’m frustrated, tired of getting no where and ready for a change. But every time I keep pushing the gas to go forward I end up going backward. I remember thinking in my dream that I could still get out of the field going backward and so that’s what I started to do before I woke up.

The straw getting in my way, both outside and inside the truck. So outside the truck makes sense. Things outside of my control keep getting in my way. Things outside of me keep forcing me to go a different direction. I get that. Inside though? Why inside? Am I still the one stopping myself from going forward? Am I still holding myself back? How? There are things I want to do so badly and I ‘feel’ like I have absolutely no control over them at times. But does the straw inside mean that I’m also at fault? Could be. I’m not perfect, never claim to be.

Another thing in the dream is that whoever owned the truck trusted me and new that I’d be able to drive it wherever it needed to go. He left me alone with it and so it was up to me to make it to my destination. Is this me being abandoned again? I remember trying to yell for him to help and he didn’t hear me or ignored me, I don’t remember which. It was apparent it was up to me and I had to do it alone. What’s up with that? Is that my independent stubborn self refusing help? Or is it because I really have to do things on my own now? Or are there people around me who I believe should help but aren’t?

Current situation – I’m trying to do something that’s going to change a lot of things in my life. It’s going to require discussions with people I don’t want to discuss things, spending money I don’t want to spend, and allowing myself a chance to get hurt. It’s a new test of vulnerability I’m ready for but scared of. So, could be, the dream makes good sense after all. What do you think?

thanks for reading,

me

Learning to let go

It continues. Life, time. They never stop moving. This crazy, amazing man I met is more than I’ve ever dreamed. Smart, fun, interesting… Tonight I am missing him. I’m home and he’s not near. Business? Life? Who knows? The night will go by, the day will go by. I will have to learn to share the man I’ve fallen for with others. I have to let him be who he is. I fell for him, after all. Why would I want to change him to someone else? What a stupid idea that is!

He’s a world traveler, business man. How could I not expect him to have to go somewhere? Silly me. l guess I would have loved more notice, but that’s not always the way things are. I love who he is, not some imaginary person in my head.

I love the man who makes me laugh out loud, who helps me make good choices when I’m exhausted, who makes me wake up, fixes me coffee, lunch, and dinner. I love that man. I love that he’s a mess sometimes and I love that he cleans up real well too. I love that he drags me home when I’ve had a little too much to drink. I love how he keeps me focused on a task and then ruins my concentration because he kisses me.

So, yes, I miss him. But I know he’ll be back soon. I’m not going to quit loving him for doing what he must do. If I could just kiss him good night or even hear his voice I’d sleep a lot better. My how things have changed!

thank you for reading,

me

Trust?

The things I learn as I learn to date again! Trust is a difficult thing. I’m not speaking of the big stuff. I’m speaking of the little things. The ‘I said I would do it and so I did’, things; the remembering my promises, keeping my word, showing up on time, doing what I said.

I didn’t realize how important it has become for me to have that kind of integrity. If I’m late for work I feel awful. If I promise my child something and can’t deliver, I feel a failure. If I say I will do something, I will do everything in my power to do so. And when I fail to keep my word, I beat myself up for it. That’s not exactly how it should be, a bit of an overkill don’t you think?

I take things too far sometimes. My previous marriage, I stayed in for over twenty years because I believed I must keep my word even to my own demise. I had to learn that breaking my word to someone else might be necessary to keep my word to myself.

Now, as I learn to date again, I have to remind myself not to judge him to harshly. There is no one who is perfect and to expect perfection from another is frankly a stupid thing to do. I noticed last night that I had been expecting perfection. Perfection that would ultimately destroy a relationship. I wasn’t allowing for him to just be human. It was hard, difficult to let a small thing go. After all, life is about small things.

It’s not fair to him. I swore I wasn’t comparing him to my past but I was. He’s not any of the men I’ve ever known. He’s himself and he deserves a chance to be the man I fell in love with, not some imaginary person that doesn’t exist. He deserves to be loved for being who he is, just as I deserve to be loved for being who I am. Life is about small things, learning to let some things go.

So I’m learning to relax, to quit being so damn uptight. I’m loving the journey and grateful for the love I’m finding on the way.

thank you for reading,

me

Vulnerability?

What does it mean to be vulnerable? Is it the opening up of the body, allowing another the opportunity to strike you? Is it the lifting of the chin to expose the neck as a sacrifice? It can feel like that, and in a way it is. But, vulnerability is also the opening up of the soul and allowing it to be used, abused, or hurt… It’s taking that chance on being open and honest to another human.

One can only imagine that I might have issues being vulnerable to another. I have been through quite enough hurt, use, and abuse in my lifetime so far. Why would I allow myself to be hurt again? It’s the last thing I want. Over the years I have built walls around my soul and have torn them down and built them up again. How could I possibly trust another person again? Completely trust?

Maybe it mustn’t be completely complete trust. Maybe I can give some trust and withhold a little. Maybe I can pretend the openness doesn’t scare the hell out of me. Maybe I can forget the pain of the past and live into the future? No. There’s no pretending. There’s no forgetting. There’s no fixing the past, nor leaving it completely behind.

Here is where I take my own advice and must choose to walk into my fears instead of run from them. I’m tired of running anyway. It’s difficult always being tough, strong. I’m tired of it all. I want to stop rushing away and start experiencing more.

Here I hear my own voice reminding me ‘life is short’, ‘quit hiding’, ‘take chances’, ‘let it go’… My gut is turning inside out. I know the reality. I know I could be hurt, I could be lost, I could lose who I am… I know those are risks I must take… but why?

Why should I risk being vulnerable again? Why should I bear my soul to another again? Haven’t I been hurt enough? What have I to gain? Is there anything worth the pain? I don’t know. I just know that when I follow my fears, and act on them instead of run, that on the other side is usually something marvelous, something indescribable, something amazing. That’s the way it’s been.

So the problem, then, is more do I trust myself? Do I believe I am strong enough already to allow another into my life? Do I believe myself that facing my fears will lead to something better? It’s scary. It’s on me, not someone else. It’s up to me to decide. Trust is a gift I get to give or not. Can I give it to myself and then another? Maybe.

thank you for reading,

me