Boy Howdy, I was royally pissed off in my last entry wasn’t I?
And rightly so I might add.
Since then, there has been more anger, but also more happy.
I think this year is going to be one of violent highs and lows…
That has been my entire adult life actually, and I’m ok with that.
Even when I was going through some of my deepest, darkest, lows, I refused any “happy pills” explaining that I would rather truly feel the ebb and flow of my life and my emotions, than be numbed to the sad/bad, and thus unable to feel the happy/glad.
I stick to this belief to this day.
I feel, and have discussed with others, that this is a year of great change, not just for me, but for many in my peer group.
I feel squirmy and uncomfortable in my own skin, and yet, am acutely aware of every fiber of my being, and feel completely grounded and centered in that knowledge.
It’s a conundrum I know.
I am an enigma. I think I always have been, but I am aware of it now.
Others have seen a “change” in me that they can’t quite put their finger on. There is an energy about me they say. I even look different somehow.
I am in constant conflict with my feelings it seems, vacillating between frozen scared and recklessly brave. This may or may not end well come the end of the year, but you know what? You only get one go-round in this crazy thing called life, so you might as well lay it all on the line.
Just jump and be confident that the parachute will open.
And if it doesn’t? oh well… enjoy the fuck out of the view on the way down.
I’m 47.5. That’s not old by any means, but it’s not young either. I’m now closer to the end than to the beginning. (That’s not being morbid, it’s being realistic)
So what am I waiting for? “Someday” is now. It has to be.
So in the spirit of truly being authentic and living in the now, I refuse to suffer fools gladly. I will speak my mind freely, not with malice, but with honesty. I will spend time with people who lift me up and inspire me. People who are comfortable in their own authenticity, and encourage their friends to fly their freak flag and shine brightly.
For too many years now I have allowed people in my life who forced me to dim my light, who made me feel small and unworthy. No more.
I am living spontaneously and listening with my heart again, instead of my head.
I trusted it once, but somebody broke it.
Actually many somebodies broke it, and it’s taken some time to heal.
But I think it’s strong enough… I’m strong enough, to let it out of it’s cage.
I spent the afternoon with my Brother, Sister-in-law, and my two nieces. This may not seem like a particularly odd or “brave” thing, but it was.
My youngest niece, Annie, I had never met. My eldest niece, Crystal, who is named after my mom, is 11. The last time I saw her was when I held her when she was a baby.
That was also the last time I had seen my Brother and sister-in-law.
It’s not like we had a falling out or anything, we just parted ways.
While we both made a superficial effort to stay in touch, with annual emails/phone messages on our respective birthdays, there was no real attempt to get together.
We were both broken.
We had just gone through a particularly trying period of burying our maternal grandmother, and then 3 weeks later, our maternal grandfather. Our last remaining family.
Our already strained relationship was again tearing at the seams.
As children, our 4 year age difference, his being adopted, our family being an emergency foster home, so the constant heartache of loving and saying goodbye to “siblings”, and the loss of our mother at ages 16 and 12 respectively, all took it’s toll. My dad remarried, a horrible woman, who tore us apart. This led to my leaving home at 17 and a half.
My brother stuck around (she liked him) but got into drugs and petty crime at around that same age.
We started to repair our broken “home” around the time of my 30th birthday. My father and I, who had long since reunited, were closer than ever. I facilitated the restoration of the relationship between he and my brother, who was now grown, in a relationship, and expecting his first child. I was in my first Equity show making a world premier. Life was good.
Two months later, our dad died suddenly and life, once again, wasn’t good.
We tried to make an effort, but a few years after that, with the loss of our grandparents, we were done. At least I was.
He had his wife, his kids (4 of them now), her siblings, her parents. I knew he was fine.
But I also knew that there wasn’t enough unbroken heart left in me to share with anyone.
Until this week.
I entered a contest to try to win a trip for 4 to Ireland. The essay question was who would you take with you and why? Without hesitation, and despite not having spoken in person in 10 yrs, I wrote “my brother and his 2 sons. Our maternal grandfather was from Garvagh Ireland, and it would be great to take all of the boys over to see Ireland and learn about their heritage”
Where the fuck did that come from I wondered?
Hours later, out of the blue, I got a message via Facebook from my brother that my niece Crystal was in a hockey tournament in Oshawa on Saturday, and they had a couple of hours between games and wanted to know if I could meet for coffee. Again without hesitation, I responded with a determined yes! (who AM I?!)
I even said I would take the train out to Oshawa to meet them, thereby increasing our time to hang out. A little backstory… my niece has been expressing a desire to have me in her life in recent months. It started back end of the summer last year, just before my birthday, when she found me on facebook. She tried to get me to come out for Christmas, which I declined (too much pressure), but I promised to make it out to see them in the new year.
Once the new year was in full swing, I was finding excuses not to make the effort. Feeling like it had been too long. Like there would be hard feelings. Like there would be grudges and tension between my brother and I. Like there would be expectations and I wouldn’t live up to them.
Yesterday, all day, I was sick with my sinuses completely borked.
I considered cancelling, but I set my alarm anyway.
This morning I awoke with an inflamed throat.
I considered cancelling, but put on my face, got dressed and went anyway.
I got to the station and missed my train!
I considered cancelling, but I was determined to fight through this karmic roadblock.
I’m so glad I did.
It was fine. I was fine. He was fine. We all were fine.
And normal. Like a family. Imagine that.
We laughed, and told stories, and joked around.
I brought my camera with me, and stood on the bench behind her, alongside her coaches, and took pictures of her playing hockey, and when asked who I was, answered “Crystal’s aunt” with confidence, like I had finally earned the right to say it.
When we were finished eating lunch, and the ladies all went to the washroom before their drive home (they live in Peterborough) my brother and I talked a bit. He said that when he told Crystal that I said yes and that I was coming, she screamed and then danced around for 15 minutes like she had won the lottery. (I’m soooo glad I didn’t cancel) And when they dropped me off at the train station, she asked if she could take my picture on her phone.
Part of me felt a little sad that she likely was taking the picture to prove that I really existed, in case she never saw me again… like some sort of elusive unicorn…
But there will be more visits. I have a 16 and 14 yr old nephew as well, who couldn’t make it out today, but called to say hello when we were at the rink.
I will make the effort and be open to theirs.
Bravery and baby steps.
What am I waiting for? Someday is now.