Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sense of self

vintage-black-and-white-woman-mysterious-smile-pandoras-box
 
 
So after that last post, where it was mostly just brain vomit...
I started sitting and reflecting on who I am now.
 
I really think I have shook the label of infertile as my FIRST descriptor of self.
In fact, it feels like it has shifted pretty far down the list of identifiers.
Does that mean that I don't still ache so deeply for the babies I am not watching grow up?
Does that mean that I still don't think about how my body didn't do what it was suppose to do?
Nope.
Everyday it enters me mind, but I think my relationship with those events
are in a different place now.
They are not forgotten but more like interned,
almost as though, I have allowed them to lay to rest;
transcend this earthly plane and ascend to a new level of conscience.
Does that make any sense?
 
I am seeing signs of it regularly now.
I look at babies again, and smile at them, because they are funny and drooly.
I am not angry when I see a pregnant woman,
but wonder how long she tried for and how scared she might be at this new road in her life.
I mentioned to my yoga teacher that I couldn't do some poses because of my endo, but I mentioned it in such a casual way, you'd think I had said I couldn't because of a head cold or something.
I am thinking about how to make memories with my niece and nephew as a way for them to remember me, not act out re-imagined situations I might have had with my own children.
 
It is strangely liberating, and slightly sorrowful.
I am growing
That is my best guess at this
 
I spend a lot of time alone, whether in the studio working, or just being me. 
I reflect on strange things like:
Where do the city raccoons live that eat out of the city garbage cans?
Why do some finger nails grow faster than others?
Why are some people afraid of quiet?
What can I do to be more focused?
How would I feel if I applied and got a residency abroad?
Why does cheese seduce me so...
 
Being alone and quiet a good portion of the day, makes me realize that it is indeed a gift.
Although I would have loved a home full of boys (that is what I always imagined)
I question if I could have been who I am if I had that too.
I am suppose to make art, but would I have still stayed on this path with a baby?
I am finding that I am seeing this now, as a sort of re-gift.
I was denied so much for sooooo many years, and so many more ahead of me.
I guess I am justifying what I have now as a new beginning, or gift.
Maybe I am simply making a lemon drop from a bushel of lemons...
but that seems to be my mindset these days.
 


Friday, March 21, 2014

Deep Thought- or just some random thoughts in a single post

 
I love the pretzel of hair on the back of her head
 
**Warning-I seem to ramble a lot in this post **
and the spell check stopped working mid-post so please excuse any spelling errors
 
 
OK so I am back in the studio, most of the week now...well portions of the day, most of the week now. It makes a difference and allows me to do all the crazy admin stuff that no one ever tells you is required when you are trying to make a name for yourself in the art world....or just trying to get your work seen by someone other than yourself and your visually over saturated friends and family.
 
The Barren is very patient and truly believes in my work and me, even when I am not totally convinced. I think this is paramount to my mental health and
fighting the easy slide into self doubt and depression.
I am lucky indeed.
 
I am making new work and have held back on my shotgun submissions, instead focusing on making new and interesting work.
Last year I spent close to $500 in entry fees and although I was in 14 exhibitions,
I only sold four pieces...some would say that is not a good investment.
So in an effort to be farther focused,
I am thinking three or four times before submitting works and trying to save a buck or two.
 
It is hard....really hard.
I want to be in everything...like me, please like me
 
On to other complaints...
The honeymoon is over with this vegan stuff...it takes a lot of effort and preparation and planning.
I seem to always be hungry or totally over food...one extreme or another. It is exhausting!
It also means that when I do eat something non-vegan, I spin into mental tabulation of what I ate, how much and how bad was that for me...I am pretty sure an hour of hot yoga does not burn off a weekend's worth of white potato hash browns and a scoop of ice cream or toast
but I am letting my mind think so for now...
 
 
According to my parents, who are really confused about how and what I eat now...
I channeled my great grandmother two nights ago and made something that she always made, stuffed cabbage rolls...but I made mine vegan. (she is probably rolling her eyes, heck I am rolling mine) It took a LONG time and was much like making enchiladas or tamales...where you have a complicated filling and then roll and bake and presto- done.
I have to admit, they tasted really good and the parents said that they were a good representation of the tradiational dish...but I wonder, did I make these because I was desperate for a complex new dish or was I trying to connect with family?
 
I find that as the years go on, and I age without offspring...
I wonder how I connect with the family here?
I find myself looking at photos desperate to see if I resemble anyone,
or carry anyones traits...or am I really the anomaly.
 
I have also been having dreams about searching for family.
Complicated routes and great distances are involved...but in the end I don't see them.
I have been watching "Long Island Medium", I don't care if it is all staged or fake.
Something in me needs to see the messages, and then I wonder
..if she read me, who would come through and what message would they deliver?
I wonder if my babies would...can someone who left before they are whole-
be whole on the other side? and then deliver messages?
I like the idea...I am not religious so I can not seek out the answers there; so I am left to my own version of spiritual guidance which leaves the door WIDE open
to questions and theories and feelings.
 
Onto other news
I went away last weekend to enter The Barrens homebrew into a competition...we'll know in June if he goes to the next stage...but we spent the night away and he got to sample loads of microbrews.
I had every intention to sample them as well, but with the voice in my head and her calculator I couldn't do more then a taster of two...I tried to not be a wet blanket and bring the whole scene down, I went wherever the next pub was and sat quietly and laughed and engaged in conversations...
but really, I was bored.
It was a good weekend still, and I got some real time with The Barren
who is traveling a lot more now for work.
So with all this extra time alone now, I fill my head with thoughts.
Sometimes deep, sometimes shallow..but it is always filled.
 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Someone Not Me


I had to go to the nursery to recover from what was my Friday...
I buy plants when I am extremely upset, emotionally.
Plants have always set my brain right, the garden and the potted plants on my patio have acted as therapists many times over.
It is a good vice, I mean a plant buying binge is far better in my mind than other vices.
 
I was called into jury duty. I sent in the card and followed the rules, but really I don't want to serve on a jury as I would have a hard time ruling on someones life.
When I got to the waiting room, a judge came in and talked about
how important it is to be a juror.
I listened and understood that I had no control over the day...and I tried to swallow that.
He assured us that we would not be called for family issues, like divorce or child custody.
I took an exhale of relief.
While waiting, someone from court appointed advocates came in and
told us about what they do in foster care....and speak out for abused foster kids...
I was getting mad, I felt assaulted by the sad situation and I wanted to run from the room.
She left and I went back to the drawing I had brought to keep me busy
and listened from my name each time a pool was called.
On the third round I was called to a courtroom.
I was OK with that, and after sitting in a jury chair as the room was quite full
 the judge read what the trial was about and I about lost it...
 
Crime of a lewd act against a child, and multiple molestation allegations
My heart was about to explode, it was beating so hard and I began to sweat.
When the judge asked if someone had a hardship and he got to me,
I stood before a packed room, shaking (I could hear it in my voice)
 and said that being a woman who has lived through 8years of infertility
I could not emotionally handle the details of the case.
He asked if I had a job, if I was married and if I had kids.
( I was angry, as I had just told him I was infertile...
hell, I told a good chunk of my counties demographic )
He then said it was not a hardship and to take a survey to fill out for the lawyers.
The prosecutor asked my name, and I spelt it as I left the room.
He said he didn't pick the jury, but the lawyers did.
I was fighting crying at this point...as I left the courtroom
I made it all the way to the bathroom at the end of the hall
to totally break down in a puddle.
Then I looked at myself in the mirror and told me:
" pull it together, you can write down why to the lawyers"
Keep fighting it
In another lifetime I was that person who would have wanted to be on the trial,
serve justice and get the wrongs righted.
I am not that person now.
I can mostly accept that.
I am struggling a little;
as I was asking to walk away from a moment of need.
 
I spent the next hour filling out the form,
details about if I knew people who were victims of crime
did I know police officers
did I know lawyers
did I think children's testimony was less valid than adults
and finally an area to tell them if I felt I could be unbiased.
I pleaded that as an infertile woman
I am very sensitive to stories of children and
that the details of this case might send me into a depression, undoing all my therapy.
I told them I could not be unbiased or open minded.
After I finished the survey, I left the building angry
and feeling like I was being forced to witness another horrible thing in life.
 
I got back to my car, knowing I would have to return Monday...
I called my mom to tell her that I might not be able to take her
to her medical procedure on Tuesday and when she said you OK?
I lost it and cried, a lot...no words just tears.
She was patient, and then said "can you tell me anything?
...I said: "the worst you can imagine"
"She said is it about children?"...and I cried
I told her I needed to get some plants
She told me she would foot the bill, I giggled...and then said
"I'm sure your survey will get you excused"
I told her I hoped so, as that was my only hope now.
 
After buying a trunk load of plants and new mulch...
I spent the weekend trying to not think about it.
it was futile.
I dreamt about it, I had quiet moments and panicked about it....
I returned this morning and after waiting,
my name was in the first pool of names called into the courtroom.
The judge excused us.
I looked at the prosecutor and whispered "thank you"
then turned and left the courtroom.
I could breathe deeper
 
I am now home, squeezing the kitties watering my new plants and sipping tea.
I hope I did the right thing


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday



 
I think things are really changing


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Landed

 
 
I have finally landed.
I realize that I have no control as to when people leave this earth,
and what I can control or moderate is the way I process it.
It makes me quiet, fearful and very vulnerable.
This is what I have learned.
 
I have been working hard on focus.
Focus in life; within my work and inward.
I have skipped some yoga days, but still get to class three times a week at least.
This last week was my cycle and I skipped two days, but not from pain
but because my art required I not miss some deadlines.
It was liberating to be able to function well and almost ignore the fact that another
cycle has passed.

The Barren was invited to a baby shower for a co-worker, he declined but I whipped up a gift
for him to take into the office and deliver to the father to be.
It was easy and I felt no pain, anguish or sadness from sewing up a couple little things.
I was thankful for that.
The hardest part was writing a little note to a couple I didn't know.

Valentines day was a celebration of us.
We dressed up and I took The Barren out to a fancy dinner at a hip new eatery.
We drank, and ate and laughed and had a genuinely good time.
Including stopping at an ice cream parlor after dinner for a second dessert!
We have both reflected on that several times since.
I think it is topping our list for future weekends, something we are aiming for now.

I had to rewrite some artist documents this last week, update my descriptions about my work
and myself. It was very hard, so hard that I had to ask for help from my business group.
It was a slice of humble pie, as I realized I needed help and then that I had to ask for it.
It played out well, and in the end I was able to rewrite the documents without
loosing my voice, and yet still convey the level of professionalism I was aiming for.
Fingers crossed for some new GOOD changes this year.

I am taking it slowly, and methodically
feeding my heart, my mind and my body
 

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Shit is getting real....

crime: failed to return a cup of sugar
 
 
I am not quite sure what I am feeling these days:
 
In the last month, I have heard of two more women the same age as me
having double mastectomies
and this last week alone
a suicide of a high school art classmate
and today the death of a college classmate
(We had been on a study abroad trip together)
 
It has triggered a fear that I am not present enough in my life.
...like in a moment to moment way.
I am constantly thinking about my own mortality;
fearful that my life will end at any moment.
I am scared
 
I am trying to feel all these feelings and not hide from them
but they are quite overwhelming
and big
and REAL
 
On the inside I feel like a person walking in tiny circles
hands clutched and curled into my cheast
fearful that someone will literally
rip my heart out of me.
 
On the outside I am trying to smile, keep my eyes open
and be calm...and imagine a soothing unhaunted slumber at days end.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Beautiful People

I heard this in class this morning and just about burst into tears.
I needed to share it with you all, my sisterhood
Happy Friday Ladies,
Beautiful lovely people:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross