The Search

  
Between being nearly eight months pregnant, caring for a one and a half year old, and moving from one city to another AND THEN back again within the span of four months, my brain is fried. I’ve had no motivaation for anything resembling creativity. My writing has been put on hold, both blogging and creative writing. Mainly, I’ve been exhausted. I’ve been sucked into the daily ritual of motherhood and trying to maintain every ounce of sanity that I’ve ever harbored in my body.

My writer’s block gave way just a little during a 4 AM bought of pregnancy insomnia. I apologize for the infrequent posts and I hope to get back to blogging very soon. Enjoy this original little snippet for now.

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“She’s no lady.”

“She sings like twelve saxophones and a freight train, she wears about a pound of gold, the band just tries to keep up with her. She’s no lady. Her songs are all unbelievably unhappy or lewd. It’s called Blues. She sings about sore feet, sexual relations, baked goods, killing your lover, being broke, men called Daddy, women who dress like men, working, praying for rain. Jail and trains. Whiskey and morphine. She tells stories between verses and everyone in the place shouts how true it all is. Imagine – the more interruptions, the higher the praise, like a real chorus. Picture Sweet Jessie Hogan at the Met. The best opera is just high-tone Blues.”

– Another excerpt taken from Fall on Your Knees, written by Ann-Marie MacDonald

I aspire to be this Sweet Jessie Hogan one day. 

Taken from “Fall on Your Knees”

I just finished one of the best books I have ever read in my short span on this earth. Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald is absolutely life-altering. I won’t go into any details regarding this phenomenal piece of literature because it is something I truly believe everyone should read and get to know on their own, but I can’t help but pull some of my most favorite written lines from this story.

“It’s a first-love conversation. Mouths can’t kiss each other enough or find enough of the beloved to be kissed enough. The invisible ocean holds the room and the bed and the lovers suspended and treats them like aquatic plants, arms can never stop moving, fronds in the liquid breeze, hands never stop waving slowly side to side, caressing the loved one, hello … fingers never stop fanning, tendrils in a ceaseless bouquet, all parts sway and sway sometimes violently sometimes almost not at all. A small grazing gesture ignites the need for closer, and breaks the surface of the water, never in you enough, gulping air, never contain you enough, on dry land now, never hold you enough, the desert heat, drink you, oasis lover shimmering under a palm, I will burn to ashes here then blow away – until that merciful peak is discovered, and once that is discovered, the slow tumble back down the hill, buckets of water spilling in slow motion, streaking the sand along their way until again the gentle sway, the ocean floor, the grazing touch that reignites the sea.”

If you like to be swept into and enthralled by foreign love and an epic, twisting journey, you should give this book a read. You won’t regret it.

What it is to be a “cynical dreamer”

I’ve always thought of myself as more of a realist than a pessimist, though if you ask my mom she’ll have a much different answer than me. She’ll tell you I’ve been negative my whole life; always waiting for the worst case scenario to happen and preparing for the worst, expecting the worst in people before I’ve given them a true chance, disliking most things that most people like, and also most people. 

And all of that is totally true. I’m still that way to this day. I’ve been on my own spiritual journey for a few weeks now and I’ve learned that I’m not going to be able to just change those parts of myself. They are what I am. And to be honest, I like those parts about me. Those parts don’t let anyone get too close unneccessarily, whether in my life or in my physical bubble of space. Those parts give me the guts to speak up when something is wrong or to defend myself the way I need to. Those parts are the fighting parts of me, the ones that propel me forward and force me to love harder and deeper and therefore fight harder.

I would get upset when my mom called me pessimistic, even though I knew it was true. Now that I’m older I understand that it is because I could never explain the but’s or the why’s of my negativity and it was frustrating. Back then, I only saw that I wasn’t happy and optimistic like I was “supposed” to be and that was wrong. I was bad because I couldn’t force myself to see the world through bright beams of sunshine. 

And what’s worse is that I am a dreamer. I am the worst kind of dreamer. I dream big and bold and my dreams sit in a place in my heart where they ferment and I ache to pull them all out at once and admire them, ache to change my life in the hundreds of ways I have stored in my mind. I am forever haunted by hundreds of foreign places and songs and people, haunted by the beautiful places that exist outside of myself because I will never visit them all. I will never see everything that I want to see, meet every person I want to meet, become every woman I’ve wanted to be, and it is torture.

Not only that, but I am fiercely loyal and passionate, about certain things, almost to a fault. I am the worst kind of lover. I love hard and soft, like an anchor settling into a bed of sand. I have no expectations, I love with an open mind and an open heart, and it has backfired before. I am more careful with my love but my loyalty has never been swayed. I know where I belong and with who I belong, and that is what I live and fight for. I love for forever, and once you have my love, it is incredibly hard to let go of, for the both of us.

Yes, I am often cynical. Someone has to be around here. For the most part, we suck as humans and nobody wants to admit that out loud, but I will. We suck. I also know that there are moments when we don’t suck so much and that is usually when the best parts of humanity can be seen. I’d say I’ve found a pretty decent balance between my cynicism and my ability to hope.

I am lighting candles, whispering blessings, kneeling in prayer in a room filled with blossoms. I am walking a rocky coastline with jagged edges all around and the crush of the ocean below me, completely at peace. I am cooking dinner in a wide open kitchen with every door and window open, and I can hear the crash of the ocean in the breaks between my children’s conversations as they are fed, while my husband and I smile silently, knowingly at each other. I am on stage with my fingers wrapped around the neck of my guitar, singing about love and the loss of it. I am floating through emerald green valleys, the music of a creek nearby. I am dancing alone on a stone terrace to something slow and sad, twirling in gauzy layers of skirts that open and close like the petals of a flower.

I can see it in my mind, can taste it with my soul as if I were there and not planted on my couch in the Midwest of America in my comfy clothes eating watermelon with my son. I am a cynical dreamer because I remember that most of these dreams are unlikely to come true and if I were to say that to someone like my mom, they would tell me that I am just thinking negatively. In reality, I am just being realistic. I will probably never go to India but I daydream about it all the time. I’d love to see China some day and think about it often but I also know that it’s pretty unlikely I’ll ever voluntarily take a trip there. (No offense, China. You’re beautiful but your population makes me feel claustrophobic.)

There are others like me. I’ve had the most interesting, satisfying conversations with them. Most that I’ve met are surprisingly close to my age. Maybe you acquire optimism as you grow older and I’m okay with that. I’ve certainly grown less negative over the years. Of course having babies makes you mushy, physically and within your personality. I think a large part of it is also just simply not giving a shit anymore. There is so much peace in not giving a shit and I wonder if that’s the secret that you’ve got to discover as you age. Some things just aren’t worth worrying yourself over and you’ve just got to choose what to give a shit about, similar to choosing your battles. Otherwise if you’re anything like me, you will give too much of a shit about everything and you will stress yourself into temper flares, crying jags, and sleeplessness nights and you’ll lose all of your shits and start binging on breakfast cereal.

And nobody needs to see that.

Silence, please.

I read an article recently written by a fantastic blogger, (whom I am unable to remember specifically at this time) that made one of the smartest comments about motherhood that I’ve heard yet. Something along the lines of “me time is bullshit. It doesn’t exist anymore when you’re a mom.” 

No one warns you about this aspect of being a mom, and it’s the freaking truth. You will rarely ever pee in silence again. Any “me time” you had without children is obliterated the second you conceive that squirmy potato in your guts. 

It’s not even in our physical world yet and it controls what you eat, when you eat, how many times you pee, how much you pee, your emotions and feels, everything. That squishy potato is the commander, in control of your life for the next … Forever. 

And, as I’ve subtly hinted before, we’re having another one. No, I don’t even know what the hell I’m doing with the first one we’ve had, but I’ve learned that most moms harbor a dirty little secret that they hate to admit … They have no idea what the hell they’re doing either. It gives me some consolation.

Motherhood is like constantly being bruised. It’s more than just being responsible for somebody else. It forces you to feel things and face things and scares the shit out of you every day and you love harder and deeper than you’ve ever loved anything before. 

We do not, probably could not, maintain a three-child family. This second baby was unplanned but Nolyn will seriously be the best big brother ever, and I’m ready to go back to school and get my career going. I can manage another couple of years of sacrificing myself and my time to my family before focusing on myself.

I see other moms with their shit together and I know that will be me one day, just not right now. Some days lately I can’t even decide if Nolyn is actually dirty enough to bathe or if I can put it off until the morning. I’m just incredibly tired … And I want pizza. 

I grew sick of having zero “me time”, so I forged my own. I’m usually up between 4 and 6 AM and since Nolyn doesn’t usually wake up until almost 7, that gives me a little silent time. I’ve started meditating as soon as I get up and it’s really helping me get in the mood to deal with the day. There are random moments I steal when I can while my husband is home or while Nolyn is napping, and basically if you want to feel as if you’ve got any sort of time to yourself, you’ve got to make it. 

You’ve got to set aside five minutes or an hour or whatever you can manage, and not feel guilty about it, because it is well-deserved. Your husband will understand, but you’ve got to let him know that you require it.

Even if it’s just to hide in your bedroom and eat pizza. 

Oklahoma is OK

I love food. I love art. I love when huge groups of people get together to do something for the better of some one besides themselves. I love when people work together to create, to bring life and culture to a barren place. Who would’ve known that Oklahoma is practically the capital of all things food, art, and local?

Every morning when I catch up on my social media, I find myself excited about something else happening here, where I live, in my city. (Whether it’s one of our incredible farmer’s markets, a boat race in Bricktown, a 5K downtown, a food truck festival, showing a movie on the lawn, and a ridiculous amount of other family friendly events) I’m used to nothing good happening to my location ever, because I hail from Panama City, Florida. I chose Oklahoma a little spontaneously, but I’ve lived here before and have family here, so it wasn’t incredibly random.

Still, it’s been almost four years and I have a hard time believing I’m still happily here. And now I want to share why, via the land of Instagram. Check out my local favorites and go follow them if you seem something you’re interested in. They’re wonderful, magical people.

Tucker’s burgers are my number one pregnancy craving, and that goes for both pregnancies. It also happens to be where Luke and I had our first date. And it’s within walking distance of our house, so ….

Did you know we can fit a whole picnic in every Tucker’s bag? Your #SundayFunday will thank you!! #eatlocal #okc #okcfood #Tuckers #Uptown23rd #ClassenCurve #Quail #youreBACONmehungry #perfectpicnic
We’ve got this beautiful new state wall map and we are also restocked in the Oklahoma stateboard from thelocal @loveleighcreativesoul #oklahoma #ilovemystate #shopsmall #discovermidtown
Would you just look at this veg-tastic masterpiece? I mean, just look at it! squash, mushrooms,tomatoes, arugula, sun dried tomato pesto, and a big ass blend of cheese all cuddled in between two slices of wheat bread. And would you also just look at what we haveon draft?! WHITE RASCAL!
local photographer @shevon_sharkness puts all your favorites in tiny frames. perfect for your desk or your friend’s desk. #OKC #myoklahoma
How could you go wrong with a lime and sea salt shaved ice topped with organic gummy bears ever? #freshlysqueezedlimes #allnaturalshavedicea (photo cred: @theplantshoppe)
Hooray! We are a-go for tonight’s first #SONICsummermovies Paddington. Tips: Tarp instead of blanket and bug spray. Food trucks: @TheHallsPizza @roxysicecream @katiebugsokc @phill_me_up_chersesteaks
Come out to the @plazadistrict Friday, visit @badgranny & support @thejunkfairyokc and support the homeless teens that count on @sisuyouth for support. Bring like-new teen clothing, deodorant, new cool socks, under garments or packable foods and @badgranny will give you a discount Friday night! Thank you so much Granny & the Junk Fairy! See ya at the Plaza!
This Live on the Plaza we are celebrating kids! We are joining @sisuyouth in helping homeless teens. You bring donation for teen and we will give you a lei. Show the lei when you check out and get a discount! Easy and everybody wins!

I love the sense of community here. I love how proud Oklahomans are of their state and how they help one another and come together often, not just in times of crisis. This is a great place to raise a family, and I’m glad I’ve started mine here. 

Several layers better

Your home was so clean, and you were so sweet. 

You had a record player and you would take me away with your knowledge and passion for old music and words.

I could never quite compare to you and I knew that all along.

I pretended for a while that you could love me, knowing very well it would never be true.

You were accomplished, sophisticated, well-mannered, and kind.

You never pushed or scoffed or criticized, and your demeanor was as calm as the surface of the bay in mid-evening.

I want an entire planet of happiness and blessings for you. I know better than most how you deserve it.

I ache when I remember how clean your home was, how you were so sweet.

I ache when I think of how much how badly how painfully I could’ve loved you.