Posted in A Story: After the Closure

The Letting Go

I love dreaming. At night. In the morning. At my desk. In the shower. Driving down the road. While sitting on hold with insurance companies. I have no prejudice to topic. Or situations. Places. People. Or life. You could say I live in a perpetual state of dream. Fascination. Imagination. It’s true. I imagine what could be. Where could be. Who could be. How could be. And dreams are good. Amazing even. I live for them. Pray for them. Hope for them. They provide something to look forward to. Something to strive for. Something to realize. Something to leave you in wonder. I like being in wonder. Until the wonder is crushed. Or the dream becomes a stronghold. Until suddenly you cannot let go.

I drove by our old house today. My girl and I. There was no one behind us. So we stopped. Right in the middle of the road. Normally a busy one. We immediately noticed the new paint on the outside. And then. One by one we pointed out the differences. Some that mattered to her. Others to me. I looked in the rear view mirror. Still an empty road behind me. So we stayed a little longer. Peering through the trees. “They took away my hop scotch,” she said. The one I created with old concrete tiles left from the builder. The ones I spray painted numbers with her favorite neon green.” “They ripped up my flower bed,” I replied. The one I slaved over one hot spring day. The one I couldn’t afford to create. But I used my Visa anyway. We didn’t say another word as we sat just a moment longer. Not another word.

I looked in the rear view mirror once more. Still an empty road. Still time to sit. In silence. But I moved along the way to home. Our home. And I started to get this feeling. It’s a feeling I’ve been having for a couple of weeks now. It’s not sadness. Or happiness. Not bad. Or good. It’s just a feeling. Nostalgia maybe. And as my therapist once said. Because everyone should see a therapist. Just sayin. We should sit with our feelings. No judgment. Just feel. It could be that it’s autumn. My favorite season of the year. Where I dream of football whistles. Cool breezes. Good beer. And the spiciest wings. Even though I can’t eat them this year. Even though it doesn’t feel like fall. Even though it was 90 degrees and we were on our way home from a pool party. In October. Even though there is no such thing as climate change. And it occurred to me. In that moment. We were driving away from dreams.

Dreams of a swing set for her. Off the side of the house. Made with poles that were given to us from a neighbor. Just next to the chicken coop for me. With heavy duty wire on all sides. Including the bottom. Fort Knox I would call it. So the neighborhood fox would not get to them. Like he did my first chickens. The ones who were sleeping in my makeshift coop until Fort Knox could be erected. The ones that I watched grow from baby chicks with their yellow down. To adult feathers of blue. And gray. And brown. Lady Lorraine was her name. My favorite hen. There were also dreams of a bountiful garden out by the road. Tomatoes. And squash. Snap peas. And watermelon. Dreams of mornings. Standing out front with the hose. Giving them their morning drink while conjuring up more dreams. Imaginative dreams. Beautiful dreams.

Dreams of a screened patio in the back. Just off the kitchen. Over looking the creek. Ok. Maybe not a creek. More like a natural storm water run off. But it was a creek to me. In my dreams. Hours of work days out there. Overlooking the natural azaleas that bloomed for three weeks in the spring. Dinners over dim light. Watching lightening bugs in the summer. Dreams of a Florida room off the den. Four steps down. To a concrete floor stained in a dark brown grey. A pitched metal roof with exposed beams. Fans hanging from them. With comfy couches. And chairs. Large windows exposing the palmettos that surrounded it. Colors of blue and grey and white throughout. And a large table made of recycled wood. Unfinished. Encircled by chairs that bounce. Painted white. And left outside to rust. You know the ones. The ones you sit on for hours. Sharing stories. And laughs. And dreams. Bouncing.

Dreams of a lush lawn. The front deck lined with yellow knockout roses. Flower boxes hanging from the porch rails. With vibrant white and purple flowers standing tall amidst creeping fig. Two rocking chairs on the deck. Maybe four. White. Weathered. With heavy duty outdoor curtains. Sailcloth maybe. Hanging from industrial piping in each corner of the covered patio. Because when it rained. Or the sun was beating down. Or the wind was too chilly. You would need them. Dreams of a pool adjacent to that lush lawn. Built after I borrowed goats from Mr. Randall. An old man I met at a pumpkin patch. And fenced those suckers in the perfect spot. You know. To clear the land. To eat up the palmetto. And brush. And weeds. Because that’s what goats do.

There are more dreams. On the outside of the house. Too many to name. But the important ones. The ones that mattered. The ones that involved people. And love. And hope. Those dreams. They lived inside the house. And they were filled with expectancy. For another baby. For unconditional love. And acceptance. And peace. They were filled with childhood dreams. Of a little girl. And a prince. A fairy tale. Dreams of a teenaged girl. Hoping for partnership. A best friend. Her soulmate. A happily ever after in between the struggles of life. But you see. Those dreams were never realized inside that house. Or outside for that matter. For many reasons. None of which I care to share. Except one. A dream I could not let go. A dream that kept me awake at night. A dream that visited me while I slept. Arms that held me tight. Eyes that looked at me in wonder. A dream of love that was deeper than what existed inside the walls of that house. A dream I still cannot let go. A dream. Quite frankly. I do not want to let go. A dream of someone else.

Have you ever had a dream like that? One you can’t let go. One that despite the pain. The yearning. The pit in your stomach. The exhaustion. You still hold on. Tight. Afraid that if you let it go. You might go along with it. Lose yourself in letting go. In a way that feels like betraying the dream. Back stabbing the wonder. Ruthless even. To the dream. My dream. The one I hold tight. I’ve held on to this dream for far too long. Twenty three years and two months to be exact. Kind of sounds pathetic when I put it that way. But it’s not. It’s carried me through a lot of hurt. It’s held me up when I was bound to fall. It’s held my hand when the road was unstable. And it’s given me confidence when I found myself uncertain. This dream has served its time. And done so very well.

And you know. Of all the dreams. My dreams. I love this one the most. Almost as much as I hate it. Because it hurts. Because it holds me back. Because it blocks my heart. And soul. And spirit. Ones that have been closed off. Ones that need opening. Ones that are ready to make room for another. Today I discovered something tragic. Yet necessary. It’s time to let go. Not like letting go nineteen years ago. Walking away from him at The Art Bar. Or letting go fifteen years ago. As I began a life. A married life. With another. Or even three years ago. When I swore it was behind me. Or last month. Or last night. This time I’m letting go like a child let’s go of their balloon. Watching it float into the blue. I’m letting go like a butterfly loses its chrysalis. Lifting in to its first flight of freedom. I’m letting go the way a snake leaves her eggs. Knowing her offspring won’t need her to come into life. Or grow strong. Or thrive. And you know. There is so much beauty in that. The letting go. It doesn’t mean that time was wasted. Or that we have to regret. Or feel like failure. It also doesn’t mean we have to forget. Or stop dreaming altogether. It means we are ready. Simple as that. Ready to let go. Grow stronger. Thrive. And finally. That is where I am.

Did I mention the new owners painted the house? Our old one. With all those dreams inside and out. It is a splendid color actually. One that is airy. And bright. Full of light. And freshness. One that covers an old dream. Of a builder. Who chose a color that would showcase his masterpiece. A color the new owners were ready to let go. A new color that gives space for a fresh batch of dreams. Of plants. And patios. Outdoor curtains. And bouncy chairs. Ones that speak of hope. And opportunity. And vision. That’s the most beautiful thing about dreams. Especially the ones we need to let go. The dreams we finally do. They open up new possibilities. New opportunities. New paths for adventure. And fascination. And growth. New dreams to cultivate. In the kitchen. At my desk. In the shower. Driving down the road. Waiting on hold. Man. It feels good to be on my way.

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Posted in A Story: After the Closure

Irma. Holes. Newness.

I lost a 37-year old pine tree in Irma. Yes. I counted her rings. Quite honestly. I was glad to see her go. I was tired of watching her slowly suffocate. From the potato vine that was creeping up her trunk. With her sap dripping on my patio furniture. She could have fallen a multitude of ways. Hit at least three homes in her wake. But she didn’t. God chose a different path for her. Fences. Two of them. One that revealed a neighbor’s backyard. One I’d never seen. People I’d never met. The hole in the fence revealed a new life. You’d think it would be awkward meeting your neighbors for the first time. Standing on a log. Just hours after Irma made her departure. But it wasn’t. It actually was perfectly normal. Wonderful even. I’m quite grateful for that tree. The one I was happy to see go. As for Irma. I’m grateful that’s all she took.

Continue reading “Irma. Holes. Newness.”

Posted in Musings

The Big Day

Y’all! Tomorrow is the big day. The adventure begins. Time to start my new life. The one where I go to work. In a new position. With new coworkers. And a new curriculum that I’m absolutely. Positively. Crazy about. In my home office. Surrounded by all my favorite things. Where I take my girl to school. Just twice per week this year. Thanks to the best invention of all time. Carpool. Where I have to start planning dinners. Packing lunches. Setting alarms to remind me to give Oscar his breaks. All while keeping the house in order. And my plants alive. Doing laundry. And dishes. Floors. Sheets. And bathrooms. And bills. You know the routine.  Continue reading “The Big Day”

Posted in A Story: After the Closure

I Quit Betrayal

Y’all. I’ve been doing a lot of counting lately. Hours of sleep my girl might get. If she’ll sleep until 10. Which she never does. Even though she’s stayed up way past her bedtime. And mine. Again. I’ve also been counting how many episodes I have left in my show. Chapters I have left in my book. The next five books I want to read. And shows I want to watch. How many insurance appeals I have to write. Pills I have to take. Purses I have to list on eBay. Because Marge and I have now have a market on eBay. And she has a lot of purses. And shoes. I’ve also been counting down the days until Oscar gets 15 more minutes of freedom. Because really. He’s the one who needs the break. Let’s just be honest. And then suddenly. Without even realizing it. I’ve started to panic. Because this week. In just a few days. I’m down to 19 hours closed. And holy shit. Have I even been listening at all? Shouldn’t I be wiser. Or stronger. Or less panicky. Or more like Jesus. Or something. This played out so differently in my head five months ago. Shouldn’t I be enlightened by now. But then I remember. This whole thing. This whole jacked up jaw mess. It all started because I was trying to be something more. Someone I wasn’t. Trying to be like the girl I envied in middle school. Trying to be anyone but me.

Continue reading “I Quit Betrayal”

Posted in Musings

Not Now

Y’all. My heart skipped a beat today. In line at Kohls. And listen when I tell you. It skipped a whole flippin’ beat. And took me completely off guard. Handsome does not begin to describe what I encountered. Or really. Doesn’t even matter. He was in line with his mother. I think. Talking about his shopping woes at Walmart. How he’s disappointed in the produce. Y’all. He shops for produce. He eats produce. Wants good produce. And shops with his mother. Continue reading “Not Now”

Posted in A Story: After the Closure

My Friend Oscar

Y’all. I made a new friend. Oscar. It’s one of those friends I really didn’t want to befriend. Not at all. You know the ones. Maybe there’s something you just don’t vibe with. Or something you see in them. That maybe you also see in yourself. A part of yourself you don’t exactly like. Or the one that forces you to get uncomfortable. Feel uneasy even. But then you realize. There’s something good there. Something special. Maybe you do need to get a little uncomfortable. After all. Maybe you can learn something from them. Maybe even about yourself. So you accept the person. And suddenly. Your new friend. The one you were pushing away.  Has now become your closest friend. That’s how it was with Oscar. My new friend. And guess what. He’s my mouth splint. Continue reading “My Friend Oscar”

Posted in A Story: After the Closure

Forty

I’ll be 40 in four months. And currently. At 39. I live with my mom. I have a home. A beautiful one. One with a mortgage. An electric bill. A water bill. And I still pay them. On time. In it are all my favorite things. My old fans. And vintage cameras. Rusty things. National Geographics. And my bed. My seven-year old daughter is here with me, too. We sleep in a full size bed together. Even though there is a queen down the hall. And a king at our own home. I like being close to her at night. Her body is so warm. And we hold hands while she falls asleep. Sometimes she even wakes me in the wee hours. Asking for my hand. And I love it. I’m almost 40. My daughter and I live with my mom. And to be brutally honest. I don’t want to leave. Continue reading “Forty”