“Man, I just love…”

I laid in bed at 11 o’clock last Saturday night and listened to the wind howl outside. I’ve always been soothed by storms and listening to it that night reminded me of an early memory from my childhood.

 

I must have been about 3 years old and I was awake in the early morning before my mom was. It was windy outside and as I sat on the couch with my face in the window, I was trying to figure out how it was that I could hear that wind howling through the house. I remember feeling a twinge of fear at how big the weather was and how small it made me seem. More than fear though, I felt comfort deep in my soul. That feeling has stayed with me even now in my 30’s. There’s something about the chaos of storms that soothes whatever chaos I have going on inside me. To me, storms are a reminder that I’m in control of so little in this world, I’m like a speck of sand in the desert, and that reminder calms me.

 

Lying in bed that night, with the wind in one ear and the soft snoring of my love in the other, I felt total peace in my heart. I felt an overwhelming calm, happiness, and contentedness. So much in my life right now is falling into place. Knowing all the children were cozy, sleeping in their beds, knowing I had no stress to worry about in that moment, being soothed by the wind storm outside, and enjoying that delicious feeling of comfort at the warmth of my sweetheart next to me, I knew I would later sit down to write a blog post about all the happy things going on right now.

 

*****

 

He finally said it. He said those 3 magic words I’ve been waiting almost 5 months to hear from him. As the days have turned into weeks and the weeks have turned into months, I’ve yearned for him to acknowledge love in his heart for me. I was totally head over heels, crazy in love by the time we were a few weeks in, but he was not. His pain was still fresh and his guard was high. This was something I totally understood, but it didn’t make me feel any less anxious for it. As time went on, I would have moments that would stop me in my tracks and I would be so filled with love and think to myself, “Man, I just love him so much.” This made me a little fearful that I was so completely in and yet I was unsure of what was going on in his head. I became fearful that I was going to get my heart broken.

 

You see, I’ve never in my entire life been in a relationship where it just felt so right. He made it so damn easy to fall for him and when I got scared, I started wondering if I was going to have to prepare for the heartache of a lifetime. I was so confused. He wasn’t telling me he loves me, but his actions definitely were. B is more sweet and tender with me than I’ve ever experienced in a romantic relationship in my entire life. The moments he would look lovingly tuck my hair behind my ear, or the way he would caress my skin without thinking while we were watching a movie, or even just the way I would look up and catch him looking at me–all of it screamed love. The only thing that didn’t was his own mouth. I allowed myself to become fearful despite that whole “actions speak louder than words” thing that should have given me reassurance. But let’s face it, anyone who knows me personally and anyone who reads these blogs knows that I am an animal driven by emotion and words. I can’t just feel things, I have to tell people what I feel. Constantly.

 

A couple weeks ago, B and I had a misunderstanding that hurt my feelings. Not because he was mean or intentionally hurtful, but once again, because of my own emotional intensity. I panicked and suddenly was thinking of all the worst case scenarios. I sat at work and wrote out an email to him that explained that I know I’m intense and I know that he cares and I will work on trying to relax a little. Instead of being annoyed with my sensitivity, he reminded me that he’s not going anywhere, that he likes me being me and doesn’t want me to try to change my need to talk about my feelings, and he gave me reassurance in general. He was kind and sweet and once again, made me sit back and think, “Man, I just love him so much.”

 

That conversation helped me to greatly relax. It was the reassurance that I needed to know he may not be proclaiming love to me, but he’s not going anywhere. We’ve had several tender moments since then, a fabulous date day, and two weekends in a row of amazing-ness. The most amazing part though, was waking up early on a Friday morning to get ready for work just like any other normal weekday. There was nothing special about this day, or at least there wasn’t until I got a text from him…

 

“Moonshine Niki…”

 

“Yes?” I asked, and then pretty much held my breath somehow knowing what was coming next.

 

“I love you, I really do.”

 

I sat there staring at my phone dumbfounded at the random revelation. I didn’t know what to say. We’ve had moments in the past where I’ve told him I don’t want him to feel pressured, but I can’t always hold it inside, and I confess my love for him. He always would smile sweetly and wrap me tightly in his arms and kiss me. But suddenly in that moment, I just couldn’t say I love you too. I was at a loss for words (something that is ~extremely~ rare for me) and I just smiled at my phone with what I’m sure was a ridiculous grin. I was filled with joy and happiness. We fell back into our regular texting after that, but I was on an intense high the entire day from it. I told him I’m anxious to be wrapped in his arms and have him look me in the eye and tell me in person. He promised it would happen soon.

 

*****

 

This last weekend was a “Littles Weekend” meaning that B had his children for the weekend. I call them the Littles because my children are teenagers and his are small. It’s a cute, affectionate name for them that distinguishes which kids I’m referring to without claiming “mine” or “yours”.

 

Anyone that has ever had (or even been around) a blended family knows that dating as single parents is not easy. There have been tough moments as far as all of the children go and we never really know what we’re going to get. But every Littles Weekend that happens, we bond more and more and we have fun. This last weekend was no different.

 

On Saturday morning, we did projects and then went to the grocery store to pick up some stuff for lunch. After loading the children and the groceries up to leave, it was in that parking lot as we were getting ready to leave that B randomly leaned in, hugged me, and said “I love you” out of the blue. Nothing else about that moment was romantic. It was just normal, everyday life stuff, and he suddenly made it magical. My heart soared.

 

I spent the weekend on Cloud 9 and was truly happy. There was lots of fun had and I enjoyed the little moments of silliness and laughter. Everything from painting projects, to snuggling a sleepy little one as he wakes up from nap, to just watching the Littles play, I felt full of bliss. I wanted the weekend to continue forever.

 

As we drove home from the kid swap on Sunday, I already was thinking of what we could do on the next Littles Weekend. I now find my heart missing them when they are with their mom. For the first time since B and I started dating, the Littles are on my mind all the time, every day.

 

I sat in my car on my lunch break yesterday and suddenly realized how much I have feelings growing in my heart for those babies. I’ve been guarded with my feelings for them because of the previous uncertainty with B. We’ve always had fun and done projects, they’ve always had stability and consistency with me, and I’ve always been interactive with them, but I’ve worked hard to keep my emotions in check with them. Watching the clouds cross the sky yesterday as I pondered all of the recent changes, I realized that B finally professing love for me subconsciously gave me permission to love his children.

 

In that moment, I thought to myself, “Man, I just love them so much…”

 

Bonded Blessings

Friendship is a powerful thing. It can help with healing the hurt, it can soothe the burn of daily living, and it can lift low spirits. A good friendship between two women is a bond unlike any other, but it wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I truly realized how important female friends are to a woman.

 

When I was growing up, I had a difficult time fitting in socially. That was especially true with other girls. I have always been socially awkward and I tend to say too much too soon and so people tend to think that I’m weird. I have a huge heart though and I’m closely tied to my emotions, so I don’t give it much thought to just say what is on my heart and mind. It’s like my social filter is broken, or it was just never there to begin with.

awkward

Me socially summed up

 

Every great once in a while in my life though, I meet someone amazing that understands me and isn’t weirded out by my awkward non-filter. Every great once in a while I meet someone that I instantly click with and the bond is immediate. Every great once in a while I meet someone that makes me feel okay for just being me. I recently had one of those “every great once in a while’s” happen.

 

Do you ever meet someone and within minutes, you just know deep down that you and that person were just destined to meet? You know, when you talk and there’s an instant connection? It’s so very rare for me (and for most people I think), and it’s only happened a few times in my life ever.

 

*   *   *

 

I got laid off a couple of months ago from a job that I loved. It felt like the world was ending for me. How was I ever going to find something that was just as good with Monday through Friday business hours with only a year and a half of recent office experience? I live in a small area where jobs like that are fought over by even those with much experience. I was terrified that I’d have to go back to working in retail, and worse yet, have to go back to working two jobs just to make ends meet. I hated the environment where I worked, but I loved my job, and my family had become accustomed to my cushy, steady work schedule. I was determined to find something similar and so I only applied for new jobs that were in similar fields. It took 4 weeks to even get called for an interview. I was so nervous for many reasons. I sat in that group interview silently praying that they would love me and think I was the best person for the job. The company seemed great and while I would have to travel to get to work every day and the pay was lower than my last position, I just knew in my heart that it was “the one” for me. A day later, I was called and offered the position. I was ecstatic. My long, hard month of being unemployed was finally over. While my heart still stung from the loss of the job I loved, I was so happy and recognized my blessing of the new job. But I didn’t realize yet just how much I was blessed until my second day.

 

“K” was gone the day I started my new position. I began my training with the lady that was retiring and that I would be eventually taking over for. In the office, there are two older women, a male boss, myself, and K in her late 20’s. I was nervous because at my last job, I worked with all men. Would I be able to relate to other women in the office? Would I have a difficult time getting along with another younger woman? Would my social awkwardness shine through?

 

On day 2, my trainer was gone and I got to meet K and get some training with her. We talked on a personal level pretty much immediately. We had a lot in common and it took a total of 10 minutes for me to decide that I already was going to get along fabulously with her and that we would work great together. She told me a little about herself and everything she said, I could relate to. I felt weird for admiring her already and then really hoped I wouldn’t say anything stupid or do anything to make her wonder why I’m so odd. It’s not like when you meet someone you can just immediately be like, “I love your natural beauty and how your good heart shines through your smile and I love your laugh and the way you don’t seem to care what anyone thinks about you.” So I sat there largely silent at first and secretly texted my boyfriend and told him I’d met this amazing woman and that she is going to become my “work bestie” before she knows it.

 

A few days in and I could tell I wasn’t alone in feeling the connection between us. After a couple days we started to talk more on a personal level whenever the office was empty. That quickly led to talking outside of work. Within a week, I was then telling my boyfriend that K and I were going to become best friends, even if she doesn’t know it yet.

 

In just a few weeks, I’ve gained not just a job and not just a friend, but a best friend. The bond is tight and the laughs are many. I love that I already feel like I can talk to her about anything and she will listen and lack in judgment. I would do the same for her. Finding real people anymore is so difficult and I truly see how blessed I am for finding the friend in her. The loss of a job turned into one of the greatest blessings I’ve recently received. I’m happy at my new job and totally in friend love with K. I couldn’t ask for more.

The Whirlwind

“Work is slooow,” I said, “I’m bored, maybe I should blog.”

“Blog about us,” he says.

And so I open up a blank page and begin…

I’ve said before that this whole thing has been intense. It still is. It kind of has me lost in my own little world. There’s an entire chaotic world going on around me, and yet I’m largely oblivious and stuck in my own head and heart. 7 weeks of this now and I’m still caught up in the whirlwind.

We were supposed to move slowly, and in some ways we have. Largely though, we have moved fast. The connection was fierce from the beginning. There was a definite desire to constantly be connected to each other, to see each other, to talk and to laugh and to kiss. It has been all-consuming. This man has stirred my entire being from the depths of my soul…and this scares the hell out of me.

I have put much effort into keeping myself reigned in. I’m an intense feeler and this often gets me hurt in life. The last thing I want is to be hurt again. But I am raw and vulnerable and at risk now. I held it in so well initially. I bit my tongue more often than normal. I constantly reminded myself that we need to move slowly, that he is fresh out of a bad relationship and that wound is still gaping, and that I don’t want to drag my children through another breakup; therefore, I need to keep myself together and not let emotion take over. But it’s a losing battle now. He has my heart. All of it. I may be able to hold back my words with him, but there’s nothing left of my heart to suppress.

He makes it so easy to fall though. From his humor and insane ability to make me laugh even when I don’t feel like it, to the incredibly sweet things that he says, to the kind gestures of things like tucking my hair behind me ear to get it out of my face, this man has me hooked. I hear the things that he says about my children and how he pays attention to what they talk about, and I melt. I listen to the stories from his past and notice how he doesn’t hide the emotion of that stuff from me, and I melt. When we are intimate, he touches me in ways I’ve never been touched before, and I don’t mean with sexual skill but with true tenderness, and again, I melt. Everything about him makes me crave him more. He’s more of a man than most men I know. He’s noble and generous and morally sound and loving and protective. He is everything I want.

While writing about this makes it so easy for my heart to swoon just thinking about it, I again have to remind myself that this is scary still. There are no promises of forever. There are no declarations of love. While my heart is overflowing, his is still guarded. While I feel that “L word” every day, he is unsure. While I feel firmly one way and would have no problem telling him or anyone else how I feel, he doesn’t know that he even knows how. This is terrifying. And comforting. And crazy. And addictive. It is the whirlwind that is my life.

What I Saw in Your Eyes

I’ve been wanting to get a moment to write since yesterday morning. As I’ve gone about my work day and home life, I’ve had all these thoughts bouncing around inside my brain wanting to be let out…

You have been amazing. This whirlwind romance has consumed my brain pretty much from the moment it started. I don’t know what made me reach out to your sister to ask about you or what made you decide that once being told about the conversation that you should reach out to me, but I’m oh so glad we did. One date. One free date was all it took to make me so sweet on you. One night of laughing and talking. One night of kissing in the moonlight. One night…and you had my heart. Thousands of texts. Phone calls sprinkled in there in the middle. More dates. And then the sleepovers… I thought I was attached from the beginning but now I’m so hooked. From the goofiness to the serious straight faced conversations. From the crazy parenting moments to the relaxing on the couch. From the laughing to the kissing to the passionate moments behind closed doors. I crave it all with you.

In your arms is where I wish to be. When I’ve had a hard day, it’s your comfort I crave. When I have excitement, it’s you I can’t wait to tell. I’ve been falling since day one, and every day I fall a little more. I’m an emotional person and I feel with my whole heart, so I knew this was dangerous territory. I knew that if we continued like this, soon it would be so much more than a crush. You’ve matched me every step of the way though, and you have eased my fears more than I ever thought possible. I feel safe with you, physically and emotionally. You somehow, with very little effort, have made me unafraid to turn my heart over to you.

You, my dear, hold my heart in your hands. It’s been beaten up and bruised, but I feel like you admire the beauty in it anyway. I also feel like despite your own pains and hurts, you have handed yours over as well. There are little fears in us both and they are understandable, but they aren’t roadblocks. I knew this for sure yesterday morning when we were sleepily talking and getting dressed for the day. It wasn’t an overtly romantic moment and I can’t even remember what we were talking about, but I looked up from pulling my jeans on and there you were staring at me with love in your eyes. Those 3 words have not been exchanged, but it doesn’t matter because it was plainly written all over your face. It took my breath away and made my heart skip a beat. I asked you what you were thinking in that moment and you changed the subject with goofiness. I’m not even sure if you were consciously aware of what must have been going through your heart right then, but your eyes gave it all away. It made me feel so good and relieved. Because as I sat there with my morning coffee and you were still in bed just moments before, I realized that for you, baby, I woke up that foggy, chilly morning with love in my own heart.

5 Random Facts about Moonshine Niki

*Repost from old blog site*

1.     I cannot write at home without being barefoot. I don’t know why that is, but as soon as I sit down, if I still have shoes or socks on, I immediately strip them off to write. I’ve been doing that longer than I’ve ever noticed it was a thing for me.

2.     I’m socially awkward and weird. I overthink stuff way too much and while I’m smart, I’m not quick witted in conversation. I tend to feel out of place in big social settings. But on the flip side of that coin, I tend to do really well with one on one conversation and connection. Because I’m such a bare my heart and soul kinda woman, I find it easy to connect with others that are also open.

3.     I’m a highly sensitive person (that’s a for real thing, look it up). I get overstimulated easily, especially from noise. I get upset with repetitive sound, people talking loudly over others, the TV being too loud, or overlapping noise (the music, plus the sound of people talking, plus the noise of the air conditioning, plus the phone ringing, etc.). I also startle extremely easily, and sometimes, to the point of crying or feeling pain in my chest. I am affected by smells much more so than others. But I’m also easily in tune with how others feel or how to make others feel better. I sure could go without many of these though. I’m definitely not the kind of person you want to jump out from behind and yell boo. I’ll cry and you would feel bad. Hahaha

4.     I love the outdoors. The feel of the sunshine on my skin makes me happy. I feel a deep connection to the outdoors. I get much peace just from noticing the sky’s beauty, whether it’s during the day and I’m looking at the clouds, whether it’s nighttime and I’m checking out the moon and stars, or the sun is rising or setting. Just noticing the skies beauty makes me feel at peace deep in my soul. I especially love being anywhere where there is wildlife or water. It’s very much a part of who I am.

5.     I love music. It’s a constant in my life. Whether I’m doing dishes, showering, working, driving, etc. I’m always listening to music. It speaks to me. When I’m upset, I relate to music. When I’m happy, I relate to music. I love to cook dinner with the music loud and dance around the kitchen with my kiddos. We take turns bringing up songs on Youtube and use it as bonding time. My kids will ask me, “Mama, can we have a Youtube night?” I love it. I would be lost without music.

Ever the Believer. The Lover. Me.

I disappoint myself sometimes. I frustrate myself pretty much more than anyone else can. The funny thing about that, is after 30+ years of being this way, I still haven’t figured out how to turn my heart off.

Even when I know something is likely bad, I feel for it anyway. Even when that piece of me thinks that things are only going to end in heartache—I still want to take that chance. But how can I not?

Everything I’ve ever had has ended in heartache, so I have two choices. 1. I quit and believe that true love, loyalty, and teamwork doesn’t exist and will never happen, or 2. I keep believing and hoping and giving chances. And the reality is, I was built with a lover and nurturer’s soul, so turning off my heart isn’t likely to happen. Ever.

So what do I do? I endure. I fight. I continue on despite the world that reflects negativity on the daily. I somehow allow my heart to keep believing. This road of getting my heart stung might not be over yet, but I can pretty much guarantee that even if it isn’t, it won’t make me quit. It’s just who I am. I am weak. And yet, I am Oh. So. Strong.

I Am More Than My Cleavage

I Am More Than My Cleavage?

Seriously??

What kind of world do we live in that I feel the need to write a blog with that title…?

In order to truly explain my thought process and feelings behind all this, I must give you some background info. As a teenager, like many confused kids, I had attention issues. Hell, I still do (I mean, hello, I write a blog—pay attention to me! Haha). My attention issues then were different though. Yes, I was that girl that fooled around with the boys before my peers did. As a young woman with large breasts and a curvy body, developed long before I knew what to do with it, it was easy to discover how I could get the attention that I craved.

When I moved to my small town, the place I now call home, I was just beginning to really act out. I desperately wanted to fit in and be one of the Cool Kids. I wanted to be liked and paid attention to. I was a mere 13 years old, but thought of myself as a grown up. It only took a month or two to not only catch the attention of some of the popular boys, but also to make myself ostracized. I realized after it was too late that I was the girl the boys wanted, the girl the girls hated, and the girl no one wanted to be publicly associated with. I wasn’t understood and I didn’t know how to behave any differently.

I struggled with this stuff my entire youth. It was a constant fight inside myself between wanting to be paid attention to and wanting with all of my aching teenage heart to not be an outcast. I wanted to be liked for who I was inside my tender soul, but I kept searching for it with my cleavage.

Now to fast forward many years, many heartaches, many milestones, and much personal growth, I’m no longer that broken girl. But you know what? Society is. We live in this era of everything being sexual, insane beauty standards constantly in our faces, and a terribly sad casual attitude about sexual activity in our society. Teenagers (along with the adults, of course) are exchanging naked selfies, even fast food commercials use sex to sell, no one bats an eye at casual sex and “friends with benefits,” and we push birth control on 12 year olds. Along with all of this, women seem to be seen in general as sex objects and nothing more. When one is lusting after the barely dressed woman on the cover of Cosmo, he or she is not thinking about who that woman is, what matters to her, or what she has going on in her life—he or she is thinking about how great her breasts look or how amazing those thighs are, et cetera. This objectification doesn’t just go for those we see on television, on magazine covers, or in online ads. It spills over into how we see women in real life. In fact, that statement right there, “real life,” shows just how deep this goes. Those women, photoshopped, covered in makeup, and in glossy print everywhere you look—they’re still real women. They still have feelings, goals, family, struggles, and triumphs that have nothing to do with the image you see on those screens or magazine covers.

While writing this, I decided to do some quick research about how many ads the typical American sees in a day because it’s relevant to my point on what we are seeing without even realizing it on a daily basis. There are no hard and fast numbers, but many sources estimate that the number of daily ads we see can reach into the thousands. THOUSANDS! Think about it, every time you log onto Pandora, every time you pass a city bus, check out at the grocery store, sit in front of your TV, get on Facebook, play a mobile game, flip through a magazine in a waiting room, step in front of a television in Wal-Mart, shop online, walk down the cereal aisle, drive through town, use the Internet to help your children with homework, and even getting into an elevator in bigger cities—your eyes are bombarded with advertisements. Thousands of images every day flood into your brain whether you realize it or not, and many of these are using edited images of “sexy” women. According to mediaed.org, it is thought that only around 8% of an ad’s message is consciously received into the mind. So much info is being put into our minds, and while we may not realize it, that data soaks into our brains anyway.

But I’m straying from my point here. When we are teaching those in society through this constant onslaught of images that women are to be lusted after, that deeply ingrained, unconscious act cannot be compartmentalized into just viewing women in media this way. It becomes how our youth sees their female peers. It is how grown men see their coworkers. It is how old men see younger generations of women. The list goes on… It is even how us women now tend to see each other and ourselves. As human beings, our eyes take in how others look and our bodies and brains are stimulated accordingly. Without having guarded hearts and trained minds, we unconsciously objectify others based on these standards, and I have recently had much personal experience to remind me of this.

I have been struggling the last several months with having gone through a breakup of a serious relationship and all that goes with that. I’ve had loneliness and a desire to be accepted and wanted by others. In some ways, bits of that broken teenage girl in me crept back to the surface, and that allowed me to put my guard down without realizing it. Unlike when I was a kid though, we have this wonderful thing called social media these days. It often gives a false sense of connectedness with others, and it also gives many people the guts to say things online that wouldn’t be said face to face. I could give several examples of this, but to save face and space to this already very long post, I’m going to just give one example of how outrageous this objectification has become, and it has an impact.

The one incident that punched me in the gut emotionally and I knew would result in this post with this exact title happened around two months ago. Like most, I have a Facebook account and around 300 “friends” on it. Also like most women, I change my profile picture on it often. I use a little app on my phone to make pretty edited pictures that make the perfect size for a “pro pic.” One day, I changed my picture without thinking about the unintentional cleavage that was showing. Remember, long gone are my days of wanting to draw people in with my breasts, but because they are large, cleavage happens sometimes regardless. I was leaving work when I suddenly got an instant message from a male friend that threw me off. I wasn’t on Facebook at the moment and wasn’t even aware yet of the comments on my new profile picture, but all it took was one friend to comment about my cleavage on this picture before there were suddenly a small handful of comments about my breasts. What was worse though was the message from my “friend.” One word. Boobies.

I had no idea what it meant when the Facebook message texted my phone. I honestly thought it was an accident. I got online to inquire about it. I opened up my messages, and sure enough, it was the one word and then a selfie of him.

Me: Boobies?

Him: Yeah, I like them.

Him: *shirtless selfie*

Him: Where’s my pic now? You always show your boobs hanging out. Let ’em loose.

I was appalled and so very hurt. I had previously thought this guy was kinda cute and had known we had stuff in common, so I was actually pleased that he messaged me at first. But I was not happy that he felt it was okay to not just bring up such inappropriate subject matter so boldly, but to talk to me as if I wasn’t even a normal human being deserving of respect. I was ashamed even though I’d done nothing to ask for this kind of treatment. I was deeply hurt that he talked to me like this completely unsolicited and without an ounce of respect–especially when it was the first time he’d ever initiated conversation with me.

Me: There’s websites for that ya know.

Him: Yeah, but why online if it’s local?

I teared up reading his messages. I was thoroughly blown away. In an instant, I was that hurting young woman that wanted to be one of the Cool Kids so badly, but I was also the adult I am now and knew that no matter what I was feeling, I was NOT going to allow this to continue.

Me: Because I’m more than just my cleavage.

Him: Yeah, you got an ass too.

Me: *Closes Facebook*

I realized that I felt shame before I had even done anything. There was embarrassment that had lived there inside me so long. Humiliation from acts so long ago that caused me to still feel that hurt as a grown woman. But he didn’t get what he wanted, and I kept my dignity. I honestly meant what I said. I AM more than my cleavage. Whether it was intentional or accidental, cleavage did not give him permission to completely disregard the fact that I am a woman with feelings. I have lived and succeeded through major struggles, I have experienced great joys, I have beautiful children that think I’m the most important person on earth, and I have been hurt badly, loved madly, and helped others gladly. I am a woman, not an object! Even though it’s taken me a while longer in life to discover it, I am worthy of love, tenderness, and respect. I. Am. More. Than. My. Cleavage.

I’m a Feeler. <–Sounds Creepy, Doesn’t It?

I am a feeler. Just like the title says. I’m not just intensely emotional, but I’m emotional to the point of wearing my heart on my sleeve and incapable of hiding it. Sounds like it sucks, doesn’t it? Well, often it does.

You know those times you blow someone off, and just hope they get the point? Well, I’m that person that has convinced herself that there could be a million legitimate reasons for why you’re not texting back, and I just continue to believe. I will believe that your dog is lost and your kid is sick and your car broke down. I will believe that your phone has died, that you have no reception, and that you didn’t hear your phone for six hours in a row. In desperate circumstances, I’ll believe that your long lost great uncle is suddenly calling, that your phone got destroyed in a crazy toilet accident, and that you’re suddenly sick with food poisoning (like that makes your phone sick too).

Do you get the point? With people like me, you just have to be honest. People like me will have forever faith in others because we feel so intensely that we couldn’t string someone else along knowing his or her heart is involved, so we assume others can’t either.

With others, I put myself in their shoes far too often. I think of how they are thinking. I think of how they might be feeling. And largely, I think of how they are perceiving me. People like me think that all of you are also people like us too. We are mistaken far too often. We are taken advantage of. We are used for the big hearts we have to offer. We are pained by the little things that you give little thought to. We hurt big. Cry big. Smile big. And feel happy big.

Welcome to a tiny peek into my world, folks. There’s so more much here than your first glance would know I have to offer. But it definitely starts with how much I feel.

I Live my Life in Song Lyrics

I sit here at my newly delivered dining room table—with its beautiful finish, bar height, 8 chairs, and gorgeous 7 feet in length to write this blog. This impressive, brand new lovely wood warmth feels great to sit at, but that’s as good as the feelings get tonight. I sit here with a heavy heart. I sit here with a mind going a million miles an hour with hurt. I sit here ready to purge.

It’s funny how blogs give way to brutal honesty. Anonymity is incredibly freeing. It’s often truth telling honesty, poured freely from anonymous bleeders like myself because of its freedom. This freedom from pressure to constantly look, perform, and sound like I have my shit together 100% gives me the allowance to unashamedly tell my story. So here goes…

It was at this brand new table that my family was able to comfortably sit for a dinner together in this house for the first time. I was so excited coming home, knowing we were able to pay off our 90 day layaway just in the nick of time, to know we were going to have actual conversation over dinner together tonight. I was in high spirits. For a moment, life felt good. But it didn’t take long for it to be destroyed.

The entire mood of the house soured quickly in the instant Mr. Man decided he was going to throw a tantrum—something that happens with about as much regularity as I need to change my clothes. The tantrums have gotten old and so frequent that the mood of the entire house dims once it starts.

I move away out of sight from it all to allow my face a moment to adjust to my frustration (to not look as annoyed as I feel). I swallow hard, take a few deep breaths, and intentionally relax the tale telling muscles in my face. But it doesn’t take long for me to feel overwhelmed. Feeling like I’m walking through cement and am tired because I’ve done this same stretch of trudging for I don’t even know how many days in a row.

The TV gets turned off and some light 80’s and 90’s country plays on Pandora as we gather at the new table set for dinner. The kids are talking but I feel the tension. I feel tired. Am I really going through this again? Am I watching my relationship unravel before my eyes? Am I continuing to fight for something that is crumbling away despite my efforts?

I quietly eat my food as Faith Hill’s voice begins over the speakers, ♪“Baby, tell me where’d you ever learn to fight without sayin’ a word…”♪

I feel tears sting my eyes.

♪“Then waltz back into my life like it’s all gonna be alright, don’t you know how much it hurts?” ♪

I focus on relaxing my facial expressions.

♪ “When we don’t talk, when we don’t touch, when it doesn’t feel like we’re even in love…it matters to me.”♪

I blink back hot tears as I see the disconnect between me and Mr. Man. I see it in this moment. I see it every day.

♪“When I don’t know what to say, don’t know what to do, don’t know if it really even matters to you.”♪

He doesn’t even look my direction as I sit there in silence, choking down the food that my stomach has no desire to take in.

♪“Maybe I still don’t understand the distance between a woman and a man. So tell me how far it is, and how you can love like this, ‘cause I’m not sure I can…”♪

I am barely in control of my emotions and the song seemingly speaks about my life.

My children start in with going around the table and asking what the best part of everyone’s day was. This is a game I started when they were little just to get them to communicate with me and show them that I am interested in their days. My daughter’s big brown eyes look up at me as it’s my turn.

“Mommy, what was the best part of your day?”

I ponder for a moment and tell her, the best part of my day was when I was coming home. I was excited to be off work. I was thrilled that the new table was coming and that we could finally eat together as a family. I was excited to know my new country CD had arrived and was looking forward to just relaxing and being with my loves. I left out how my happiness and good spirits came to a screeching halt when the grown up tantrums began. My answers pleased her though and I was relieved when the focus was off of me and on to the next person at the table. My heart was being squeezed. It is hard to hide my pain from my children. It’s hard to feel that pain period.

I feel intense pressure to make everything okay all the time. I fear letting down my babies after I’ve already put them through so much in life. My bright, caring, beautiful children are depending on me for their stability and yet I can’t seem to keep it all together. It is the weight of the entire world on my shoulders as I smile through the hurt at them.

I sat there contemplating all that is my life currently…

Are we going to end? Are we going to survive? Am I fighting the inevitable? It’s the pong that goes on in my mind daily lately. When is it worth fighting for? When is it worth giving up? Am I lying to myself?

The country music continues with George Strait and I feel some relief when the mood relaxes at the table and the kids talk happily amongst themselves.

I think it’s going to be okay, I tell myself…

♪”…And if you’ll buy that, I’ll throw the Golden Gate in free.”♪