Every time I see the meme that says 2020 is almost as bad as my first marriage, I laugh and laugh. I’ve been through tough times before, but I look at 2020 and think what the actual fuck was that?
I found it challenging on every level. Suddenly, I was thrust into homeschooling two active small children while working from home. My income took a hit as book signings and book festivals were canceled and platforms changed their pay scale without warning. I lost a close friend — not to the pandemic but to life changes. My long-distance relationship suddenly became a hell of a lot more complicated as travel restrictions reigned supreme. …
I cannot think now on what I’ll miss
I cannot dwell upon your hand touching my own
Or your heartbeat beating close enough to touch
Or how I ache when I’m lying here alone
I cannot see your eyes light upon mine
I cannot feel your breath against my ear
I cannot wish you close enough to touch
When you have chosen freely not to be here
Instead, I think about what you will miss
I think about the kisses that we shared
I think of candles burning down in the night
Your hands fisting tightly in my hair
I think how you’ll have to breathe without my trust
And never hear my laugh join with your own
Leaving me might have been too easy
But living without me is a pain you have not…
I used to self-identify as an empath. It was a word I picked up from the spiritual community that certainly seemed to explain the overwhelming feelings I’ve had my whole life. I laid claim to it, and I even went as far as to write about the empath-narcissist connection. I was so sure I had it figured out until one word dropped into my consciousness:
Merriam-Webster defines hypervigilance as “extreme or excessive vigilance: the state of being highly or abnormally alert to potential danger or threat.” …
Every man I’ve ever known wants to believe he’s different from the last. In fact, between their love of a challenge and their desire to distinguish themselves from the last lover, they come in strong with the assertion that this time will be different. Our mistake is in believing them.
I’m not saying that every partner is the same as the one before. I am saying that they all seem to do their damage — creating a new twist on our old trauma. They want to prove that they are different and instead prove they aren’t really different at all.
I don’t love my own cynicism right now. It lurks on the edges of my acceptance that the relationship I want is over. …
2020 might have been the year of the puppy.
Truthfully, it was the year of a lot of things. It was the year of the plague, the year of the unknown. It was the year to bake bread and plant gardens and find ourselves immersed in nature because we didn’t know what the hell else we could do while social distancing.
It’s the year when “social distancing” began to roll off our tongues with greater familiarity, when PPE became lingo that left the medical profession and came home to us all. …
I’ve never really loved rollercoasters. They have their thrills, but I can’t say I enjoy the dramatic drops and intentional fear.
Lately, the rollercoaster I’ve been on has been a breakup one. I would really prefer not to experience every possible emotion within a week, but this is my life right now. One day, I am feeling positive about my life, accepting of my breakup, and motivated about the future. The next, I am despondent about the recent turn of events, terrified of the future, and utterly despairing that anything will ever end differently than this.
Breakups are exhausting.
There’s not even a clear enough pattern to provide a warning sign of which kind of day it’s going to be. If I experience bad dreams and restless sleep, there’s a good chance it’s going to be one of the challenging days, but otherwise, it seems like my moods change on a whim. While I’m trying to hold space for all my emotions, it can be a bit overwhelming. …
If I could have made a list of things I definitely didn’t want this year, a breakup might have topped it. Actually, in light of the current pandemic, COVID-19 would top it, but a breakup would have made the top three.
Yet, here I am — trying to wrap my mind around the word single when I had no intention of being that again. This isn’t the first time life has messed with my carefully constructed plans, and I doubt it will be last. Still, I would have preferred to start the year out with hope rather than grief.
Perhaps I’ve gotten too used to writing romance novels where happily ever after means that relationships work out, even if there are powerful obstacles thrown in the mix. Life doesn’t guarantee us that ending — and it certainly doesn’t guarantee it with the people we think it will. After all, nearly everyone I know has been divorced or is heading in that direction. When we made those vows, I don’t think any of us saw what was coming. …
I didn’t argue much when I was married. Oh, my former spouse will certainly tell a different story, but I can honestly say that there was a minimum of disagreements over the dozen years we were married. It would almost give the impression that it was a happy relationship, but beneath the surface, we buried all the problems, which didn’t just magically go away because we ignored them.
When I began that relationship, I was coming out of therapy to treat some anxiety I had. I knew about healthy styles of communication, and I wanted that for my relationship. …
There were laugh lines on your face
And shadows in your eyes
Oh, how it anchors my soul still
To know we share these skies
Silver tear tracks glimmer now
A river flowing down
But how my heart still lifts to know
We walk the same sure ground
Shadows stretch to cover me
I take a shaky breath
I still reach toward the empty space
Knowing there is nothing left
I have smile lines of my own
I’ve stardust in my eyes
My soul might tremble in the night
But each morning, I still rise
Love is still a mystery
And yet I manage to believe
That while love has eluded me
I’m still worthy to…
“Mom, I need to tell you my truth.”
This is how my daughter starts all her confessions. It’s how she tells me about the mess she made or the thing she broke. She comes to me with a quiet voice and firm resolve, unsure of how her truth will be received but committed to telling it anyway.
She is my shining example of who and what I want to be.
Too often, we water down our truth. We learn to adapt to our surroundings. I know that I have become far too adaptable, sometimes turning off my light so that I don’t have to deal with anyone else’s discomfort with it. …