July 2006, Bahamas. I’m sure animal rights activists would be very frowny about this picture, but I don’t care. It was a bucket list moment for me. When I was a child, I spent a lot of summers at our neighborhood pool playing by myself in the deep end, pretending I was a mermaid and my best friend (a dolphin) and I had magical adventures. Had I been better at Math, seriously, I’d be a marine biologist right now working in some capacity with dolphins.
I look really happy in this picture, but I actually did the meet-and-greet-a-dolphin experience alone. I have done a lot of things alone, most of my life. I’m not a loner, because I love people (people who aren’t unstably bullying people online and/or driving explosives-laden trucks into crowds of revelers). I’m just okay doing things alone, is what I’m saying. But I think if you choose to spend your life with someone, you should do things together sometimes. Especially when something is really important to your partner. Although, to be fair…your partner should probably communicate harder, better, what things are really important to them.
This Jesus. Such a cliche. The real Jesus of Nazareth was much darker-skinned and did not have sky blue eyes. But I was in love with this Jesus when I was little. I have always wanted to marry this Jesus. I don’t care if that makes me a blasphemer or not. I would have this Jesus’ child if I was still willing to have another child.
Miss M is so bendy. There are certain gymnastics moves she simply can’t do because she’s too flexible…that’s a quote from her gymnastics teacher, not me. It’s in her DNA – I’m double jointed. But she doesn’t give up. When she’s having a hard time, I can see the look of “I’m going to DO this” take over her face and it makes me happy. I may not do very many things right most days, but I’ve instilled a sense of Don’t Give Up in her and so my job is halfway done. She also told me, driving home the day I took this picture, that the reason she cries so much and gets embarrassed when she can’t do something is because she wants to do everything perfect, the first time. That’s in her DNA, too – we are two peas in a pod, she and I.
I’ve been having some hard days (I know, you’re so shocked). I’m in a bad phase of life. I could have it worse, I’m painfully aware, no need to point it out. I don’t really care who I alienate away from me about this on social media…whoever’s left when the dust settles, those people will be my rocks. And I think people who point things like this out, who tell you to stop feeling bad about where you’re at because your problems aren’t equal to say a refugee’s from a wartorn country, people who tell you to be grateful for what you do have and be happy, are kind of assholes. This is a hard planet to live on. Let’s help each other.
I try to be there for my friends through theirs, in whatever capacity I can. At some point, I need my bank account refilled. I try not to keep a checklist of how much love I give vs how much is given to me, because I think you just give or it’s not really love or much of a gift. But after awhile I do notice when someone isn’t returning. Not because I’m monitoring, but because I’m tired. I also notice when someone does a lot of stuff for me and then comes back and goes, “Aren’t you going to do this for me, too? I do this for you all the time.” I can’t decide which is worse…giving and giving and not getting anything back in return (which is a choice) or someone giving and giving and then getting mad that they’re not getting something in return. Does that make sense?
I think I’d rather just give and not expect anything in return. The worst thing in the world for me would be to have expectations for whatever I choose to give another person. That’s called a business transaction, not a friendship. But I also think you need to figure out what your friends’ love language is and respond accordingly. Some people need gifts, some people need hugs, some people need you to do stuff, some people need words, and some people need a combination of 2 or more of those things. I need hugs. I need someone to spend time with me and give me hugs. In return, I will do whatever they need me to do. I think one reason my marriage failed is because both of stopped communicating in each other’s love language, depleted the bank accounts, and started keeping records.
I’m kind of running on empty at this point. Yesterday was a weird, quiet day. People are making me tired. The world is exhausting, and 24/7 news and social media isn’t helping, really. Every time something terrible happens in the world, every time a gunman runs amok or a cray cray blows up a crowd of people, I think: the Universe is kicking us in the guts, screaming “MOVE! CHOOSE!” but we just hop on Twitter and cry or rage about it.
I’m going to Tennessee today. There’s a lazy river at the place we’re staying, and we’re seeing a magic show one night. My family are practically footing the entire bill. I am surrounded by blessings and magic, and so I’m going to get off social media for awhile and go focus on that.
…I’ll probably post a lot of pictures to Instagram though. I like Instagram right now because it’s quieter there.