living out loud

Someplace where there isn’t any trouble.

It will be a sleepless night. So I thought I’d write, about absolutely nothing. Just things in my brain. I talked to my sister in law for 2 hours tonight. She helped, but I can tell: no sleep for me. 

One thing she told me about me that I agree with is that I don’t do well alone. I like my alone time and I’m an introvert. But I’m one of those extrovert-introverts, where people drain me and so I need to be alone to recharge. But I don’t enjoy being alone alone. Does that make sense? It did to me. It’s very quiet. I end up self-medicating with wine or social media, neither of which are healthy in large quantities. Books are healthy. Talking to someone who really believes in you and knows your worth is healthy. The movies are healthy, nature walks, petting a psycho kitten, cleaning your kitchen, pinning things to your travel dream board on Pinterest, folding laundry, splurging on a massage at Spa Sydell, these are all healthy. But not a lot of wine. And not a lot of social media. I have been self-medicating with the wrong things. For about the last 4-5 years, I’d estimate.

Can I share a couple of things that have been said to me by sweet, caring people who help me?

“You deserve to have someone in your life who works with you, not against you. Someone whose words match his actions. You are no one’s mirror. No one’s project. You are perfect today, and perfect as whatever woman you grow into.” (Thank you, K. I keep going back and re-reading those words. I really really needed someone, another woman, to say them to me…that day, but now more than ever I’m kind of just clinging to them for dear life. Thank you.)

“Amy up, Amy down

Amy strong no matter what

Like a log in the river from a tree in the mountains 

You make your way to the sea inexorably 

And nothing can stop you.” 

(Thank you, Chris. Your poems and kindness matter to me. I hope you’re a Poet Laureate one day, even though I suspect you’d refuse the honor…preferring to sell your Art for tears and hugs and love and connection and understanding instead, which are far more valuable things anyway.)

When I was a little girl, my mother once asked me: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And I said, “Oh. Just a mommy like you.” And so I am now. I’m a mommy. Just like her. 

I ran from window to window, terribly excited about the possibilities, the magical possibilities, tornadoes bring with them. My brain filled with beautiful things like ruby red slippers, yellow roads, castles made of emeralds, lions and tigers and bears that could talk (oh my), and fairies that floated down on gossamer bubbles of pink and silver and gold. I imagined how I’d defeat dark witches and flying monkeys, how I’d fight off angry trees in enchanted forests, how I’d be saved from poison poppies. All of the adventures I could have, if only our house could catch a tornado’s tail and I could hang on tight to my bed, what would I see. 

And then I learned tornadoes destroy, there is no magic. And the Great and Powerful Oz was just an illusion. There was never any power in the ruby red slippers, it was all inside a little girl. She just didn’t know she had the power, until she had no other choice than to believe. 

I’m an emotional creature, I wear my heart on my sleeve. If I love someone I say so. I fight for love. I fought for love for 15 years, back and forth. Because I believe. I just don’t know how to find my power these days. But I believe. I believe in magic and stories and Art and music and fairy tales and the power of prayer and Love. I believe home is where you know you are safe. I believe in emerald cities and yellow brick roads. 

But I understand what illusion looks like, that maybe the Wicked Witch wasn’t always so wicked. And that, when you hitch yourself a ride on a tornado not only do you need to hang on tight, you also need to trust your gut and know when to let go. And then you believe. You believe that magic will land you softly but with a firm bump in the middle is Oz. And then you keep your heart open to adventure, because what good are stories and magic without the adventure, someplace where there isn’t any trouble.

Someplace where there isn’t any trouble.