Category Archives: Confessions

Tu Me Manques

I just read an article that Alan Cumming wrote for Canada’s Globe and Mail.  He mentions how the French do not make ‘missing’ about us. It isn’t, “Oh I miss you.”  They say, “Tu Me Manques” – to me, you are missing.  Boy, that socked me in the gut, today.

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That truly is how I feel. In these calm moments where I feel confident in the solidity of our marriage. Confident in his love for me and our ability to weather storms. Confident in where this separation will land us – him with more experience and potentially a better job, me, with more experience as well and hopefully, an inner strength that I know I need to find.  Confident in the way this will force us to better communicate. To love harder. To talk more.  In these quiet moments where I simply feel sad and heavy, that perfectly describes how I feel.

To me, he is missing.

My walk through the city feels lovely, but, it would feel just a smidge better, with his arm around me.  Ordering from our favorite Mexican joint is so delicious, but something’s missing. Everything is fine, wonderful, good – but, to me, he is missing.  No one is critiquing the investigation on TV.  No one is at home talking about some serial murderer. The books that I used to joke about, the ones on interrogation, hunting humans and sexualized violence – are missing.  The sweat shorts that are always tossed on the shelf, are missing.  The bathmat is always hanging where it should be…

Tu me, manques.

It’s those little things that I miss, and more and more as I think about it, it isn’t that I miss him, it’s that he truly is missing from these things. These life events. These moments.  I’ve been so blessed to have shared these moments with him for nearly 10 years. TEN.  He and I have had so many fights, so many ups and downs, so many really…really…really hard moments. SO many times that we have both taken each other for granted. We’ve both gotten caught up in hurt or work, or school, or or or. We’ve gotten caught up in the wrong things.  We expected the other person to just…be there.  Because, well, why wouldn’t they be?

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If there’s one thing that I take away from this time apart, is that I never, ever, ever…EVER…want to take him for granted again. I can’t. It breaks my heart to think of the moments we’ve lost because of doing just that.  I am so very aware of how much he is in my life, in my heart and in those moments when I take a second to really look and see the whole picture.  He’s in my packed lunch, the coffee in bed, he’s in my routine of checking in and of coming home.  To me, he is missing.

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I vow to try as hard as I might, to never take his presence, the small things he does to show me he loves me, for granted.  To never take HIM for granted.  I’m human and I make mistakes, but I want the rest of our lives to be the best ones yet.

For now, Andrew, tu me, manques.

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Adding Up

I should be happy.

We are financially stable, I have three wonderful jobs that fulfill me and make me happy (for the most part). My husband is almost finished his graduate program! He also got a great job in Vancouver! My dad is cancer free! New York is almost 70 degrees today!

And yet.

I’m happy. I really am but man, things add up! I swear, I don’t come here just to complain but I think 140 characters is slightly limiting and this all needs to come out somewhere.  So. Hi.

I attended my 20th birth almost exactly 7 days ago.  I have 3 more due any moment now, one in May, two in June and then who knows. I’ve supported multiples, VBACs, first timers, second time moms.  I am teaching childbirth education on Sundays from 2pm-9pm and it’s so amazingly fulfilling. It’s just… a lot.  I am Tired. Yes. Capital T, Tired.

My husband has a job lined up for Vancouver.  Where he will move to in JULY, if he cannot find work here in the US. Without me.  The job has some serious perks and within 2 years, would allow me to go to midwifery school SANS LOANS. No loans! No more debt! I mean…that’s kind of crazy right? His thesis has been sent to the FBI and he defends on April 29th. If he decides to apply to the PhD program (which his advisor is really wanting him to do), then he will return to NYC within a year.  If he doesn’t? Well… then I immigrate.  Either way, if he doesn’t find work here soon we’re facing separation for close to a year.

One year apart.  I’m dying.

I realize that people do it often, but we’ve been with each other for almost ten years now. TEN.  We’ve struggled through thick and thin and thinner still.  I supported him and he’s supported me.  Now, it’s looking more and more like I am staying here, supporting myself in NYC (Holy crap, can I do this!? ) while he moves back to Vancouver without me.  Sure, he’ll visit me.  But still.  Guys? I just really don’t want to live in New York without him. By myself.

So I’ll need to keep teaching. Keep working my office job. Keep taking births.  I have a coworker who doesnt’ want to support me being on call anymore ontop of it all and whoa nelly, NYC is EXPENSIVE.

This is just a fraction of the things in my head lately.  There are tears daily. Meltdowns probably every other day.  There’s a ticking clock that explodes around my birthday when Andrew will have to leave.  It’s just all weighing and each day that passes is one LESS day, yet…I’m struggling to just get through that one day without feeling absolutely exhausted and drained.  Working out? Haaa. I’m trying.

I’m sorry to dump here but appreciate the space in which to do it.  I’m hoping to be here a bit more regularly with some cheerier things. I promise. There ARE bright things in life right now. BEAUTIFUL bright things.

Just this week has been one hell of a week.  I hope next week is lighter – yours too!

2013 Copycat

I was completely geared up to do a lovely run down of 2013 a la All & Sundry  after enjoying posts by Jess and Jennie. But you know something? 2013 feels a bit more fluid than that for me so I’m just going to ramble and see what comes out.

2013

2013 was pretty sucky in so many ways but also I started to really find myself this year, so it ended pretty well.

This year, my heart hurt, my body hurt, my mind hurt. I feel like I suffered an awful lot, telling myself ‘at least you have a roof over your head, Sarah’. Not that that sort of self talk is helpful, but, I am nothing if not constantly working at being nicer to myself while reminding everyone else to do as I say, not as I do.

I was heavily depressed in 2013.  I struggled and some days just getting out of bed was something to celebrate – that is – if I had the energy to celebrate.  I drowned in a sea of fear and anger and instead of taking charge of my life, I let it wash me away.  I lost one of the best people I’ve ever known because I did not take my own life into my hands and let fear overrun me.  I was too afraid to take steps I needed to.

In my most self-compassionate moments I can look at 2013 and see exactly why I felt so heavy and burdened.  I felt heart ache and heart break. I lost close friends. I lived far from my family. I struggled financially. I almost left my marriage.  I worked out too much. I didn’t work out enough. I forced myself to restrict my diet. Then I let it all go and ate like crap. I left an apartment I’d lived in for almost 7 years. I left behind everything that wouldn’t fit in a Toyota echo and moved across the country. I got riled up by injustices and hateful words so easily spoken.   I moved to NYC…without first having a place to live. My Nana’s sister was diagnosed with dementia, moved out of her lifelong home and my Nana went to see her for the last time. I was jobless and rejected. Repeatedly.  I lost weight. I gained weight.   I laid awake nights worrying about a dwindling bank account. I had a sick pet. I felt lonely.  My Aunt was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer and was not expected to live through the year.  My Dad was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma and did not heave health insurance.

I mean…I may have a reason or three to feel like I did. Maybe. 

I guess it really is the truth when they say you have to know the lows to appreciate the highs.  When I was at my worst, I reached out. Those of you that have suffered heavy depression and anxiety know just how hard it is to reach out in those moments. The fears of those judging you or thinking how annoying and ’emo’ you are can be so soul crushing.  You know? I really think that opening myself up and reaching out to friends both near and far – new and…well new, was one of the best things that I did in 2013.  I harbored a lot of hurt and resentment in 2013.  I laid a lot of heavy blame on myself and took a lot of damage points but…I reached out. I asked for help. I asked for understanding and love.

Boy, did you guys respond. Holy hannah.  So many of you just came out of the woodwork to support me, pouring praise and love in tidal waves and I cannot thank you enough for that. For all the energy you send me, for the time you spent thinking of me and being hopeful for me. For all the love you had to give and gave to me.  I feel so indebted so often to many of you and I don’t say thank you often enough. I have a running tally of people in my head that need to be thanked, told how much I appreciate them and that they are wonderful people.  Thank you. All of you.

The last bit of 2013…got better.

My Dad’s cancer responded to treatment. I got to spend Christmas with my family. I took a leap of faith and completed Birth Doula Training which changed me inside. I blogged more. I told friends I loved them.  I got a job that I love.  Friends visited.  I decorated a new apartment.  I found peace in running through the park.  I got a real Christmas tree.  I joined the Sisterhood of Avalon.  I read…a lot…of crap that felt great.  I began to love New York City.  My Aunt’s cancer has responded to treatment.  I participated in several CDP exchanges that made me happy.  I discovered there was a reason that I was so emotional – I’m a Highly Sensitive Person.  I read and found others like myself.  I opened up and was vulnerable.  I loved as much as I possibly could.  I discovered New York pizza.  I got an Edible Arrangement! I started finding some self confidence.

So, 2013. It’s gone.  Literally and figuratively.  I’d like to be different this year.

I plan on setting a few intentions quietly here at home, maybe making one of those cliched intention boards.  For now, here are a few things that I want for 2014.

-I want to be more compassionate and kind. I always try to be more of these things but I’d like to make a bigger effort. I want to stop judging and being crabby about people. I just want to love them for who they are even without knowing their story. We are all coming from somewhere.

-I want to take better care of my body -emotionally, physically and mentally.  I would like to exercise more and eat better. I know how – it just takes discipline and willpower. I’m coming out of the fog, I can do this.

-I want to attend a Sisterhood of Avalon Intensive, bonding with my sisters and the Goddess.

-I want to kick sugar.  It’s awful and has a hold on me like whoa. No good people. I would like to be able to eat a cookie, not the box.

-I would like to attend at least 4 births this year – completing my DONA certification.

-I’d like to take some coursework/certification in aromatherapy.

-I want to run some type of race this year. I’d LOVE to do a sprint triathlon in June. We shall see.

-I want to take a yoga class, an aerobics class and a dance class regularly.

-I want to be better at planning meals and snacks, to make sure I am fueled all day and can avoid sugar and caffeine to boost me.

-I want to learn more handicrafts. Knitting. Crocheting. Quilting. For peace of mind and spirit.

-I would like to volunteer in NYC – perhaps as a birth doula or elsewhere.

-I would like to budget better and save money to afford to help others and surprise friends with little things more often.

-I’d like to journal more often and keep on top of my thoughts and my heart, working on doing things to keep my self-confidence growing.

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I think this year is set up to be far better than last and boy, am I ready.

Bring it 2014. 

Shades

I am constantly reminded of what amazingly complex people we are. At least, I am.

I don’t know about you, but I rarely share ALL of me with one person. Some people get Chef Sarah.  Some get Compassionate Sarah.  Others get Weepy Sarah. Depending on the day, what is going on and how I’m feeling, sometimes people get Strong Sarah, Emotional Sarah, Spiritual Sarah, Philosophical Sarah, Science-y Logical Sarah or cold ‘I-am-holding-it-all-in Sarah.  Most get several shades of me, but it is so rare that someone gets the whole rainbow.

I think this is probably true for so many.  I do my best to share as genuinely as possible. It’s not like I am making these sides up or anything. I think it’s natural that different people stimulate and draw out different shades and colors. Different people represent different levels of safety and security – allowing more colors to show themselves.

I try so hard to integrate as many of them into my every day self as I possibly can but it just doesn’t always seem possible.  I am getting better at it the more I can face my fears of being judged or criticized and allow those colors to show more and more. I do think I’m getting better, but I am far from perfect.

I had a brief conversation with an old friend tonight and boy, did he reach things that others just haven’t gotten at. It wasn’t intentional, I didn’t ramble on purpose but it all came out. It just reminded me that people have such different purposes in our lives and I think that’s just okay.  It’s okay that one person doesn’t know EVERYTHING about you, or that you have different people you text depending on what’s going on.  It reminded me not only of my own depths, but to not feel offended if someone doesn’t reach for you – because they will when you are what they need.

It reminds me of my thoughts on polyamory. Before I moved out West, I was in a polyamorous relationship. I lived with a married couple and it was my first introduction into different philosophies on relationships. Honestly? It was wonderful.  It is what made me really think about the fact that putting EVERYTHING on one person, for some, can be a tough cross to bear. It developed the idea for me that it could even be unfair to expect one person to be all you needed in life. I found it so freeing to be able to be one person with my girlfriend and to be able to express a different side with my boyfriend. Sometimes we all had different things to share, sometimes we shared together, sometimes it was separate. I could be whoever I was and didn’t need to expect one person to be able to handle it. Each and every interaction, in the beginning, was a beautiful new expression for me.*

I am not sure where I am going with this post other than to say we all have so much complexity inside. We all have so much we are going through, so many different places we are coming from and so much to share. It doesn’t always have to be one side or another and it doesn’t have to be ALL of you all of the time.

We are pretty amazing people with so many colors and shades. So much complexity. I love learning and knowing each shade I am shown. I just hope I get better at sharing my own.

 

*I am quite fine with questions about my past experiences, polyamory and so forth. Feel free to comment or to email me at salamanderpal at gmail if you want to chat! I really love sharing my experiences. No room for judgement here!