Family

My definition of family has expanded quite a bit the past several years. Anyone who truly knows me, I will do anything for my family, both blood and chosen. I am blessed to have developed many friends who have turned into family. And sometimes those people come from the most unexpected of circumstances.

I would say I have four types of family: blood, Arbonne, paddling, and everything in between. They have different places in my life, and I do not discriminate with whom I love. They span all genres, sexuality, and age.  I give readily, but rarely do I give myself.   I do not trust easily, and I readily hide myself because I thought it was easier that way. This is an error in judgment, and it’s a constant battle I fight with myself.  To be worthy of giving that trust.

genetically related

In truth, it is easier that way. It is much easier to show façade rather than to tell the whole truth. To pretend everything is perfect. Be the highlight reel for people.   One of my best friends says that “he has barely scratched the surface of me” after being friends for more than a decade. But it’s a lie. I love my life, and it’s not perfect. They are not mutually exclusive.

One of my consistent challenges is to be vulnerable. I am certainly not unique in this aspect. I would go even further to say a majority of people when they broke down to the basis of their fears that it would rank very highly. We seek perfection in our society. I have written about this, and I am going to extrapolate further. It is much easier to portray the lie of perfection, then to tell the actual truth behind the mask. The truth is almost without exception, messy and multi-layered. There is no easy “fix.”

My closest family members are the ones I trust without question. The ones who ask and push the questions that no one else wants to ask when necessary. They push us out of our comfort zone into a whole new reality and space. Which is often terrifying, because we have often lived and believed our own lie for far too long. They help us confront the truth, which is often deeply buried and disturbing.

being broken

Blood family doesn’t often push that boundary for some reason, at least not in my family as of late. I am still puzzling all this out, and everything is becoming clearer.  Not crystal yet, but it’s getting there. Our own minds are often our biggest obstacles. As one friend of mine put it, “Stop using your big, beautiful brain and just do it.” Put your faith in trust, as terrifying as that may be.

I am working towards putting my trust in consistent vulnerability, and making myself known to everyone I love. It is scary. It is messy. And the effort and pain is worth it. I am worth it. It is one of the hardest aspects of personal growth I am pushing through. It’s another step towards my progress to being the best me.

I am the vault for people. People tell me things that they don’t tell anyone else, and I value that trust as sacred. I have rarely put that amount of trust into other people. And that is where one aspect of my self-worth breakdown is. When people trust you enough to tell you their innermost thoughts and feelings, you are worthy of doing the same for them. You not only deserve that amount of trust that people place in you, but they also deserve the same from you. It is not a burden to them. I will repeat because I have felt this way my entire life: it is not a burden to them. It is a comfort of reciprocity.   If there is not the same amount of trust, they will pull back from you. And it hurts. I have only now just realized why the pull back happened. Loyalty and trust must go both ways.

relationship detective

Thanks to those who haven’t moved on, and I understand the ones that did.  🙂

I have lived most of my life in fear of being hurt by trusting the wrong people. It is a path I am striving to banish. If you find this true about yourself as I have, and you realize the pedestal you place yourself on both undervalues your needs as a human being and the gift of your truest self to others.

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Valentine’s Day Redefined-Not what you think

I am not really the romantic type.  I’ve had one or two serious relationships that Valentine’s Day would have meant anything anyway.  Unfortunately, Valentine’s Day will always mean something infinitely sad for me.  It was the day my Nana passed away, tomorrow it’ll be a year since she passed away.  She was 96 years old and was in damn good shape for 96.  She was sharp as a sharks tooth until she was about 92-93.

My 96-year old Nana receiving a mud mask last summer. Thank you Arbonne for giving me the time with her.

My 96-year old Nana receiving a mud mask last summer. Thank you Arbonne for giving me the time with her.

I haven’t felt this sad about it in a long time, which is to be expected I guess.  It is really the first family death that hit home hard.  When my Aunt Goldie died (at 96ish), it was sad, but as much as I loved her, I didn’t feel as much of a connection with her as I did her sister, my aunt Gert.  When my Aunt Gert died, I had actually said goodbye to her a few years before, after seeing her for the first time after her massive stroke which had left her as a virtual vegetable, I saiIt td goodbye.  Eventually I just couldn’t go to see her anymore, it was too painful.  Despite her being the virtual vegetable, there were signsher still there.  Which is even worse in my opinion.

I was trying to figure out why I was somewhat melancholy throughout the day today, after feeling on top of the world this month.   I have no been this upset about Nana’s death in a long time, but I guess that’s too be expected.  This might be the first time I let everything in the past year hit me.   It’s been the gauntlet.  My friend said, “you’ll cry when you least expect it.”  It was about three months for her.  It’s been about three months since EVERYTHING hit, and came at me like a cattle yard with a fan.  So, I guess that makes sense.

I still didn’t expect the affect of her death to affect me like this.  The start of everything that set my soul on fire to get my ass in gear.  But this shit fucking hurts.  I know it’ll dissipate with time.  It’s very different than anything I have felt in a very, very long time.  The pain is deep, visceral, and feels like a living, breathing being that I wish I could stab to death.  This is a free-thought entry.

I am very good at compartmentalizing when it comes to emotions, etc. However, I do much better when I expect it coming.

Striking Times

This has been my first Mother’s Day without my Nana.  I felt her on Sunday, I did.  However, for some reason, it is hitting more today for the first time in awhile.  There are so many other times where have felt her presence more, and it is beyond random.

It has happened when hiking, walking, paddling, and very occasionally driving.  I will see something, and out of nowhere WHAM there’s Nana.  I am a deeply spiritual person, and a lot of the emotion I express via writing. It just comes out better than if I do it verbally.

My 96-year old Nana receiving a mud mask last summer. Thank you Arbonne for giving me the time with her.

My 96-year old Nana receiving a mud mask last summer. Thank you Arbonne for giving me the time with her.

The time I spent with my Nana before she died was directly related to my business.  It gave me the time freedom to go down to the shore, and give my Nana a facial and spend time during the week.  My flexibility gave me the time I needed to be with my family.  There are two things that matter to me more than other part of my life:  my family and my friends.  You mess with either of them, and you will regret it.

I get struck by these emotions and sentiments at odd times.  Generally when I’m tired, and my guard is down.  I got to have a final conversation with my Nana that others in my family didn’t get to have.  I would have given ANYTHING so they could have had that conversation that they so deserve.

She is with me.  In every heart ache, every barrier broken, every adventure, and every celebration.  She is there, and always will be.

My mission in life right now is that no one else that I know, specifically, has to endure that hurt.  They get to have that option, freedom, and say in their own god*&mn life.  It’s not about me, and it never really was.  But this just got real.