2017-10-12 Strange Pathways

Life is a series of strange paths that lead us to other strange paths. This morning, one meandering down one path led me to a place in my past which is still recent enough to leave me feeling raw about it but far enough away now I can look back and recognize how far I have come.

When I opened my laptop I intended to write something new for my blog. Instead I got sucked into email and that led me to looking at links I had bookmarked. I was further distracted by the notion to finally organize my bookmarks into folders for ease of access. This task led me to discover a few sites I had bookmarked, goodness knows when, relating to submitting poetry. A thing I have often wanted to do but never done. Out of fear perhaps? Fear of rejection maybe? I don’t know, but whatever it was it’s gone now and so I think today would be a good day to start.

Digging a little deeper into one of the publications, they have a call for submissions with a deadline of November 1st. The theme.. Love and Justice. OK, that’s like one of my main things. Delicious fate.

As such, my search through Evernote with the word “love” in it would most assuredly turn up like a gazillion things, so I searched for “Justice” instead. This brought back less than 10 notes and here’s where the path gets a little bit strange. The top note is a journal entry I wrote on 10/12/2016.. exactly one year ago. I rarely look back at things I wrote about before unless I am so bored or in need of some spark. It is typically a last resort, but since the universe had dangled this carrot in front of me, I just had to try to take a bite. Less than ten seconds into reading and the reality hit me.

Last year, on this exact day, I was deep in the world of heartbreak and despair. I was frantic, falling apart, and fading. I was loosing weight and not sleeping. I was desperate to break through to Matt and confused by his stone wall. I had begun exhausting all my connections with my relationship woes and on a path of retreat unto myself. It was dire. I was a mess.

Thinking about it now gives me shivers. I remember how I felt being rejected time and again. I remember sitting on the stairs inside my house absolutely bawling from the pain. I remember how my heart ached, yes physically ached, and thinking I was never going to recover. It was the worst pain I have ever felt my entire life and crushing me daily was the feeling that I was alone. In a way, I was alone.

I was drowning and alone and relying on my writing for oxygen. I wrote two or three times a day during October last year. It’s amazing to think about where I was then and where I am now, but that’s how strange the pathways of life can be.

I didn’t start to publish my journal to this blog until January of this year, so all of that “stuff” from last year remains buried in a giant pile of electronic notes. I’m going to end this one by concatenating what I wrote on October 12 last year for posterity. It’s quite long, and I won’t be offended if you skip it, but it feels appropriate to recognize just how far I have come in a year and no better way to do that than a direct comparison.

Life is a series of strange paths that lead us to other strange paths. We should try and embrace the journey and not question too much what the purpose or meaning really is.

Forever Exploring,
~Miss SugarCookie

***

2016-10-12 C

A few days ago I said I had no poetry for this. I’ve written a lot of words in the last weeks and days but I truly have no poetic words for what I am going through now. How many times can I talk about how much I have cried? How many times did I cry during the movie I just watched? Three – and that was a romantic comedy that was rated R.

Now I know how people feel when they get their heart broken. It does not matter how or why or what the circumstances are. It just happens. Every song, every book, and yes, even the poetry inspired by the feeling that I am having right now. I’m overwhelmed with how much emotion is involved with this and am very lost for words that give it justice. I can’t even bring myself to try.

So many people with this shared emotion and yet I feel terribly alone. Always alone. Like the universe is, yet again, taking it’s due for the deals that we made. Deals that were made before I even understood what “sign on the dotted line” meant.

I’ve got folks that I have confided in, and they have been so wonderful listening to me and offering advice and really just taking a little slice of time in my day so that I did not have to spend that same slice of time laying on the floor of my hallway crying into a basket of clean towels. I am grateful for all those people and all those slices of time, but I still feel very, very alone.

I’ve spent countless hours now thinking through beginnings, middles, ends, and every last bit of conversation I can recall to put this puzzle together. I’ve come to conclusions and then torn them down again. I’ve steeled my resolve only to have it melt away like butter with the rain on a random Wednesday morning.

“Sugar into melted butter”. That was me and Matt in 2012. Things on the internet sometimes never go away.

http://iloveinomaha.com/294

I wanted to shout from the rooftops about how in love I was, but always felt this was not acceptable. That’s a problem, but not an unsolvable problem that is just like all other things I thought were issues. There are always issues, but “Some days, you have to choose to like each other”. I failed at doing that. I won’t make that mistake again.

You don’t get to be our age (which is to say an adult) and not have issues and baggage and trials and successes and failures. Life is just like that. You don’t wake up one day with all the answers and have it all figured out and announce “I’m out” like Costanza who wanted to end on a high note. It’s a constant balancing act and sometimes a rollercoaster. I just want another chance at the ride.

Not just any ride though. I want the one with Matt. I already know the first clicks up the ramp. I already know what to do. That is what happens when you make mistakes – you learn and grow and are able to do better the next time around.

I’m pretty sure he’s not seeing things from this perspective right now. The timing being off and this waiting for him to come to some conclusion are killing me but if he comes out of the other side of this in agreement with me, then we will be so strong. If not, then better he figure that out now than in a year or two down the road. I don’t even want to think about the latter but while I wait it is being forced upon me. I’m stuck here thinking about all the possible outcomes. ..and that’s not healthy because it has put me in a very dark place.

I have no appetite and am not really eating much. I have not had a good night sleep in a little bit now. Both of these are cause for concern. I told my mom today I had lost 5 lbs. That’s 5lbs off an already small frame. I don’t have much more to spare and still have energy to function (unless my body starts using the fat in my butt). When I eat, I am making good choices, mostly, and I’m drinking a lot of water. It’s just that my caloric intake has been pretty low.

Its almost 11 now and I’m going to get to sleep soon. Maybe tonight will be the night I get more than 4 hours. If not, tomorrow I am calling Dr. Vana.

The girl with no poetry,
~Shyla

 

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2017-10-09 Another Look at a Familiar Book

Over a year ago I was given a book called “Madness, Rack, and Honey”. It’s a collection of lectures from a famous poet who now teaches for an MFA program at Vermont College, Mary Ruefle’s. I started reading the book and then stopped. I then dumped the guy who gave it to me. In return, he broke my heart and I ended up shoving the book under some stuff in the the bottom drawer of my nightstand. I did not want any reminders of him or us. Until very recently, there was still too much grief associated with that break-up for me to entertain looking at the book. Things have changed now though, so I’m giving it another go.

Being a collection of lectures about poetry it is all at the same time fascinating and boring. I can read a page or two here and there, but it’s not the sort of thing you get engaged in from cover to cover. There are lots of little paragraphs of wisdom and enlightenment and lots of historical references to poems and authors.

The topic I started reading about tonight is Fear. Well, there is an entire chapter devoted to fear but the bit that I zoomed in on is more about poets and poetry and inspiration. Here a quote from Raymond Queueau.. “The poet is never inspired because he is the master of what others assume to be inspiration… He is never inspired because he is always inspired, because the powers of poetry are always at his disposal, obedient to his will, receptive to his guidance.”

In my statement of purpose (the original and more recently the one for the MFA application) I write about inspiration. That I am seeking inspiration and some spark that ignites the flame. Is this quite all wrong then? If I’m a true poet and the magic and mystery of life is at my will to command at all times, I can conjure poetry from nothing. I need no spark save the spark within me. I need no feeling or circumstance or grand gesture to assemble a masterpiece of words. I need only apply my own brand of genius and let my fingers do the dancing across the lighted keyboard.

If this is true, then I should not have any trouble with any given prompt or topic. I should be able to “roll off” without a worry or care or fear that the blank page will try and stare me down `till I back down. I have this skill within me. I’m certain that I do because I’ve not only got a poem about this very subject I wrote when I was a mere 17 years old, but I recall writing it on a day when absolutely nothing was going on and I was writing poetry on napkins at the restaurant I was a waitress for. I wonder if I still have those napkins?

The poem was called Rolling Off, and it must not be one I consider good enough because It’s not posted on my blog. But at the same time, it is at least memorable enough that I still recall writing it 27 years later. Time to go take a look at my archives (all paper you know because back then we didn’t not have PCs or Laptops or iPads or iPhones)…. I shall return shortly.

***

As it turns out I no longer have the napkins from the restaurant that I feverishly scrawled on a million years ago, but I did scribe a copy of that poem, “Rolling Off”, into the hardback book of musings I called “And then there was me”.

I was always big on titles and organization. Every journal had a name and every collection of poetry neatly compiled in separate notebooks which also had titles. That poem is garbage. I was hoping for something brilliant, but most of the things in that book are quite terrible. I’m not going to type it here either, because I have some respect for myself.

So one quote from that book, Madness, Rack and Honey led me down this path. I swear I can’t read a page from that book without going down a rabbit hole of thought or writing. It may take me a lifetime to get through the whole book. I at least have to get to the explanation of the title. Super curious about that.

Rack is Probably Not What You Think,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-07-11 Portland: What People Do

When in Portland

Today we did what people in Portland do
And went to have donuts at the VooDoo.
Today we did what people in Portland do
And walked up and down 3rd Avenue

We spied some parks and a fountain too.
We ate at a food truck or two.
We did the things that people here do
Because when you’re in Portland that’s what you do.

Then we jumped in the car and drove away
Out of the city about mid-day.
We followed the nav and what did it say?
Take 84 East for a new place to play.

When we arrived at the falls we looked up to the sky
The water was coming from so very high
Should we hike it? Yes, we just have to try.
We did not come this far to just say goodbye.

When the sun started setting we headed back west
Time for some food and a nice place to rest.
We found a good spot, perhaps not the best
It been just lovely being Oregon’s guest.

Yes today has been full, it’s been tried, it’s been true.
There is so much too see here, so much to do
Today we did what people in Portland do
Tomorrow it’s off to the coast for a different view.

***

Best moment of the day… Walking on 3rd avenue when my 15 year old daughter and 13 year old son both held my hand as we walked. I can’t help but be grateful they still want to hold my hand at this age and I also think it may be one of the last times they will both want to. So wonderful.

Best quote of the day… Z: I think there is a skunk near the trail. Me: Um, chances are HIGH that is not a skunk! 😛 (then she punches my arm).

It’s only day one of our little adventure and already it has been so great. I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings.

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-06-21 Still Too Much – Part Two (The Talking Heads Edition)

Two blog posts in one day.. that has not happened in a long time. It must mean that too much is still too much and I’m having trouble handling it. I’m just winding down for the day and am laying in my bed thinking about this reality. I’m fighting the urge to go down to the kitchen and eat the one piece of strawberry pie I brought home from my dad’s house.

I don’t have my kids tonight and probably have too much time to think for my own good. This means that the door is open for questions.. which sort of feels like that one Talking Heads song. I’m about to have what feels like a “Once in a Lifetime” opportunity and I’m asking myself…

“Well”…“How did I get here?”

I’ve got a beautiful house
and a beautiful garden
and two beautiful children.
I’ve got so much but still feel lost and alone.
I had a good job and now I don’t.
I’ve seen a lot of wonderful things in my lifetime so far,
But so unsure about the future.

I’ve made choices I can’t ever undo.
I just have to go with the flow, You know
Like water flowing underground.

How do you continue to choose
when you can’t ever know
Where that choice will lead
Where that highway goes?

Will I forever be questioning
“Am I right? Am I wrong?”
And tomorrow I may be wondering
“My God! What have I done”?

***
Yup – that about sums up how I am feeling right now, or at least the only way I can articulate it.

I’m getting ready to turn in I guess.. see if I can actually sleep.

Until Tomorrow,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-05-20 No Risk, No Reward

I have a wonderful friend from back in the day.
I’m going to call her, Princess KK
Now Princess KK is smart, successful, and also quite funny.
She’s pretty and clever and lives somewhere not so sunny.

We don’t chat very often, in-fact, almost never
Because we are far apart and, of course, busy as ever
But when we do talk, she always has good advice
And when thinking about it, you don’t have to think twice.

One of her sayings is about getting more out of each day
Don’t be too content and let precious time slip away.
If you want to make the most of life and go very far.
Live by these words and aim for the stars!…

“No risk, No reward”

***

On Thursday I had a good (not great) conversation with my boss and I brought up several of the larger points which have been weighing on me in my current position. Workload and expectation were at the top of that list. My performance eval was another topic. Mixed into the detail of those were other items of concern around current projects but I did not go into really fine detail on any one subject.

He acknowledged what I was saying. He even elaborated on a few things about how the state of the company is different today or in the last couple years than it was just three or four years ago. One of the big differences is that the company is now thriving. There’s a healthy sales pipeline and revenue stream. Even five years ago, when they were staffing up for a large project there was still a lot of extra time to do process improvement and make positive and lasting changes. In more recent times, there is so much revenue work, that there is no time to do those other things (or even sometimes pause to take a breath).

He acknowledged what I was saying, but did not really have a solution. This, I knew going in. Of my four or five current projects, he offered to shift one to another resource, which would help a little, but also make me appear (once again) like I can’t handle what I’ve been given. It is true.. I can no longer handle it.

At the end of that conversation he asked me if there was anything else he could do for me and I said “Now that you mention it, yes there is”. I asked for two of the three things that I had decided would give me reason enough to not leave the company. I kind of glossed over the first thing, working from home more, because I already do that three days a week and I’m pretty sure if push came to shove, they could easily agree to this. I then requested a four month sabbatical. He asked when I was thinking, and I told him after I wrap my current projects up by the end of June and he did the calendar math to conclude that would be July through October. And then he wrote it down.

“I can’t make any promises”, he said, but agreed to take action on my request immediately.

He does not have the authority to grant me this, so it’s going to have to go to the top. It’s a small company and things turn on a dime very quickly and I have every reason to believe they would be able to make a decision on this in the next week, if not by Monday.

I left work shortly after that meeting and was feeling very positive about the future. No matter what the outcome is, things this year will be better for me than they have been and I am marching forward to the beat of Princess KK’s drum. No Risk, No Reward. No Risk, No Reward. No Risk, No Reward.

It’s Time to Collect,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-02-08 You Can’t Always Get What You Want

But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need…

OR NOT.

I’ve had a cardboard box of stuff packed up for a couple of days now. The box has been sitting on my kitchen table and I’ve had to stare it down at every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Seeing it fills me with sadness. The last bits and pieces of things Matt left behind. You know, like underwear and socks from his dresser drawer and a silly hat I borrowed one year for halloween. There were some family items he asked me not to get rid of and a food processor he didn’t really want but I never used. There were books and charger cables and cufflinks he got for being a groomsman in his friends wedding. Yeah, stuff like that. Five years of a life together condensed into one box.

***

Oh the tragedy of my broken heart.
The space inside it more empty from the pouring.
All the love and affection I ever felt for you
All the gazing into eyes adoring

All packed neatly now into a single box.
I wonder.. can a broken heart break even more?
Asked and answered, yes, with tears
As I lay the box at your feet inside your door.

***

I decided that today was the day I was going to deliver the box of stuff. Last week I concluded that I didn’t need to have a conversation about the state of our relationship or even just say what I wanted to say about it. I convinced myself that nothing was going to change and what words I had did not matter and I should just move on. This was solidified by the fact that I had actually attempted to reach out to set up a meeting and was thrice denied or ignored… I waited a week. But really, I’ve been waiting since last October.

I actually did not expect him to be home. I expected he might still be at work and I was planning on leaving it on his doorstep. I even wrapped it in plastic in case it sat for a while. But he was home and answered the door and I truly was not prepared. I immediately busted into tears and could barely get words to come out of my mouth. “I wanted to give you this stuff back”.

He said “I’m sorry I never got back to you. Do you want to come in and talk”.

I said “No, I can’t. Zoey is waiting in the car”.

He said “Do you want to meet for lunch or something”.

I don’t remember what I said, and from there it’s a blur. Maybe I said “maybe” or “I don’t know” or “that might be ok” or “that might not be a good idea”. I remember saying “I have some things I would like to say, but you are not obligated to listen”.

I tried to say goodbye and he asked for a hug. So we hugged. It was so incredibly difficult I can’t even describe it now without welling up with tears. Then I think he may have asked about lunch again. That time I said “If you want to”. That’s how I left it. He has to want it. I want someone who wants me. Wants us.

The look on his face was that of a person who genuinely feels bad. I’ve seen it before. It was one of remorse with maybe a little desperation and surprise mixed in. I saw it when I broke up with him a year ago in January. I saw it again when he proposed to me in the summer and I said no.

I’ve been through so much turmoil the past four months and waiting for him to decide what he wants was/is killing me. It was completely obvious after this event that I’m not over it, or even stable. If I can’t have a simple conversation without a mental breakdown, that’s pretty telling.

I don’t know what it is going to take for me to get over this. I want to be over it. I want closure. I want to be able to move on. But you can’t always get what you want.

The question is, if I keep trying, will I get what I truly need?