Weddings & Babies and What Would Have Been 10 Years

This was not published elsewhere. It’s just here, for me, and whomever else might find value.

Weddings and babies, weddings and babies… old people – with their pastels, and their shawls and orthodics – they love, love weddings and babies. Why? Hope, of course.

It’s like we’re born with this Big Hope Treasure Chest; our dowry for making it back into the world. And over time, the world takes it back, coin by coin, jewel by jewel, taxation by taxation.

I see the hope alive and well in my young kids. They are just so positive they can do anything. I just upgraded my 4-year-old son’s 12″ bike, to an 16″ bike. He can go much faster now on bigger tires. I heard him tell the babysitter that he was going to ride to downtown Seattle. We live 15 minutes from downtown Seattle by freeway. He would have to cross three bridges and two tunnels to get there. When the babysitter corrected him about the distance and dangers, he wasn’t buying it. He believes with enough effort, he can do anything. Of course, when he gets tired after a half hour with mom, he doesn’t quite understand that it would take a whole lot more effort to ride to Seattle on his 16″ bike. But still, the hope, the belief in himself is there.

Then, the world slowly reveals itself – or we get blinded by it – and little by little, you stop believing you can do anything. You start to understand the true nature of distances and danger and ideas… and one of those things is hope.

Sometimes hope is hard to come by… it can be fleeting, soothing, stolen, make us deliriously happy, move mountains and also be broken. Just a little can save us, too much will hurt us. You shouldn’t let it run out and yet sometimes you have to let it die. It’s as necessary in this life as air. But sometimes, it’s hard to come by. Often, closer to the end and especially, in times of deep sadness.

Today, I woke up feeling horrible for no real reason. I couldn’t get my head on right from the moment I opened my eyes. I was grumpy, edgy, full of sadness. They say the body doesn’t forget. They say our deepest hurts still live on inside us – in our bones, our hearts, our hips, our DNA. They say trauma can actually change our cell structures. It wasn’t until I wrote the date that I realized why I felt so bad.

Today, had I stayed married, we would have made it 10 years. Ten. And if my wedding wasn’t my own precious, crown jewel of hope that this life took – then I’m not sure what is. Some act as though, since I willingly left a deconstructed marriage, that I gave up my right to mourn this day. That I should actually be HAPPY. That because I wanted out of a union which was killing me, that I surrender my right to be sad when an anniversary comes about. They wonder why I miss a man who has caused me so much pain.

The truth is, I don’t. I don’t even mourn my marriage after what it became in the end.

My sadness and anger are for the life that I wanted. The life I planned to live. The life, that when it was good – and there were moments – was the exact life I dreamed of. So forgive me if I’m a little sad and a little edgy. Hope has just been a little hard to come by, today.

But don’t worry, I’m sitting in the front pew with Grandma Louis and Great Aunt Mabel clutching my purse in one arm with my worn and faded, cloth hankerchief in the other, and I’m watching that beautiful bride in white. I can see her bright face. And through the tears welling up in my eyes, I can almost see his proud smile. And in spite of my many years of lost treasures, I can almost remember what that feels like. Weddings and babies, they get me every time.

And whether you can see me or not, I’m here, holding on. And I’m still looking for it everywhere. Because like I tell my babies… the most important thing is trying.

Marriage is a giant leap of hope

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The Chronic Conditions of the Lonely

I dislike this piece. It received postive feedback, but I can’t help think it’s whining and self-serving. I’ve been a lonely person all my life… so what. Haven’t we all? But this condition is something which gets a lot written about it, and so I tried as well.

There is no lack of advice for single people. When you’re a single mom at 37, you get all kinds of suggestions to cure your condition. If you’ve just exited a relationship which has made you sad, people say, “Spend some time alone, get to know yourself again.” And then if you’ve been single for more than six months and sad, people say, “Put yourself out there. Go on some dates. Just have fun.” And then if you’re dating lots of people and happy you’ll hear, “You should probably take some time to be alone and figure out what you really want. You can’t really be happy?” And if you’re perpetually single and happy, no one believes you and speculates on why you can’t get a date. There’s really no way to win unless you’re in a relationship for which you are head over heels. This is when everyone leaves you alone. And if that is the only way to win, perhaps it’s why I’m having a hard time with dating and being ambivalent.

You can read the rest on Stackedd Magazine. But you’ll have to come back here to comment. Thanks for reading.

Shannon

Seeing Trainwreck, Being Catfished, Pluto and Other Assorted Misadventures in Dating

I always forget to post my articles which are published on other media outlets on my blog. So here is one which was published a few weeks ago. If you don’t want to miss what I’m writing online, you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter. I always promote my published articles on those social media channels.

Below is the beginning paragraph and you’ll have to pop on over to Stackedd Magazine to finish reading. But if you want to comment, you’ll have to come back here because they don’t allow comments. Thanks for reading!

The day before I saw Trainwreck, the man I’d been dating for the last six weeks made an impromptu visit to my house at 4 pm on a Friday after enticing him with some sexy texting and vague promises. The day before that, we had gone on a romantic date where we ate flatbread and sampled delicious wines and walked through a hollowed out giant redwood cedar that had been struck by lightning. The purpose of the date was to discuss the future of our relationship. I desired monogamy, which he’d broken the week prior. He brushed my hair behind my ears and kissed me in that penetrating way on a bridge over slow-moving water. He told me how “amazing” I was and that letting me go would be a “mistake.” And then, we slipped into the woods for heavier petting on a stone bench. But before he left my house that Friday, after we both fulfilled vague promises, and after he looked me in the eyes for so long that I couldn’t help but look away, after we sipped champagne in my backyard and he quietly smiled at me while I watered my garden in a flowing, blue negligee, he said, “I’m not ready to stop dating other women.” Click here to continue reading.