Fall equinox. I’m burning candles and incense, but I’ve never been able to come up with a celebration that feels appropriate and satisfying. I’ll probably bake pumpkin cookies later, and once night falls the oil lamps will be lit. It’s still not quite enough.
My husband spent the weekend horribly ill, so we haven’t been having much fun in our household. I’m left feeling quite tired today.
Perhaps I’ll have us all walk to the park this evening where we can enjoy a picnic together. There’s nothing quite like being in nature to lift the spirit.
I’m getting anxious over our upcoming beach trip. It will involve a lot of driving, and we’ll be staying in a tent for most of it. It’s been two years since we left the bus, since the end of our homelessness, and in that time I’ve been clinging to many modern comforts associated with having a home. Sometimes I take a bath, just because I can. Staying in a tent will be kind of like being homeless again.
I’m sure that I won’t care once we’re there. The chance to see the ocean, to let the waves batter against me as I submerse myself in the salty water will probably erase any unease in my heart. The ocean is soothing and majestic, and it will be like reuniting with a wise old friend. I cannot describe how much I love the ocean.
But right now, I’m scared. Scared of driving. Scared of not having a hot shower every morning. Scared of living out of a backpack. Scared of managing two small children. Scared that it will rain and everything will get wet. Scared that my husband will ignore me.
There are so many things to worry about.
I should focus on how exciting it is to see the ocean again.
About a month ago I started making a crochet scarf with some wool yarn that I had hand-painted, and as I was working on it the thought kept coming to me that I should give it to one of our neighbors. When I finished it, I felt that I wanted to properly wrap it up like a present, so it ended up sitting awhile waiting for me to get a gift bag to put it in. On Sunday I learned that it was this neighbor’s birthday this week, so I kicked myself into gear and got the gift all put together and ready to go out.
Our neighbor was so happy when I gave it to her, and it made me feel lighthearted to see her reaction.
I’ve always wanted friends that I could give freely to, yet during my teens I realized that having such a nature was resulting in others taking advantage of me. Since no one reciprocated, I stopped looking for ways to help others and became defensive. After moving here, so many neighbors have helped us out in so many different ways, I felt an awakening of sorts. I love baking desserts to give as thank yous, and while I still feel limited in my abilities, I dream of the day when I can also give to those who need help. One day I’ll be delivering dinners to young couples with new babies.
This is the first time that I’ve ever felt sad about moving. As we’re getting closer to closing on this new house, I keep thinking about how we’re going to say goodbye to all of our neighbors and live somewhere else where we won’t know anybody. What if the new neighborhood isn’t as friendly? What if the old neighbors forget about us?
There are plenty of things that I’m not going to miss: sharing a backyard with people who litter it with beer cans and cigarette butts is definitely at the top of the list. I’m also still really miffed that the landlord sprayed poison on my flower garden. I guess that God didn’t want me getting too attached to this property, because then the inevitability of moving out would have been even more sorrowful.
Our house is over a hundred years old, and we’re planning on keeping its historic charm as we fix it up. There are five bedrooms, a gas fireplace, and a huge garage that is going to become my husband’s workshop. There’s also a swing set in the yard, which the toddler likes to talk about — I get the feeling that we’re going to spend a lot of time playing on it after we move.
Packing up feels so overwhelming. One would think that I’d be a pro by now, but instead I’m even more disorganized than ever before.
I’ve never read a single fairy tale where anyone lived “happily ever after” right from the start. That comes at the end. Before that, there are wicked stepmothers to overthrow, dragons to defeat, princesses to rescue. The characters must find strength and determination to overcome unbearable trials, and only if they succeed do they earn the right to a peaceful life — once the journey has begun, the only other option is death.
Most people try to erase the trials and hardships out of the stories. They say that Cinderella met her Prince and they lived happily ever after, forgetting that before that moment, Cinderella spent years slaving away in her own household after the death of her father, yet she never let her misfortune taint her good nature. So many people claim that fairy tales aren’t true, because they can’t even make it through the first challenge of keeping their hearts pure in the face of adversity. Happily ever afters aren’t given away for free.
I believe in fairy tales.
Anxiety sneaked up on me yesterday. I was going through my day, washing dishes and cuddling babies, when suddenly I found myself in the middle of a full-blown meltdown by dinner time. I tend to fall apart very quietly, so I sat down on the couch and thought, “I can’t do this,” over and over.
I’m still feeling overwhelmed today. It’s like my thoughts are casting about for things to worry about, and there’s plenty for them to latch onto: we’re buying a new house, our beach vacation is coming up fast, I haven’t decided what to make for dinner tonight. Anxiety doesn’t discriminate.
One thought is that I haven’t been expressing my multiplicity lately, and that’s why everything is spinning into chaos. I’ve been purposefully repressing. Just . . . ’cause.
I guess it’s time for me to start mitigating those crazy emotions of mine, before they render me completely nonfunctional.
My husband got the neighbors involved with getting me to church, so for the first time in seven years, I attended. The funny thing is, I think that I was most impressed with the nursery. When I dropped the toddler off, they had a number of kid-sized aprons and were preparing washable paints to use with potato stamps, and I was blown away by how much preparation had gone into the activities for the two and three year olds. I was expecting them to simply play with toys then have a snack, and instead my toddler now has a pretty painted picture that she made.
The baby kept me from listening too deeply to any of the lessons. She was busy, fussy, hungry, wet, tired, and all of those lovely things that frequently distress little people. I spent a lot of time in the mother’s room, and chatted with a couple other women who were there. Everyone was very nice and friendly, so it was easy to feel relaxed.
Seeing that sets of scriptures have largely been replaced by iPads and smart phones was kind of weird.
I have the feeling that now that I’ve gone once, everyone will be expecting me to go back.
I spent seven years identifying as an ex-Mormon, and suddenly I find myself resonating with the church. I had a number of reasons for my departure built up in my mind, yet when I looked at my old journal entries from back then, I was surprised to discover that they were angry and misguided — the story that was written down is not one that I can hold to. I don’t know how to identify myself anymore. I cannot reject the church and its teachings, yet I cannot let go of the things that I have come to discover about the spiritual world during these past seven years. I’m still going to put out food for the fairies, and I’m still going to celebrate the upcoming equinox, because I know that those things are important.
I feel like I’m getting a glimpse at just how big this world is compared to me, and yet how small it is compared to everything else.