Levity

There is a lot of snow outside. School closed today, as did Curtis’ work. No one wants to be driving around today.

I got out of the habit of regular journaling while pregnant with Z and feeling so sick. I think there were just too many days that were spent doing nothing but curling myself around a bowl mixed with vomit and tears… and in that appreciation of self-deprecation I had no room for blogging about the little things. I’ve missed that, because now I can easily take weeks between entries and I end up forgetting to write about the funny things that happen on a day to day basis. I even forget to write about the shitty things, and that’s what I’ve always been best at.

I started blogging in 1999 as a way to deal with life. I saw the way my father dedicated himself to keeping a journal over the years, and how much it helped him to write it all down as he worked it through, and I hoped that I would one day be that enlightened and strong. At that point in my life I saw him as this sort of Earthly Buddha: deeply flawed, yet humble. There was so much of him left to go,, and that inspired me.
His ever-present black journals with the leather covers, left on bedside and kitchen table, inspired me to make peace with myself and face my darkness. I imagined the horror and hilarity he had written within his many books, though I never dared to look, and I wondered how much of his soul he had filtered through its pages.

In the time since I started writing I’ve seen my life change more than I ever could have dared to dream for. I don’t even recognize the person I was 13 years ago, and in many ways I’m very grateful for that. I hated the me I was back then, and it is difficult not to still resent her today for a lot of the things she was… and even more for the things she wasn’t.
I resent her for the abuse she took from her job, and from people around her. I resent her for believing she was so strong when she was so deeply weak. I resent her for her selfishness, and even for the stupid way she dressed. And at the same time I love every last little piece of her for helping me become the me I am today.

Today I am as deeply flawed as my father. I am insecure. I am beautiful and ugly and vicious and vain and generous and kind and as unselfish as I am needlessly needy and best of all I am completely and totally okay with that.
Completely.
Totally.
Okay.

And that, above everything else, is what I am most thankful to have gained over these years of self-reflection. Over the years I have filtered my soul through this journal.

I don’t feel this way every minute of every day, but I feel it more often than I don’t. And when I feel it I want to celebrate it. I celebrate it when someone calls me an arrogant bitch just as much as I celebrate it when someone writes me a beautiful and touching letter that says I am an inspiring and beautiful woman. It has taken me too long to get to a place where I can celebrate both of those things, but today I can… and I’m proud of me for it. I’m grateful to myself that I kept a journal through it all so that I can look back and see the slow transformation from small to big, and hope I keep going.

I see so many resolutions for the new year about staying offline and blogging less, and I honestly want to see myself blogging more. I want to see myself being less afraid to write about the things that are bothering me while they’re bothering me rather than waiting until after it’s long gone to speak about it. I want to see myself writing more short little posts about the funny things my kids said that day so that in 10 years I can look back and laugh… instead of wish I could remember the way it went.
One of the things I’m happiest about are all the entries about my kids: pregnancy, birth and their early years… I love knowing I have that all written down and saved. If anything were to happen to me, all of my stories would be right here waiting for them to read when they were ready, and it gives me great comfort to know I have that security. Even if my kids never care to read it, at least I can look back when I’m 90 and my health is failing as quickly as my memory and know that I have some of the most important parts of my life saved forever, and that brings me a lot of joy… even if some of the earlier years are a little uncomfortable to read.

Comments

comments

11 Comments

  • bluealoe says:

    I always feel better when I’m writing regularly, yet I rarely do it.

    You are absolutely right that is a gift and a treasure to have all the stories collected. After all, stories tell us who we are.

    *hugs tight* It has been amazing to know you for all these years, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

  • noelove says:

    I see so many resolutions for the new year about staying offline and blogging less, and I honestly want to see myself blogging more. I want to see myself being less afraid to write about the things that are bothering me while they’re bothering me rather than waiting until after it’s long gone to speak about it. I want to see myself writing more short little posts about the funny things my kids said that day so that in 10 years I can look back and laugh… instead of wish I could remember the way it went.
    One of the things I’m happiest about are all the entries about my kids: pregnancy, birth and their early years… I love knowing I have that all written down and saved. If anything were to happen to me, all of my stories would be right here waiting for them to read when they were ready, and it gives me great comfort to know I have that security. Even if my kids never care to read it, at least I can look back when I’m 90 and my health is failing as quickly as my memory and know that I have some of the most important parts of my life saved forever, and that brings me a lot of joy… even if some of the earlier years are a little uncomfortable to read.

    I could not have written that better myself. That exactly what I want for myself this year.

  • Always glad to hear people who want to blog more, not less! I wish I’d blogged more over the last few years.

    Also, you always have insightful things to say about current events. What are your thoughts on this: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/01/georgia-mom-arrested-for-allowing-10-year-old-to-get-tattoo/

    I can’t decide whether that’s too much government interference, given the circumstance.

    • admin says:

      I think it’s pretty fucked up that the parent got arrested when she clearly didn’t know and imho nothing horribly wrong was done in this situation. As much as I want to say, “10 year olds should never get tattoos” I also know that for many people there are deep spiritual, religious or cultural reasons for body modification – especially permanent ones – and I think it starts to get weird when the law punishes people THIS HARSHLY for doing that. This kid lost his brother who he obviously loved more than anything and now he’s going to lose his mom too.
      I think in this situation it would have made far more sense to remind the parents of the law and go after the tattoo parlor for a fine if they really needed something to blame (though I completely understand, and kinda respect, the woman for not giving up the name of the artist. Good for her).

      They could easily find the parlor with minimal investigation if they really wanted to. I think it’s just easier for them to put a black woman in jail instead. 😛

  • xavi7734 says:

    This was my “resolution” for the year as well. I tend to only journal when things are *really really* bad in my life. I want to be able to go back and look at these someday, or for my children to do so and see the whole me. Not just the emotionally stunted, tormented, drama filled me.

  • altarflame says:

    Something funny happens that I mean to write about just about every day, and I can almost never remember them when I sit down to post :/

    • admin says:

      My old habit was keeping a desktop client open all day long so that whenever I thought of something to write, or something funny/interesting happened, I’d jot it down in note form so I could go back to it later and expand. That helped a lot.

  • keilababe says:

    I’ve been reading you for years, and I look forward to your entries. You’re so open, brutally honest, and absolutely fearless about exposing your life, and I love all of that about you. 🙂

  • lilmoe says:

    Just in to say I really like how you coin it filtering your soul. It totally suits writing our thoughts in the sense of a filter capturing little chunks of life too big to pass through the grate of our mind on the first try. Sometimes when I write for myself I am surprised by a topic that keeps getting trapped in the filter grate and writing and writing and writing sometimes is the only way to chew it up till it can float on through.

  • duchess_k says:

    I really appreciate this entry. This *is* a worthwhile pasttime.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow. I’m officially inspired to start a journal. I’ve had fits and starts of keeping one over the years, but I always end up deleting or tossing them when my life has changed and I’m embarrassed to look back at my former self. Reading your story, I’m convinced that I shouldn’t do that, and should hold on to all the pieces. I want to have those memories. My daughter is three and I know there are already small stories that I have forgotten and that is so sad to me. I cherished every one of those memories and would like to hold on to them. Thank you for sharing this.

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