What to do when a bird gets stuck in your house

Chosen families, of
21 August 2012, 2:53 pm
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The plea:

I should be happy they support each other – they are alike in so many ways – they have needed someone to validate and reaffirm and complain to. They have found that in each other (I say as the voyeur, because neither one of them talk to me.  Ever.)  But I hate the word “should,” so instead I am thinking of the hours I spent on the phone – where is the recognition for that? – and of the constant struggle to show understanding, to be patient, to be there, to know that I think she is making terrible mistakes but they are hers to make, not mine.   I think of the pain and the heartbreak year after year.  The disappointments, the embarrassment, the let downs.  I feel deep sorrow for not being included in my own family, like I’m just looking in through the windows.  I feel petty and mean and jealous. My ideal, enlightened self feels far, far away.

So here it is.  I feel terrible.  I don’t know what kind of pep talk would get me out of this.  I don’t even know if there is a pep talk to give, maybe I’m not done being in it yet.  I had a yoga teacher who said that you need to acknowledge and honor negative feelings and emotions before you can let them go.  The acknowledging part is easy.  This honoring business sucks ass.

I was going to end this email by begging you grrrlz for help, because my well of wisdom feels dry and I know yours are always overflowing.  But even just getting here, to today’s end to the long, stupid chapter of the story that is my family’s life, has felt enormously helpful.  That said, got any wisdom to spare?

The response:

Overwhelming.  I was wrong.  My ideal self is never far away.  There are three of them, in fact, and one email has all three tapping on my shoulder, reminding me of who I am, who we all are, our little chosen family.


greener, meet other side
22 July 2008, 2:10 pm
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Hey ladies,

I cut the boy off of this message. Sorry boy. But you ain’t a lady.

Lola, thank you thank you for the update. I know how difficult it must be to take the jumble and shape it into words, but even though we don’t say it enough, we appreciate the updates and a part of every waking minute is with an eye and a heartbeat towards you. I’m glad you’ve got the fam around, that your mom knows what an embrace she’s in, that you have two beautiful children around to remind everyone what it’s all about.

And hey, I don’t think one can ever classify “my mom has a brain tumor” as blah. Just sayin.

Update from here: not a helluva a lot these days, just summer in the city. It’s been beautiful, lovely, full of exploring the town and looking at snow-capped mountains. Some hiking, some evenings with friends (some 4th-of-Julyness with the aforementioned Mr. O…). I’m in a quiet-style job right now, in an org that is in a serious phase of transition and I don’t feel like I’ve put in the time to make these growing pains worth it. I feel a bit demoted, after the glamor of W Africa (W Africa? Glamorous? Well, you know what I mean. Authority. Capability. Praise. It’s hard to become a worker bee after all that. After the adventure of that place. It’s hard not to have the itch to travel, be dirty and exhausted and challenged and fully fully present. It’s hard to contemplate starting a blog, to work on it during worktime.) Hence the job application yesterday (greener, meet other side), hence the daydreaming out the window.

But these are the angsts of an extremely privileged woman. Remember this above all else.

Also, the pull to move. Yeah, the whole fam wants to go and the thought of actually buying a house and having chickens and being near family (not in that order) is real. I think it’s the ovaries calling. Such a fucking cliche, about to turn 29 and becoming obsessed with studies about older pregnancies = autism. Seriously? Do you even WANT kids? R’s been nesting more these days too, looking at the university as a future career. I (gently) remind of the (half? third?) not-quite finished phd. Somehow my professional prospects are added on as an afterthought. Oh well. I could always write letters to the editor. Or follow the dream of young adult lit, right? Everett, you wanna be my co-author in crime?

Ok. Is it time? It may be time. With great freedom comes great responsibility. Time to figure out the “great” part.

I love you all. Like nothing else. Lola, hug your mom extra from me.