Tuesday, April 19, 2011

regrets and non-regrets

2 big things on my mind lately.  Firstly let me point out that I don't *actually* regret anything.  It may be cliche to say, but the fact is that everything occuring in the past has lead to here and now and even the most minute detail has the opportunity to have changed everything.  So when I say I have a regret it doesn't mean I wish it didn't happen; it means that I'm aware that I could've done something differently and I appreciate having learned that lesson, but wonder what it would've been like had I done it the way I can now view it, in hindsight.

Make sense?  You got my Shannon-definition down?  Good, let's go...

Regret: It has been a month and a half since I returned from ORLANDO(!!!!!)  I had an incredible time there and enjoyed myself immensely.  I'm saving all money found in the washer and dryer as well as picked up from the ground and around the house for next year.  ;-)

So why the regret, you ask?  Like I said, it's been a month and a half since I came back and I have ONE(1, I) person I talk to regularly.  AND...we don't even talk.  We text.

Why's that a big deal?  Well, the "big guys" told us we would form the tightest bonds and make the closest friendships from this trip, because we would bond over the most intimate parts of our home lives.  I'm not demanding a refund, after all I was awarded that scholarship, remember?

Why didn't I make those friendships?  Is it because I smell bad?  Because I'm ugly?  Because I have big ears?  Because I have big front teeth?  Because I'm a big, fat, meanie-head?  Because I burped on everyone?  Because I farted in my sleep?  Because I'm boring and no fun?  Because I'm a judgmental ass?

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, and no.

It's because I didn't let myself.

BAM!  Take that, Shannon!  I didn't stay in my house and chat and share.  I didn't ask other women their stories.  I didn't allow myself to ATTACH to anyone there, because I was nervous and scared and insecure and on and on and on.  This is the reason I escorted drunk women around.  I didn't want to experience the seriousness.  I wanted to escape the seriousness.

Oh isn't that interesting, because, hmmm....  I pointed out, to myself, just how insecure I am in attachment, still.  Lots of you don't actually know me.  I started this "If you really knew me..." thing a while back when prompted by my brilliant sister.  But I didn't keep it up, because I didn't want mass judgment.  ;-) So the big secret is...

I have serious attachment problems.  Now that I parent RAD and have learned what RAD is, I am certain that I did not have RAD when I was young, but that I did, and still do, have a version of attachment disorder. Hence my not being able to attach to Zane while pregnant or early in his life which (in addition to other experiences) lead to our current situation.  See, my mom was not a Mom.  When she was around, she wasn't a Mom and when she abandoned ship (I was 9), she did so with ease.  My Dad was neglectful and I was pretty much raised in and out of friends' homes.  Dad later decided to move elsewhere and didn't force me to go with him and I lived in his girlfriend's basement (age 16).  She bought me pudding sometimes.  For "food".  No joke.

That's the short, simple, and polite story to get to the point...  Which is that as a 20-something I've begun my attachment process with my husband.  He's the best therapeutic spouse a gal could ask for!  And I've made SERIOUS strides over the past 5 years.  It has been EXTREMELY difficult at times and such a blessing at all times.

But I still don't know how to make friends.  Silly, huh?  I just don't know how.  And all you emotionally healthy people out there are thinking, "Is here really a 'way' to do it?"  Yes.  There is.  And I've not figured it out.  I'm getting closer though.  I have many, many people I consider friends.  But no one I consider a "close" friend.  No one that just shows up at my house.  No one that comes over for no good reason but to hang out. There's one friend who is the closest, as I can call her in tears, but there's still a line in the sand.  And a few that I want to become close with, but don't know how.

And so, I have decided that next year, in Orlando, I will attend the big hoo-hah event where everyone is and I will go say "hi" to the ladies I already know.  But I will stay at my house and I will sit in my pjs and I will relish the opportunity to bond with people.  Even if it doesn't happen yet.  Even if I'm not "there" yet.  I'm going to do it and I'm not going to shut myself off from the opportunity like I did last time.

After all, 99% of those women are parenting attachment issues anyway.  As long as I don't pee on their floor, rage at them, or call them names, it'll still be a vacation from what they already deal with.  AND they can see my nervousness for what it is.  Um, yeah.  Sounds like exactly the place to learn to make friends, doesn't it??  Can we just go next month, please and thank you??

Non-regret: Honoring my desires. Examples:

I've already talked a lot about them, I know...  But do you have ANY idea how empowering it is to have dreadlocked my hair!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?  I love it.  I love them.  I am SO.GLAD. I did it.  I can't say it enough.  I look how I feel.  Such a relief.

I went to an improv jam and got offered a spot in the troupe.  Wow.  THEN, I reached out and asked for help from those around me.  I needed to fill an hour-and-a-half time gap between me leaving for rehearsal and Jon getting home from work, every Monday. A big request.  And it happened.  I asked and it happened.  AND I even have someone who's going to take a full rehearsal time for me so I can start earlier than Jon's shift change.  Wahoo!

I wanted to go to church.  I want a spiritual community.  I want my kids to get the "Sunday school" experience.  I want to have fellowship with coffee and snacks.  I want to hear powerful messages about goodness.  But I didn't want the dogmatic hoopla.  We are not Christians and so we'd like to spare ourselves and the kids from the fire-and-brimstone hoo-hah.  We don't want Zane to come home some Sunday and ask if he's going to Hell.  LOL!  Just not into that.  But we finally got the courage to attend a UU church.  And we love it.  Like crazy mad love.  Awesomeness.  Powerful messages about being good.  Powerful messages about reading a book we may not disagree with because we can still find a lot of inspiration and knowledge in it.  Powerful messages about standing for what we seek out to be truth, but doing so respectfully.  Is it weird to say I'm a total fan of our minister?  Like groupie fan?  Cause I am.  She's brilliant.

I have an eating problem.  I gorge on food.  People don't take me seriously when I say that because I am not obese, but my gorging problem is just as much a problem as it is for anyone who gains the weight to go with theirs.  I don't know why I don't weigh more than I do and frankly I don't care.  I've not been healthy for quite some time and even while boot-camping my heart out I gained weight.  Not because their program sucked (it was AMAZING and I'm really sad to not do it anymore), but because I still ate lots and lots and lots of food. And I wasn't sleeping enough, so my body was storing it all up. One night, a couple of weeks ago, I ended up with a terrible migraine and my face felt swollen and I felt so heavy I couldn't lift myself out of my chair.  So I emailed someone I know and I asked for help.  And I've accepted the help.  And it has been glorious!  It is hard to not eat what I crave (brownies, ice cream, and hot fudge anyone??).  And I even had a beautiful dream about a buffet where there was plenty of delicousness -and large sprites- to choose from.  I was thinking about that buffet all day, too.  Oh yum.  BUT, I am honoring the need to find a balanced, healthier relationship with food.  My meals have been delicious.  Yay for macrobiotics and learning a bit at a time!!  And yay to wonderful women in my life!

I think I'll call that a wrap.  Both ends of the spectrum and yet they're one in the same, aren't they?  Such is life...  Everything is a reflection of its equal-opposite.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A bit of random for you

My dreadlocks are almost one month old!  I love, love, love them!!!

We got a new puppy and her name is Zoey.  I don't know a lot about dogs; I've been learning since we got Rootie, but I'm not a natural.  So, when she and Rootie started their domination dance a couple of days after we got her, I freaked!  BUT...  I got help from a good friend and a would-like-to-know-better-but-we-relate-online friend. :-)  Viola!  The dogs are great and get along well.  I actually enjoy them do their thing now, too.  It's cute.

I started trying my hand at macrobiotic eating with some really great help and am enjoying it, a LOT!  The food is SO good...everything I've made has been lovely.  I did dream of eating at a buffet last night, though, so...  I guess I'm missing some things. ;-)

I proofread an ebook for a friend and I did it to avoid doing the last part of my own business.  Because when I finish that last part I open up shop and can I tell you how many different fears I have!?!?!?  People are going to hate the pants and tell me I suck, people are going to love the pants and prove my self-doubt wrong; no one is going to order from me for a long time and I'll lose focus, people will be ordering super fast and I won't be able to keep up with demand; parents won't like the way the thighs fit, parents will LOVE the way the thighs fit; they're too expensive, they're not priced high enough for their value....


Anyway, I finished the ebook, which if I may tell you, is incredible!!  I kept getting sucked into the content and if you've ever proofread or edited anything before, you know that's a direct way to get diddly done.  ;-)  I got lots done, of course, and even impressed myself with my recall skills.  But it took a bit longer than it should have, because I kept READING it.  I can't wait to share it with you when the Author says "GO!".

My hubby got a vasectomy, because he's great and appreciates my need to get off of hormonal birth control.  Yes, I know there are other options and I've tried a couple, but Paragard broke my vagina and all of its contents and condoms aren't goodness for us. Anyway, he got the procedure done and the sedation they used didn't work on him...he was aware of everything that happened and remembers it all now.  We're going to keep this information in the forefront of our minds in case he ever needs full sedation.  A little scary to think he might be one of those people who can't be put to sleep.  So, the doctor let me watch the whole thing and it was really neat!

I have avoided doing the laundry for a whole week now.  Boo.  I usually do it twice a week so now I've got a thing FULL of dirty clothes that I just don't want to wash.  Guess I have to, huh?

I babysat a puppy today and that was fun.  Meanwhile another friend brought her dog to meet my dogs, because I *might* babysit hers while she goes out of town.  He's a boxer.  I love his face.  And he acts kind of special.  Awwww...  <3<3

I went to an improv jam last night with one of the local improv troupes.  I've always been into that sort of thing and curious if I would be good at it.  It looks so fun!  Anyway, I saw the ad for it while Jon and I were on a date Friday night and I asked the in-laws FOR THE FIRST TIME to watch the kiddos while I did something all for me.  YAY!  They said yes and I went.  And because it was only one day in advance I had no time to psyche myself out and choose to not go.

So I went.  It was in the basement of a biker bar.  Those of you who've known me longer than 4 years think that's no biggie and I was right at home.  Those of you who've only met me within the past 4 years think "What the hell would Shannon do in a biker bar?".   Well, lemme tell you...  I sat around, uncomfortably, by myself for 40 minutes or so while we waited for the downstairs to open up (there was a local BACA meeting going on before the improv jam).

We made our way downstairs and when there were no more biker chicks around intimidating me I introduced myself to the other improv folks and made myself at home.  We all had to get up and participate in the warm-up (I thought I'd watch for a while and decide if I wanted to join in, I was SO NERVOUS!) and it turned out to be very fun and shook the nerves right out!  I had a blast.


I got asked to join their group!!!!!

What the F!?!?  I know!!  I'm so crazy excited.  I had a blast and to know that I was THAT good at it, to boot!?!?  Wowzers.  There were 5 of us there that aren't part of the troupe and I still am shocked and STOKED that *I* got asked.  It's like getting a job you weren't going for, or scoring a part in a play when you didn't know you were auditioning.  I'm giddy.  Can you tell? :-P

So, I'm trying to get childcare worked out, as it's a weekly Monday practice.  The way everything else has lined up, though, I'm thinking this will work just fine.  One way or another, anyway.  ;-)

Super, super cool.  A couple of people kept making hemp references and either eyeing me or pointing at me, so after a while I just had to let everyone know that I appreciated it, but I don't smoke pot, so they could let that go.  It was kind of annoying and kind of flattering.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dear Mr. President,

I'm breaking up with you.  I've been thinking about it for several weeks now and I feel official with it at this point.  While you haven't given me full disclosure, you have done a better job than many past presidents, so to show my appreciation for that I'll go ahead and explain my decision.

As is the case with any messy breakup, our problems originate with expectations I held from the beginning.  You see... I'm not a Democrat or a Republican.  I'm not a Tea-Party member or even an Independent.

I'm an American Citizen.  And I vote as such.  Depending on the problems-at-hand as well as moral beliefs I hold at all times I weigh my beliefs and desires and visions with those expressed by the people and amendments presented to me on my voting card.

So, long ago when you said you stand for justice and peace I believed you.  The way you presented yourself to us was inspiring.  You were not aggressive; you rarely shamed your opponents.  You seemed to come across as a man who lives(d) with integrity and I admire that.  At the end of the day, I want to have a belief in my democratic leaders to be who they say they are.  I held that expectation of you, sir.  Which is why I am so very hurt now.

I'm crushed.  By your participation in the conflict in Libya.  Crushed.

I'll elaborate...

In the last presidential election, there were a few key issues at hand.  1.Economy. 2.War in Iraq and beginning of war in Afghanistan. 3.Healthcare.

No candidate was in line with how I feel on all 3 of these issues, so I had to pick what was most important to me.  And it came down to War.  After all, if we kill off all of our young men and women in war there will be no people who need healthcare or a job.

I voted to keep people alive.  I was under the impression that you wanted to streamline things in Afghanistan and get out of Iraq as quickly and safely as you could.  It it my very strong belief that an airplane ride home is quick and safe, but I get it... I'm not a member of the militia and therefore don't understand the specifics of war.  I don't care to, either.

If it were up to me, I'd have National Guard to restore wellness to areas affected by natural environmental occurances (other people call these natural disasters, but they're no disaster to nature.  They're only disastrous to us).  I suppose some sort of ARMY-type military is necessary for self preservation, but I don't think they need to step a foot off of our land.  After all, to defend means to protect one's self, not attack another...

But, I digress.

I voted for you, because your opposition, Mr. McCain was adamant on violence and his belief that it is a good way to find peace.  I just don't agree with that at all and chose against war.

Then you went and got in a fight.

I'm not attracted to -nor do I find security in- men who fight to prove their manliness.  I don't see "hero" in that behavior.  I see fear.  Fear of not being in control.  Fear of not being safe.  Fear of not being well.  That fear leads to attack.  It is an incredibly primitive behavior.

But we're no longer primates, so can't we move on?

I am ready for change.  I am ready for progress within our species.  But this is the same old story, just with a different "reasoning".

I beg and plead to be part of a country that doesn't go blow shit up every chance we get just because we can.  And I am praying, intending, and manifesting, with fervor, for leadership who will stand up for what is righteous.

And in my book, righteous includes not killing, not shaming, not attacking.

I just can no longer stand with you.


Friday, April 1, 2011

About Identity

This is my favorite thing about putting in dreadlocks:

I feel like me.

It's just hair, after all.  So it seems silly to me, because as much as I've been "into" my hair for years, I've not been into "doing" my hair pretty much ever.

I frequently see women who are living with their own sense of style that's strong and opinionated and I've held a certain amount of envy or maybe intrigue toward them for it.  I see women who put together amazing outfits that when they walk into a room or they catch my eye, they're screaming "THIS IS ME" and I want it.  I want to know how to express myself through my appearance.

In the past -almost 2- weeks I've felt better about who I appear to be than ever before.  I feel like I appear to be me and that, my friends, is a rockin new feeling I've not had before!!

I've looked in the mirror frequently.
I've messed with my hair multiple times every day.
I've made AND POSTED videos on YouTube.
I've asked Jon to take pictures of me.
I've asked my friend to take pictures of me.
I've felt more confident when going in public.

All because of my hair.


I've heard of the "spiritual journey" of dreadlocks before and I don't get it.  It's foreign to me.  I think in my particular case, I was experiencing deep and profound spiritual healing in a couple aspects of my being when the night came that I started knotting my hair.  I think this has been part of that spiritual path for me, having the cajones to just do what I've pondered for so long.  And so I guess I'm starting to see a bit of how this could be a catalyst for things to come and I'm welcoming whatever happens with open arms.

I've only had one person outwardly express their dislike of my hair and it rolled off my back pretty easily.  Of course it burned for a moment, no one wants to hear that someone thinks they look stupid.  But because I love-so-very-much what's happening on my head the comment didn't phase me for long.

That, alone, was powerful for me.  I am living what I want to be living and so someone's put-down didn't make me second-guess myself.

Before a couple of weeks ago, I had never been that powerful on my own two feet.

So, to the nay-sayer I truly thank you.  Deeply, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to experience the confidence I did in that exchange between the two of us.

To every reader that comes across this:

Do something powerful, for yourself.  This week.  Something that makes you feel good.  Feel great.  Not something that makes you feel like you're "proving" yourself to anyone.  Lord knows I've tried that a bazillion, gagillion times and it didn't work.  But something that you do solely for you and your confidence.

Then if you feel so inclined, come share it with us.  ;-)