Relationships

it's like falling in love.

Meeting new blood relatives is a bit like falling in love, or certainly the infatuation phase (except that it isn't temporary!).

I LIKE them so much! Makes me smile when a relationship with one of them deepens and grows. This post was started in August, but the fall became a wonderful whirlwind spent writing and getting to know this family, via letters, Skype, text, email, Facebook, and a first face to face visit in October, and I am just beginning write about it (I've had quite a year!). Hearing the ding of a new message online is so exciting! And with 13 cousins, 2 aunts, 1 uncle, and one birth mom (not to mention spouses, kids of cousins, extended family etc.), I've had a bit more to keep up with than them Laugh

It is the strangest thing to do, meeting your blood relations for the first time, having missed so many years of each other's lives. There is no guidebook for this, trust me, I looked! All I can describe is my experience, and it has been amazing. Its kind of a giddy feeling- endlessly fascinated with learning about them for one thing (because you know virtually nothing!) and with checking them out, from every inch of what they look like to their personality and how they interact with people, and what they spend their time doing. Its all so incredibly interesting! Happy The thing that makes its different is that you are meeting people who are instantly family. The trust isn't there, but yet it sort of is, in an immediate and unconditional way. These guys would do just about anything for me and extended such a warm welcome to me when I went to visit and meet them all in Vermont and Connecticut in October. I feel the same way about them and I've only met them once!

It is a warm feeling. It dies down for a while, then when new correspondence takes place, and next visits are planned to see one another, I get excited all over again!

Also I'm not sure if it is rose-colored glasses or not, but I pretty much only see the good things and characteristics about them! I had such a great time that I am going back in a few weeks to see them again Happy I wasn't sure I could make it work, and then I thought about it and realized how much time we had already missed in each other's lives and decided I don't want to miss another day. It's funny how things become important so very quickly. I can't wait to go back and for them to visit me and meet my family too! Warm fuzzies all around Happy.

Photos of me meeting my cousins, birth aunts, uncle, and birth mother for the first time

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Renaissance-y.

I wrote these scraps of thought on the go, and as I'm coming back to it, I'm just leaving it as it came out- its simple enough to make sense (mostly I think? Winking).

I wanna be a success story- for others to look to. Here's why I'm pushing through fear, self-imposed boundaries, junk, and overcoming barriers and obstacles to expand my contribution. My favorite quote explains it all in a nutshell (fear of success):



Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Marianne Williamson

I had my fortune read for me recently, this summer. It was cool. Tarot cards. I got a hermit card for the one that was "behind" me. Since then I've found some connections to this hermit hiding idea. I have to be honest and say that I have been hiding somewhat, in my house, in my life. That is coming to an end, and it's a strange process. Its awkward and messy at times like learning anything is, but ultimately I'm doin' it... Happy To be vulnerable means to be able to be loved. Without even knowing it, I had built up little walls around things, keeping people and things out. Its insidious. Safe. They were stripped down, and had crept up again! Its been an intense few years, and its understandable that I went into turtle shell protect mode. But its time to peek my head out- the coast is clear.

What this "coming out" of hiding is allowing me to do, primarily, is be there for my core best friends/family. It's really touching for me to get my head out of my ass and see that there are people who actually need me! A huge gift that I did not realize because I was only thinking about things from my own, tunnel-vision perspective. Sad

So the way I see it I have two choices:

1) Old way- hiding (hermit). I drew this quote yesterday at a dinner party: "Nothing is more capable of troubling our reason, and consuming our health, than secret notions of jealousy in solitude." ~ Aphra Behn. I wasn't sure what it meant until my friend pointed out it was the hermit concept. Oh! Man.

2) New way- move forward. Be who I am. Be afraid and do it anyway. Do it BECAUSE I am afraid.

Once you know another way, its pretty much impossible to go back anyway. We still do it, but it really sucks and we feel guilty for doing it. Its worse than not knowing! Ugh. OK, for you non-conceptual thinkers, I know I am losing you. Happy But bear with me!

I have been calling this period my Renaissance. It has been the summer of love, the summer of freedom, summer of facing reality, summer of discovery, summer of the creative and the brave. I can hear the universe whispering to me, saying "it's your time now, child." "Go be your full, rainbow-ific self!" People are being put in my path that support me and my philosophy, and that want to help me. Looking forward to seeing what happens next!


Fear-Redmoon

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thanksgiving.

We are all auditioning for various parts in each other's lives. Figuring out how we might best fit. Sometimes there is so much love there, and we just can't figure out how to make it fit (square peg in round hole). The beauty, I've finally realized, is in the noble trying. The fact that there is that much love there in the first place. I've been blessed beyond comprehension when I stop to think about it, how much love I've received in this life. Instead of focusing on how it hasn't worked, or why it didn't work, focusing on what that relationship gave me just fills me with gratitude. Things didn't work for a reason (sometimes more than one). It doesn't mean they didn't work, period. No, they had a purpose, and many of those loves are still in my life, still my dearest, most trusted and valued friends, because that is the purpose they arrived in my life for.

If only we could helicopter over our lives 10 years down the road and see the timeline, the path, as it should unfold, instead of stumbling blindly about every step of the way- we'd go, ohhhhhhhhh, I see! OK! I'm not gonna hold on to that so tightly! It had a beauty and a purpose even bigger than I could have imagined. Wow. But of course, the living part, not knowing where things may lead and trusting anyway, is what creates the depth of who we are. All of these relationships have made me better, and have slowly pushed me towards being the person I need to be. They have been a gift.

I talked to an old friend and his sweet family recently, an example of someone who tells it like it is and brings out the best in me every time we communicate. That is special and rare. We tell each other we love each other and it feels good and true. I know that I'm on the level with him, all the time, and he will go down in my all time inner circle club, always in my corner, fighting for me and cheering me on. He inspires me, and inspired this post.

Sometimes I feel like I'm going to burst with love thinking about all these special people that have graced my path. I was born with an extra dose of feeling genes and a heart on my sleeve, for sure. That too was for a reason, no doubt, which I'm working out now, day by day. I only see my story from these eyes, but these people I've loved have a story too, that I touched, and made an impact on as well. Maybe that is the reason I'm "special." Maybe I've given them wonderful things that they can't put into words. We don't think about things from other's perspectives- its too hard, its all speculation, etc etc. But why not? Why not assume the positive instead of the negative? If these people have had such impact on me, why not assume I have had the same for them? Just food for thought.

We could wait until someone dies to share how much we care about them. But why wait? Why not share what's on your bursting heart now? It feels really good. It's also contagious, and it grows on itself- giving is expansion, and when I give and share my good feelings, it makes me just want to do it more.

It feels like peace, and like I won't have the regret later that I wanted to but didn't. I'm committing right here to giving my all now, while I can. I've wasted enough time. I don't want to waste another minute. Will I be perfect? No. I'm gonna get out there and tell you I love you. Happy So look out!

Have I Told You Lately

Hammy (Brian) and I, Dec. 2002. Caption is from my movie "story" I did for a
support group (only copy of photo I could find at the moment). This guy has
been there through all my worst times for nearly 20 years, and
I'm very lucky to have him on my side now for all the good!

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This picture also shows, at my sickest point - even though I hadn't had sugar in a year,
my teeth were still rotting out and yellowed- major systems were shutting down.
I'm unbelievably thankful to be here, and Thanksgiving Day is a hallmark for me.

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all we have is now.

This is a portion of what I have on my facebook "about me" section, since the day I signed up in 2008 (as close to any "profile" as I get):

Life is beautiful and short. Enjoy it and each other while you can. The end. I have a glass full disposition on life. I try to always see the good in people & situations. I believe in living each day as if it were the last. I don't beat around the bush. I'm not afraid to be real. I believe in dreams. I believe everyone has an intrinsic, authentic truth & tend to seek it out. I will never stop learning and exploring. I ask a lot of questions, especially why & what do you mean? I like being alone. I like being with you. What you see is what you get. I'm an ordinary person. I'm an extraordinary person. I wear my heart on my sleeve.

The world lost a special lady named Hazel today. She was someone that was sweet, loving, generous, and affectionate to me, she was a grandmother and mother, among other things, had a cozy house filled with cherished memories and photos of loved ones, comforts, and vintage delights in that pink and moss green hue of the 60s.

Was I nice to people at the grocery store serving me today? Not consistently, no.

Did I take the time to smile to people I encountered today? I did attempt this, but wholeheartedly and always in the moment, no.

This pains me because we are so often on autopilot, so self-absorbed with our own thoughts, so hurried, that rarely do we even fully acknowledge each other.

I learned the lesson early on that people are what matter (another post to get into the why). Do I live every day and each moment like it is my last? Sadly, no. I know it might be difficult to do so, but for as much as I know and believe that
all we have is now, there is a disconnect in the daily grind from experiencing this kind of reality more often, as much as I wish I did.

Only with hard losses, struggle, and unexpected wake up calls are we jolted back into remembering.

I'm going to work on getting to this place more, hopefully without the painful paths it usually takes to get me there.


The heart may freeze
Or it can burn
The pain will ease
If I can learn

There is no future
There is no past
I live this moment
As my last

There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret
Or life is yours to miss

No other road
No other way
No day but today

There's only now
There's only here

Give in to love
Or live in fear
No other path
No other way

No day but today.

~ From my favorite musical Rent

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Today.
grannyhazel

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betty maxine.

My Grandma, Betty Maxine, is my heart. We've always been very close, and she is the only grandparent I've ever known. She fills me with joy, makes me laugh with her quick wit and terrific sense of humor, and is a lot of fun to be around. She makes me smile. She loves to snuggle. I definitely got my sense of style (and love of shoes!) from her, and maybe also my strength. She is incredibly strong and has been through so much in her 92 years. She gets knocked down, but she gets back up every time, and never gives up.

We've had great fun over the years- many, many sleepovers where we lie in bed together talking until the wee hours (she loves this, as do I!)... cooking at 1am, playing cards, laughing, watching Hallmark channel movies, visits to the Secret Diner. She lives with my parents now, more frail than in the past, but still giving it everything she's got.

This is a bracelet I made her because her wrists are too small for conventional bracelets. It is simple and didn't take me long to make. She loves it, wears it every day, and says it brings her good luck. It means so much to me that it means so much to her... she shows it to me proudly every time I visit. My Grammy is love.

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Getting pretty at my vanity
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That one time I beat her at cards... very rare! Happy
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the world is changed...

This first line of the book!:

"You put two things together that have not been put together before. And the world is changed. People may not notice at the time, but that doesn't matter. The world has been changed nonetheless."

"We live on the flat, on the level, and yet--and so--we aspire. Groundlings, we can sometimes reach as far as the gods. Some soar with art, others with religion; most with love. But when we soar, we can also crash. There are few soft landings. We may find ourselves bouncing across the ground with leg-fracturing force, dragged towards some foreign railway line. Every love story is a potential grief story. If not at first, then later. If not for one, then for the other. Sometimes, for both.

So why do we constantly aspire to love? Because love is the meeting point of truth and magic. Truth, as in photography; magic, as in ballooning."

~ From Levels of Life, By Julian Barnes
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love.

Can't sleep can't work can't do anything warm fuzzies that are at the beginning of any relationship (honeymoon phase) and are so undeniably tempting and all consuming.  

Just because you've had them before doesn't mean you are ever immune to them (if you are still human). They keep coming, nature's way of helping further our species, I can feel that in my body, truly. We may have even very recently been dragged through agony, heartache and pain, and yet we run towards the light with our arms wide open and outstretched, hoping that perhaps this time will be different. It has to be. We keep learning and growing and try to quit falling in the same potholes that got us into dead end situations, but we are nonetheless so imperfect, and still utterly our same, vulnerable, flawed selves when this new opportunity shows up at our doorsteps.

The kind that you can't not talk about to everyone you see. An enlightened education into what unbridled joy means.

Hormones flood our brains with confusion and rose colored glasses. It doesn't matter. There is nothing I could have done to stop this. And I wouldn't want to. For now, I'm letting the fire burn and seeing where it leads.

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