"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Monday, December 14, 2015

35 Years, Pain and Pleasure....No Regrets

Today I am 35. Life is grand and heartbreaking and strange and beautifully poignant. Life is also dull and dragging and overwhelming. At 35 I am feeling more alive and fresh than I thought I would but I am also more grounded, at peace with crazy things and addicted to learning than I have ever been.

I am living a totally charmed life in many ways but have had some things happen to me that I never thought would occur, things that scared the living daylights out of me. I almost lost my marriage in my 30's. I got arrested and subsequently had to go to court to fight for my fitness as a parent. I held one of my sons in my arms while his lips turned blue and saw him pull back from the edge of death. I have lived in big houses and small apartments and historic properties and left "home" over and over. I've lost grandparents and aunts, had friends break-up with me spectacularly and had a neighbor decided to wage a massive war of hatred over our hedge because she was certain that I was a thief. I have become an aunt, raised baby animals, become a painter, traveled internationally and learned that extended family is one of the sweetest and most humbling gifts I've been given.

 Family drive us crazy but they know us. They help us learn tolerance and can teach us by their irritating rub, to grow past the demons that trip up the clan in all the familiar ways. As a wise man once said, "If you think you are enlightened, go home for Thanksgiving." Family also know us utterly and can accept us despite our super irritatingly uninhibited flaws that flash as soon as we feel "home" and relax. There is nothing like the security of siblings and cousins who tussled and tumbled with you and know the lore and jokes of your tribe. I know its very trendy right now to cut people out of your life if they rub, irritate or hurt you....I think, especially with family, its wiser to learn how to interact. Boundaries within interactions are good, maturity is good and compassion is a must. I am shocked how much I have learned the truth of the fact that that which drives me most monkey-bonkers crazy about my relatives is somehow a shadow quality in myself. Its embarrassing but its there. Not running away but instead learning to be strong and to co-exist with irritation and pain and to take responsibility for our own path, to learn to have allegiance, and even cultivate a fondness for these flawed people with whom we have been tossed up on the shores of life....who love and are driven crazy by us too in the same tortured dance. This is family and intimacy and humility and the great mirror that is long-term relationship.

I am lucky to be me. I am learning so  much about myself and about A and about life. I am utterly grateful for the peace and beauty of my life. The world is gorgeous and I have lived in it so lusciously, I lived a pretty charmed childhood in a log house my dad built by hand, I have four gorgeous sons and have never had a miscarriage, I have had my own chickens and fruit trees and vegetable gardens as well as so many beautiful flowers in every home I've ever had, I have never been in a natural disaster of any serious scale and have never seen someone die of anything besides old age.  I am also so grateful for the things that have happened to me that were painful. People have left me and accused me and hated me. I have been hurt and scared and have felt like I'd made a botch of everything. I have had to do things the hard way and felt like everything was a mess and my life was out of control. I've been embarrassed and felt out of my depth and Its been so good. That's where the growing has been, the humility, the changes, the grit and the healing. I'm so glad that I've had my path.

I'm trying to live with courage and heart and full-engagement. I am so proud of myself for my learning, my resilience and for protecting my sense of fresh amazement at the world. I feel so lucky to be in my life and yet so specifically called to it....I know my life was meant for me, We are all here, where we should be and our paths are divinely laid out. This is my 35th year....a perfect mid-life stopping point for reflection.  I hope I always keep learning, always look up, and always am receptive to God leading me on because my wiggly, slippery story is the most perfectly messy-delicious and useful lesson I could ever have imagined.

“This is an important lesson to remember when you're having a bad day, a bad month, or a shitty year. Things will change: you won't feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can't feel real joy unless you've felt heartache. You can't have a sense of victory unless you know what it means to fail. You can't know what it's like to feel holy until you know what it's like to feel really fucking evil. And you can't be birthed again until you've died.” -Kelly Cutrone


  1. This, this is delightfully similar to my own life's journey and landing in Amsterdam on my 62 nd birthday to follow God around Europe to much humble acclaim is proving to be very much delicious. Two weeks remain as I write from a hostel in Belfast. Blessings. You get life as you get to live..venture on Carpe Diem

  2. I am in awe. Prayers that your new home state gives you the freedom to stretch your soul to its limitless delight as it has done for so many transplants.