Recent randomness I could not make up if I tried

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Just a brief summary of my week:

Go on Tinder – meet a real human being. Weird.

Go to Missoula with kids – look at a rental house that I can`t walk all the way into because of the bad energy I feel and go running out.  I am now convinced that a. reincarnation exists, and b. I lived in Missoula in another life (I shit you not). Tell current love interest that I think I am the reincarnated soul of Sacagawea. A girl can dream.

Have best vacation ever in Missoula and find it hard to believe I will be moving there in a month.

I have the best kids ever. They make me more.

Meet a cool lady who asks me to live in her basement, a woman from Regina who is a server in Bigfork, and a couple whose daughter took creative writing at the University of Montana (SO FUCKING WEIRD)

Camp at the best campsite ever on the shore of Flathead Lake. Definitely died and went to heaven for a day.

Get home and find Divorce Certificate in mail. Weird that it`s not weird or even very important.

Happy to be me, here, and now. Weird and grateful.

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Sometimes it takes a Flashing Neon Sign

I’m in Missoula with my kids, ready to head back towards home. We came here so I could pick out a place to live when I come here in the fall to belatedly complete my English Degree, with a minor in Creative Writing. A separate entry will be required for all of the crazy coincidences that have been pummeling me for the last week. I will deal with just the one here. I am trying to choose a campground or two to stay at for the two remaining days of our trip.

 

Ok universe, ok.   I tried to pick a campground based on convenience to our route home; it should be in the mountains, because what is the point to being in Montana sans mountains;  the presence of showers and a nice lake or creek is also a prerequisite, and possibly activities we would be interested in. There are approximately 17,342 campgrounds in Montana. But the universe keeps leading me back to Wayfarers State Park on Flathead Lake (I fell in love with the location on a previous finding-myself-trip to Montana). Ok. OK! OK ALREADY!!! I don’t know why this is so important to the universe, but I learned when it hit me on the head last year to listen. Maybe I’m supposed to save the world from there, or maybe the zombie apocalypse will break out while we are there, and it is the ideal place to pit in; but clearly I have to go there and camp with my kids.

 

My boys do have an arsenal of new Nerf weapons purchased while we were in Missoula. One of our zombie apocalypse scenarios involves the undead horde’s suprising but useful vulnerability to orange foam Nerf bullets. So in an A Prayer for Owen Meany kind of a way, maybe it is all falling together.

I`ll let you know.

Next entry: The house in old Missoula that freaked me the F out.

Stupid ascendant horoscope knows me too well

Jul 15, 2014

Today’s Horoscope for Scorpio

You can learn the difference between power and force today, Scorpio, as the reactive Moon perfectly aligns with gossamer Neptune in your romance zone. To begin with, it’s hard to get a clear picture of who turns you on, let alone to categorize them. And fuggedabout trying to pressure anyone into doing things your way. Your true power comes from doing what’s in your heart, not having power over people. If a soul mate connection is budding, there’s no need to micromanage it. It’ll blossom in its own sweet time.
 
How the hell do they know that I don’t know the difference between power and force? Is it that obvious? Stupid life lessons. 

Things I wish someone would have told 22-year-old-me

To my younger self,

I know that things may seem difficult, or frustrating, now. You may be impatient for your “life” to begin; you may feel cheated or betrayed by things that have happened, sorrows you have suffered. You think that you know what is important to you, and even what will make you happy. You look at people around you that seem to have everything, and you wish that you could have what they have. You know you are smart, talented, hard-working, and that you have “everything going for you”, even if you know that part is just on paper. You are right about the last part. But let me explain to you what I have learned about the rest.

1.  You live your life in the journey. Don’t roll your eyes at me. I am you: older, wiser, a better golfer, and by the way, better looking and funnier, too, so cut me some slack and listen for a bit. Patience will be one of the hardest won rewards you will earn. But you will find it, bit by miniscule painful bit. Remember when you thought you would absolutely die waiting for Christmas morning to come, or the spring thaw so you could finally get out and throw a softball with Ange? You learned to solder through those interminable waits, didn`t you? Granted, some are more heart-wrenching, and anxiety-filled, and lonely, but with the right frame of mind, you can get through other periods of waiting, too. Waiting for your first love; waiting for your first big tournament win; waiting for news on a health condition, or a case that you ran, or for a particularly savage winter to finally end. And while you wait, as many wise people have said, your life is lived, and your stories are made.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you spend your entire life waiting, you are wasting those years, sometimes staring intently in the wrong direction. But if you know in your heart that something is worth waiting for, then wait. It may be that what you find is different than what you thought you were looking for, but the process will bear fruit.

2. Everything happens for a reason. This doesn’t mean that you are “destined” to experience or accomplish certain things. But everything that happens to you is a lesson that will serve you well later. You won`t know it at the time, and it will hurt like hell, to lose your first boyfriend, or lose a spot on the provincial team to someone four years younger than you, or find that your best friend has been telling tales told to her in confidence.

Honestly, I don’t know if these lessons only become important if certain things happen later on in your life. But I know that they are important, and that they start to make a strange sort of sense after awhile. If you have a good sense of humour (you do), you will even learn to laugh about it. People will think you’re nuts, but that’s ok. They’re likely the ones missing the boat anyway.

3. You feel things extremely deeply. This is a blessing and a curse. Life from the lens of your psyche is truly a rollercoaster. You will have choices, from time to time, to get off the rollercoaster and board a more gentle, civilized ride. I don’t know what the right decision will be for you. But for me, it was to accept the rollercoaster and learn to deal with the lows. Because the highs make it somehow worth it. And you are a creative soul, and even the lows bear their own bitter fruit.

4. You think that you know what is important to you. You might be right. But I am pretty sure you are wrong, and were wrong for a couple of decades, at least. This isn’t your fault. You are responding to your environment in the best way you know how. Remember, I know you very well. I know that when you face a difficult decision, you almost literally wage a battle inside you between reason and emotion, logic and instinct. I know every decision you have ever made, and I have lived the consequences of them. So believe me when I say: trust your instincts. Always. Even when they don`t make sense. Trust what they are telling you about you, and what is important to you. It may save you from trying to please everyone before taking care of yourself. It may seem crazy, but if your heart keeps telling you to do it, carpe diem and do it. Because if you don’t, you’ll come back around the circle again and face it again later, and the decision may be that much more difficult to make.

5. You think that you know what will make you happy. I guess you know this already, on some level. But you are prone to making decisions that will make you feel secure, and loved, and wanted, and envied, and important. Do these things make you happy, or do they just fill a void? What makes you happy? What do you do when you have complete freedom to choose what to do with your day? Use that as a guide. Hint: it involves being outside, and being around people, and the sun. Always the sun.

6. The people around you that seem to have everything, don’t. I’m not saying that there aren’t things to strive for, but you will never know the burdens that others carry. You might be able to catch a glimpse of them at times, but you do not know what demons they battle. It may be mental illness, or low self-esteem, or a history of abuse, or they may be surrounded by emotional vampires. Try not to wish that you are someone else, because that is a luxury you will never be afforded. Turn your face to the sun each day and soak up whatever happiness is available to you, that day, period.

7. If it feels wrong, don’t do it. Really. It’s actually that simple.

8. You learn from mistakes. Always. That means that you will make mistakes, because you don’t believe it until you see it. But you already know this. Remember this when you start beating yourself up for a big mistake. It’s your way, and you always learn from it, so accept it and enjoy the ride.

9. Don’t do what other expect of you, or make decision to please others. This works for some people, at least on a superficial level. It will not work for you. Why? You know why. Because you are a free spirit and you need to float on the wind, and dance in the rain, and laugh in the face of adversity. This is what makes you feel alive. Try to remember this and be mindful of it every single day.

10. Money doesn’t matter. Don’t stop reading here. This is important. You’re happy right? You sometimes barely have enough money to buy a coffee on the way to class, and you have to save up for that skirt you saw in Club Monaco last week. You have been taught that money is important and that you should feel anxious if you don’t have enough. That is total bullshit. Don’t buy into it. If you want money, go out and earn some. But don’t let it run your life.

11. Don’t burn bridges. Unless you really know that you don’t ever want to travel that bridge again. Then blow that shit up.

12. When you have repetitive bad dreams, it is because you are not listening to the universe. What is bothering you? What conflict or difficulty are you avoiding? Deal with it, and the dreams will go away.

13. Sleep. Sleep at night, nap in the day. I know that you love your bed, the silky, cool, clean feel of the covers as you slide in on a lazy afternoon with the sun shining in the window. You are happy there. To hell with the rest of the world; sleep is therapy for you. So use it.

14. You have a kind, loving, generous heart. You got this from your mom. Don’t roll your eyes at me. You know that your mom always acts from her heart and would do anything for you. You have this in you, too, and it is one of your strengths. Don’t let anyone tell you that it is a sign of weakness, because they are wrong. It will gather wonderful people around you, and it will help you identify who is not worthy of your limitless ability to love. Don’t hide it behind a facade.

15. Swing on the swings, dance in the rain, say things that might get you into trouble. Make choices just because they feel right. That is where the living begins, and that is where the greatest stories are made. And you always will love a great story. And with any luck, some day you will write it as well.

 

Transformations

I have lived my entire life in Canada. Since I can remember, I have known that the climate is not for me. But life offers sometimes inexplicable paths, and today I am prepared to believe that it is nothing more nefarious than that. The path has led me here, after all.

I have struggled. I have struggled with depression; with betrayal by those I have loved; with betraying my own dreams and needs, and no doubt those of others as well. I am blessed, however, with a supportive family, amazing friends (old and new), two amazing children, and a resiliency that I thought was tattered beyond repair.

I still struggle with faith, and with finding meaning and sense. I realize that everyone doesn’t need to make sense of the world. But I do, and that is perhaps my blessing and my curse. But through some miracle I have faith in myself, and a vision of a new life that begins again each day, with a new day. And I am learning to let that be enough.

I have had a lost weekend of sorts, but without the benefit of a Yoko or her personal assistant. I am on what may be the last trip of that lost weekend, before I return to reality, such as it is. And this is what I have discovered in the last 7 months:

1 – I’m the most myself when I’m doing something a little irreverent, a little crazy, a little bit spontaneous, or all of the above. I know this because the people that really know me tell me this all the time. And I think they know it because I have proven it to them over and over again. This is a lesson in surrounding yourself with the right people, the people that make you MORE, the people that don’t want to change you.
2 – I am, as a recent husband told me, a flower that wilts and may even die if left out of the sun too long. Lesson learned. I know this and remind myself every time I breathe the warm air of summer at home, or of the winter somewhere civilized. And if I permit myself to forget this lesson, I will wilt again.
3 – I will either marry again numerous times (two completed marriages so far – I now object to calling them “failures”), or not at all.
4 – Writing is teaching me patience. I write when the mood strikes me; I write what inspires me on a given day. And I don’t give myself deadlines, I just try to write, or even just think about characters and plot lines, every day.
5 – I don’t need to be the parent I planned to be two marriages ago. I will be the parent that follows her heart and gives her children all the love and acceptance that follows from that. I think I will be providing mostly love and adventure more so than stability, but I’ve decided that’s why kids have two parents – their dad seems to be pretty much dialled in on the stability part.
6 – The universe is always speaking. You just need to listen, and sometimes take a leap of faith. Sometimes daily. And if you don’t, you will literally be struck on the head repeatedly until you start to listen. In my case, I had two concussions in two months that made me reassess everything that was left after my second marriage dissolved into a sinkhole.
7 – This will be a terrifying way to live. But I’ve never really been scared of much, so what the hell.
8 – Change is a constant, and ought not be feared. See 8, above.
9 – I’m happy.

That’s a pretty good list of accomplishments in seven short months, I figure. And I suppose on the days I feel like I haven’t accomplished very much, I can just remember how I felt a year ago, look to tomorrow, and smile. Or skip along the sidewalk or go for a swing in the park or have another ice cream cone, should it strike my fancy.

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