I’m No Expert

Brave quoteConfession time: I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.

What’s interesting about this is that I am a contributor on sites for moms, single and otherwise. And I’m invited all the time into conversations. Asked to write posts. First, let me say this is awesome. People connecting with my story and my style of writing is an absolute dream come true. Yes.

But. (There’s always a but.)

More and more I am realizing that I don’t have answers and it feels false to write listicle (you know, the “6 things you need to know about…”) after listicle about a topics where I feel wildly un-expert.

Also, I didn’t ask to be a divorce expert. In no way did I ever want to even know what this feels like. And so, I’ve just been quiet. I know I could pump out great prose… but should I? That’s the question that’s been haunting me for the last several weeks, where I’ve been silent on some of the sites I write for.

When I first separated I went all out into the world with my thoughts, feelings, and advice. Don’t misunderstand, I know that I have things that people can relate to. But responding to prompts about how to do your separation and divorce, when I am feeling like I am just grasping at straws in a long, dark, winding tunnel, feels weird.

(And parenting? Even less so! Dating? I adore my man-friend, but expert? Not even close.)

The process of divorce is non-linear and I am a person who likes progression. Clear paths. I work with short term goals and project plans. And this? There’s nothing logical about it.

I went from being all shouty in the early days and like HERE’S WHAT THIS IS to um, hello, world, are you there? It’s me Kate and this is uncharted territory.  Throw me a life-jacket, please? 

Which, frankly, is probably a really good sign. When I get shouty and certain? Totally when I am least sure of anything at all but dammit, I’m gonna make you (me) believe that I’ve got it covered.

When I say, “I’m fine.” I’m not.

When I say, “I don’t need help with that.” I do.

When I say, “Eh, don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.” I am bullshitting the hell out of you.

My offering to you on this subject matter, dear readers, is that it’s ok to admit that you really don’t know what you’re doing– and then keep on keeping the fuck on.

I don’t know how to date, really. But I am anyway.

I don’t know how to parent, really. But I am anyway.

I don’t know how to survive divorce, really. But I am anyway.

I used to think that my schtick was truth telling at all costs– and as you know, I am a very truthy gal. I tell (and write) it like it is. But more and more, I feel like I am connecting with “do the thing” as my north star. The best thing that I can do. My guide post.

The past couple of years of finding out the very hard truth about my marriage, to single parenting, to dating, to putting my needs at the top of the list, have had one common theme: DO. THE. THING. Even when it feels like I absolutely could not, or that I would fail and face-plant spectacularly… I did it anyway.

Which brings me back to a piece of writing from right after my thyroid surgery, where we discovered the tiny spots of cancer:

You need not always be strong, but you must be brave.

Brave is being terrified and doing it anyway. Brave is one foot in front of the other. Brave is taking the leap and trusting that the parachute will open at the last minute, violently pulling you up… only to gently float you back to earth a moment later. Brave is showing up even when you can’t find the words to say. Brave is letting yourself cry when you want them all to think you’re fine.

What prompted this? Well friends, there’s an end date for the marriage. 15 minutes in court a couple of months from now, where a judge will tell me that I can have my name back and finalize agreements. Where I will raise my right hand and swear that shit, I never saw this coming, but here I am. Right here.

And I have no idea what to do, say, or feel about it.

Relief? Sadness? Grief? Anger? Closure? Ambivalence?

But guess what? I will be there. And I will do the thing.

I’m no expert, but I will show up. And keep showing up. Cause sometimes that’s the very best we can do.

xo

 

 

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Monday Short

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 8.05.10 AM.pngOh hey Monday, we meet again.

I’d like to be one of those people who views you as a fresh start, a new opportunity and give ya a fist bump, but really?

You’re sort of annoying in your relentless happening OVER AND OVER.

But since I can’t do too much about the spinning of the planet and the passing of time, I will leave you with one of my favorite songs of all time, ever and always.

MANIC MONDAY!

Go out and do good things, friends. Make Monday your beesh.

xo

 

 

[Recycled Post] On Boy Parts, from a Boy Mom

Published on SammichesPsychMeds, On Boy Parts, from a Boy Momis one of my favorite things I’ve written. It’s super honest, kind of silly, but day-in-day-out truth. Please enjoy this #RecycledPost!

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 9.54.19 PMCan we talk about penises for a sec?

They are central to conversation: “Did you pee? Where does it hurt? Do we still have that powder? You have to wear pants. Ok fine, you have to wear underwear. Yes, it is funny when you shake it like that. Don’t shake it like that at me. Yes, awesome that you can pee in an X when you stand together around the toilet. Yes, that is team-work. Is the seat down? It’s caught in WHAT? No, I did not know it could do that; I am amazed at its ever growing list of talents.”

The having of said penis is clearly something gravely missing in me as extolled loudly by my 4-year-old in a public bathroom filled with women: “Mama, so where is your penis? Why don’t you have a penis again? How do you pee? Oh, you have a China? Is that where you poop out the egg?”

I remember being super freaked out when I was pregnant with my first son at the fact that there was a teeny little penis growing inside my body. My body was growing a man-part. And my body is all female. In a world of current events focused on gender neutrality, feminism and equal rights (all elements that I loudly support; thanks 70s mom who had “It’s a Person!” printed on my baby announcement) I am pink, pink, pink. I played with Barbies and baby dolls and ponies. I was a ballerina with tutus and a bedroom with pink walls, pink carpet, pink shams, pink closet door fixtures, pink lamp shades, pink duvet and pounds of pastel-colored stuffed animals.

I lived in a fluffy fantasy world of my own making and spent countless hours engaged in one of my favorite past-times: giggling and talking with girlfriends. At first, on my bright neon orange extended-chord phone as a teenager, then in Seattle coffee shops with lattes and broken hearts in college, and finally, over bottles of wine and west village NYC noise in my 20s. I am an only child with a gaggle of female cousins and to this day, I am not sure I really get the whole male/female friendship dynamic. I don’t know men who are just friends, really.

Point being: penises were not ever in my vernacular. In fact, all I remember from Sex Ed in 5th grade is the video of the mom who made pancakes in the shape of the female anatomy when the little girl got her period for the first time during a sleepover at her friend’s house. That was traumatizing enough (YOU try eating pancakes after that shit) and I was so happy they did not go into the details on the male parts. I mean, that would have permanently sullied the beautiful pages of my Lisa Frank unicorn notebook.

I was terrified of ever seeing a penis, then later sort of mystified at how they worked. I never, ever imagined what a central role they’d play in my life. When the boys were tiny babies I got really passionate about not circumcising; I’m already worried about condom usage and how to have that conversation and I’ve demonstrated quite a few times how proper washing of penises should be handled (pun intended).

And don’t get me started on the dog and how his just sort of sticks out every once in awhile when he really needs to pee; air humping like the time he met the sassy poodle at the dog park and her owner got all ruffled. He’s fixed dude, chill. The only penis in this house I have zero to do with is the cat. Coincidence that he’s my favorite? I think not.

I’ve read list after list about being a #boymom and yes, there is something really, truly special (read: aggravating, terrifying, exhausting and wonderful) about being the only lady-part in a house of all dudes. Please hear me:  I don’t dislike the penises, in fact, I rather enjoy them. I just wish that sometimes, some days, I could make it to my first cup of coffee without seeing one.

A girl can dream.

 

Be My Guest: 1

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 6.50.25 PM.pngYou know when like, you totally SHOULD have had an idea months ago, but it just never occurred to you to actually do it, and someone points it out and you literally want to slap your forehead?

Welcome to Guests Posts on I Hold Your Heart!

A dear friend of mine, who I have known since 2nd grade and is gorgeous, brilliant, fabulous and a mom to the CUTEST little buttons out there texted me and was like “I have a piece, I wrote a thing, do you have guest posts?”

I DO NOW!

[Small plug: if you are reading this and are like, “I have a thing to say, I want to get my feet wet, I want a blog but am a little nervous to start” and you want to submit?! Please comment and we’ll connect.]

Please join me in welcoming our first little guest post which is straight out of the brain and heart of a mama of two littles. I love her realness about the little things. ❤


Don’t freak out! It’s just a bow! Ok, a Sparkly Bow

It’s 8:00 a.m. and we are leaving our house with bags, lunches and bottles. After collecting a pool of sweat on my lower back, and hoping it doesn’t show through my shirt when I get to work, I reach daycare.

Ahhhh, daycare! The happy place where you can leave your kids and go to work and get some rest from parenting. When we arrive the teachers are frantically scrambling around looking for…. a bow. A bow….? A sparkly bow…..? A sparkly bow that must have magic powers I’m sure to evoke this response from the teachers.

And then it hits me, the lightbulb comes on, it’s not the bow, it’s the annoying parent that is attached to the bow. The parent that stuck the sparkly bow in her perfect daughter’s hair and will flip out about if it’s not located. A bow. Seriously.

Now, I’m not rich, and I know we all spend a lot on our kids, but really…..a bow! But, don’t think this phenomenon is only associated with bows. There are also the infamous sippy cups. Parents also flip out if their dear child’s sippy cup has been misplaced. Have you misplaced things at home with your children running around? Now add ten more screaming toddlers, and see how well you do keeping it all straight.

Bows, cups, towels, shirts, I mean seriously, get over it!

If any of us were so great at the job, we would be home doing the job with ten kids and we are not, we are safely hidden away at work, where things are predictable, bows don’t get lost and your coffee mug (adult sippy cups) never leaves your eyesight so as to not be mixed up with the other coffee mugs lurking about the office.

So the next time a care provider says we can’t find little Timmy’s cup or little Jenny’s bow, say “no worries, I’ll get another one at (insert your favorite store here),” or in reality just grab another from the five million you have at home, so that the people who care for your children for eight hours a day or more, aren’t spending their energy searching for a bow, but instead taking care of your kid.

And in the future, LEAVE ALL SPARKLY BOWS AT HOME! And we wonder why our kids flip out and struggle with the small things….

10:30 Spaghetti

My stomach is growling so loudly that my co worker can hear it next door. It’s only 10:30.

Yes, I ate breakfast, of course I did.

What self respecting mom of two doesn’t know to eat something in the morning after dropping off the kids at daycare.

Today, the yogurt is failing me. I even got the fancy Greek kind packed with protein. What’s wrong with me? I’m so hungry. Then I remember, I don’t think I ate dinner. I know I cooked dinner, I know my kids ate, but did I? Inquiring minds want to know.

After having kids you learn to like cold food, in fact if it’s even luke warm you feel like you’re at Ruth Chris Steakhouse with the sizzling plate.

But last night, I think I might have missed it. It’s so much easier to drink wine while making plates then actually making and eating your own plate. So I think I’ve solved the mystery. I missed dinner and I’m hungry.

But I did pack lunch. (Gotta save a buck by bringing my lunch to work. My husband finds this awesome of me, and he thanks me for the assistance towards the family budget.) But, it’s only 10:30. Should I eat now, and risk looking like the greedy lady who can’t wait until a respectable lunch time at least 11:45 a.m. That sounds better.

So I rummage through my desk drawer for sustenance and find Reese’s Pieces mini cups. Ohhh, the dark chocolate kind. I think I read something somewhere about antioxidants in dark chocolate. Could this tide me over for the next hour and fifteen minutes until the respectable lunch time, or will I go on a sugar high where my heart starts racing and I can’t focus and get any work done?

What else is in here….peanut butter crackers. YES! I can eat a package of those and that will surely last me.

Then I think about, who cares? I want my spaghetti and meat sauce, and yes, it’s 10:30.

So that’s is, today is 10:30 spaghetti day, and it’s all because I forgot to eat dinner.

 

Monise Brown is a wife and mother of two, a two year old and a seven month old.  She works as an attorney in Maryland.  She enjoys going to the spa, reading a good book and seeing a movie every now and then when she gains control of the remote control at home.

 

 

Grown-up Time Out.

13987578_10209388527901514_8504823255364196447_oSo, you may have noticed some things were weird this summer… “wow she seems to be home, like, A LOT.”

Yup. I gave myself a grown-up timeout. Last school year, and especially during the springtime, I was doing too fucking much. And I was writing post after post about my health, my inability to do it all, how I couldn’t have it all, and how I needed to really be reminded to focus on self care.

Yet.

I was still doing all the things. And I was losing it. I was so, so, so tired. I was grumpy. I was saying yes to everything when my insides were screaming NO NO NO. All of the things were good and fulfilling: writing, work, running, community theater, dating, kids, volunteering. But my rope was short and becoming more so by the day– I was about to crack.

So I did a thing. I admitted it. I told my boss that I was just overwhelmed by ALL THE THINGS and proposed time off. I also started saying no. To everything and everyone. I narrowed my “yes” list way, way, way down: me, kids, new man-friend. And added Game of Thrones. Cause Jon Snow.

Hear me on this: I took 7 weeks off this summer and actually no one died.

I returned today and as it turns out– they didn’t need me to keep the world spinning. That whole giant universe resting on my shoulders? Not actually a thing. Good, smart people made great choices and just made due (very, very successfully) while I took some time for self care.

Are they glad I’m back? Most likely.

Cause there are things I do, people I manage and decisions I help make that are important. But nothing crumbled. Nothing came to a grinding halt.

And now, will I encourage them to make a big decision around their own self care? Absolutely.

This summer, I let myself just BE. I gave myself permission to not run as much and eat a little more ice cream. To say yes to a camping trip with the new man-friend and a bunch of folks I didn’t know. To binge watch GoT and take naps. To take date days with little boys and really enjoy them. To write or not write as I felt compelled.

At the time I was contemplating this time off, it felt HUGE. It felt like, there is NO WAY I can ask for this for myself. But, when I took the leap and it was received with a YES, I felt the biggest weight just lift off my shoulders. The several weeks of looking forward to it were ALMOST better than the actual time off; it was the knowing it was out there. Knowing there was a reprieve coming.

Friends, what’s one thing you could do today to remove a burden you are carrying? Can you ask for help? Can you accept a favor? Do you need some time away? Do you need to eat rich food and not care about the calories? Do you need a long walk with your dog?

Whatever the thing is that’s secretly lurking in your heart, can you take a step toward it today?

Do it. Just do the thing.

xo

 

Spark

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 9.31.16 AMRelationships y’all.

I had yet another friend send me a beautiful piece she wrote about fully becoming herself. About undoing the story she had so carefully assembled, painting number by number until we all believed the masquerade. The gorgeous home, perfect backyard BBQs, beautiful child, incredible careers.

“Not THEM?! They were perfect.”

The story is played out over and over. We do what we think we should because that’s what we’re raised to believe is the one right way. You become a grown up, you get married, you have the babies and that’s it, right? That’s the finish line. Yay! Trophies for all.

Except. So many of us, so actual fucking many of us, didn’t really want that but did it anyway. I read her describe not wanting to be a wife, not fantasizing about a wedding as a child and going, YES, me actually too. I was also that girl who just knew she wouldn’t ever fit anyone’s mold. I knew I wanted babies, but I didn’t really want to be a wife. When I played “house” the Daddy was always away or just not.

I am not saying I didn’t love my husband- I did, very much.

But the prescribed roles. The turning into a mock version of ourselves. The hanging just outside of the frame, writing the story but not actually being IN it (which OMG, hang onto your hats when you read Glennon’s new book; cause she talks exactly about this and I was like YES YES YES ME TOO ME TOO. More on her book soon).

All of that? Nope. Just nope.

I had a thought come into my head yesterday; it was sort of just placed there and I went “huh look at you, yes.”

Side note: of course, I texted it to the man-friend somewhat mysteriously and it probably (absolutely) made no sense out of the context of my brain and constant, un-dying, inner monologue, and he was super gracious and like “say more about that baby” (he’s so kind)…

The thought: I want to do relationships well. Not in any way based on “should” but on “well.”

See, there was this playbook that we all somehow agreed to without even knowing it and so many of us, mostly the creative weird ones, were like “this doesn’t fit.” It’s itchy. It’s twisted in the wrong places. It’s just not me. It’s should.

But we marched forward anyway. We walked down the aisle and we gave it our best. The problem is that our “best” didn’t match our insides and the dissonant chords made it so hard to hear anything else. If you’re like me, you tried to control the shit outta that situation so the masquerade would hold up. You single handedly kept the world spinning.

No wonder you’re tired.

My friend messaged me the other day and told me about a dream she had, starring yours truly:

…you were starting a piece of wood on fire to make your point and said, “everyone thinks you need all this fancy stuff, when all you really need is a little spark.” Then using a flint with a couple of sparks, the wood started to crackle!!

All you need is a little spark.

Friends, this is the same as “do relationships well.” Throw away the damn plans. You don’t need a roaring blaze envisaged with architectural drawings and a side dose of physics, a team of firefighters on standby– you need a spark.

You need to start with one little warm flame that you, together, stoke and kindle. Not following the path laid out for you by anyone else, but created by your jacked up hearts. You learned from the last blaze; you know when things are burning out of control, so take your damn time and learn from the pain. Sit in it, together and for each other.

I don’t know where this next journey is taking us, but I am going to just sit and let it wash over me. I will love my people well. My boyfriend, my kids, my family, my friends. “Well” requires work; “well” requires a team; “well” means reciprocal.

I will do relationships well. 

While I wish this wasn’t a bold statement, it is. It’s the next thing. It’s the next march forward. It’s quieting the dissonance.

I won’t sit this one out.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 11.51.57 AMSo the Bachelorette finale was last night. I don’t actually watch the show, but I get the premise and think I watched it for a minute like 15 seasons ago, when I still kinda thought, “YASSS you can SO FALL for someone in like 5 minutes and make a life out of that!” So, she falls madly in love with several dudes, chooses one, they cry and put a ring on it… and ride off into the sunset. So much like real, actual life!

Then, there’s the flip side: an article I read yesterday about a 41-year-old single mom who is choosing to just not even put herself out there cause she has kids, a divorce… le baggage. She said something about being super sure that no one will want all of her the way she is, so she’ll just sit this one out, thanks. Til they go to college. In like 10 years.

10 years.

As I read it, I wanted to shout “No, Sister, no you do NOT get to sit this one out!” I mean, if you are happy with the sitting out, cool. You do you, Boo. But I got the sense that just beneath her words was a sense of loss. Of longing. And why should she have to?

I might be too optimistic, but I really do think that in all likelihood there’s a partner out there who would be WAY into that woman- just as she is. The problem is that we don’t all fit into the little mold of an online profile; we’re more than 140 characters, but we have been so duped by shows like Bachelorette, Dating Naked, Marriage at First Sight, and on and on… that we think “My jacked up heart can’t POSSIBLY fit the mold. They’ll all swipe left. If he/she doesn’t love me within 5 minutes of reading my story, of hearing my soundbite, then we’re not meant to be.”

Meant to be? Is that really even a thing? Or have we read one (several) too many fairy tales?

10 years is a lot of missed opportunities. So many missed dates. So many missed chances to just have a great make-out sesh with a hot new partner. So many missed chances to figure out who YOU are out there in the dating/love/sex world. I’ve always believed that in the process of moving closer to your truth… you find people along the way who just fit. They fit who you’re becoming; who you are today and want to be tomorrow. Maybe you’ll find that partner. And if not, you’ll have so much fun along the way.

For my part, I refuse to sit this one out. I am currently dating someone who, on paper, we are like NOT a match. He would have swiped left and I (maybe) would not have given him a rose before the credits rolled… except we didn’t. We knew we were attracted to each other, so we tried. We showed up. And then we showed up the next time. And the time after…

I think that’s what I am learning- about relationships being a choice. That you can CHOOSE to show up for another human. Even if they don’t fit all of your checkboxes or you theirs, if you like someone, you work it out. Matters of the heart are always awful and terrifying– but that’s the thing isn’t it? You can’t know the light without the dark. You can’t understand the great soaring heights of tumbling into someone without having experienced a great crash.

And maybe you’ll crash again– but you’ll crash for having soared. ❤

 

 

Game of Thrones or 2016 Election?

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 7.29.14 PMSo I just watched my party nominate the first woman presidential candidate and I got some chills. I had feels y’all. My favorite was hearing the Puerto Rico delegation use the term Presidenta. Somehow hearing the term with the Spanish “a” at the end made it feel really real for me; you don’t hear that very often, or ever before? (Clearly, I need a fact checker.)

But.

Why do I feel so ick? Why do I feel like I need to like justify my joy at this? Why do I wish it wasn’t Her?

I have the shirt. I voted for her in the primary. I’ve donated to the campaign. I ordered my Official Woman Card and love it. I’ve hash-tagged. I went to see her last summer when she was in Charleston because I wanted that piece of HERstory.

I am a strong woman. I work really hard to be a role model for other women on my team. I am proud to have a woman boss, a “Lady” CFO at our company (still chuckling at that one, Google it), and to call out time and again my priorities as a working single mom. I believe that balance is not a real thing, but working it out is and we, as female leaders, have a responsibility to champion that for those coming up behind us.

My birth announcement said “It’s a Person!” for fuck’s sake.

I recently started watching Game of Thrones, simultaneously joining the 21st century and figuring out pop-culture at long last (for now, I can only maintain my cool for so long). My favorite character by far, after one season, is Khaleesi with her bad-assery and heart eating and fire walking. I fucking love her. Game of Thrones though is CRAZY, yet… I actually just texted the man-friend that “GoT actually feels more legit than this shit right now.” At least they’re open about their awfulness. It’s not cloaked in email scandals or threatened by a sociopath who might get the codes to nuclear weapons. They only have swords  and javelin’s for fuck’s sake.

I want this victory to feel clean– and all over the place, at every turn, it feels like, meh, we’ve sort of got this. I want to feel like I can SHOUT IT from the rooftops that a WOMAN won the Presidency by sheer hard work, brains, experience and grit. I don’t want this to feel like a dirty fight. I don’t want anyone to be able to say, “well yeah SHE ONLY won because _____.” I want them to say “She WON” and mean it.

Maybe I am too idealistic and really, maybe we should all just watch GoT or House of Cards to truly understand our political system. Maybe I should give up that little dream of mine.

But I don’t want to. I want it fixed. I want a better system for us, for my kids, for all of our girls. Unfortunately, some part of me feels apathy or maybe the sheer exhaustion of trying to navigate this. It’s only July y’all. We have til November.

We have til November to vote our hearts and our conscience. Make no mistake, Hillary Clinton has my vote. The alternative is too terrifying.

I just wish I could shout it and feel 100% WITH HER.

 

 

 

I am so fine.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 10.35.14 AMHi y’all, just a little note from this sister today…

Here’s the thing about writing for me: by the time I hit publish, I am like “YES, it’s out in the world, sweet relief!” And I move along. I need writing like some people need oxygen. It’s the way I move through stuff; always have. Once upon a time in my Lisa Frank notebook, now on the internet for all the world to see. Which sometimes I forget. That you can see it. And that, now, there are more than 1 or 2 of you reading this.

Let me tell you that here in this space and in all of the places I write, you will see and hear me be sad. Mad. Frustrated. Happy. Loved. Loving. Snarky. Silly. Remember, I am now feeling all the FEELS! So there’ll be one or two.

And let’s not forget the editorial process… whereby I submit something and weeks or months later editors are like, YUP, post this puppy! So see, I pour my heart out and move along. Then they release it into the world– my word babies become theirs and it’s sometimes exactly how I still feel, and other times just a snapshot in time of what was.

I don’t know quite why I felt like I needed to write this today– I don’t want to dance around some of the snarkiness or sadness I’ve felt lately, cause that’s super genuine. I just always forget that other people are going to read it. Cause forever I would write and write and NO ONE WAS READING. But now you are and I am so grateful that you take time to let me in. To say “me too.” It means the world.

Overall: I am so fine. Better than fine. I am awake. Thank you for reading and loving me. We’re good boos. 😉

 

Feels: A Crack in the Armor

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 12.31.47 AMUntil today, I had not cried in a really long time. Oh the occasional tear up at a sad story on TV, but an honest, ugly, BIG cry? Nope. Months. Actual months. Mind you, these were months in which I was adjusting to single parenting, dating, custody arrangements and waiting for the date (now very much impending) when we close this chapter.

Nada.

Earlier today, I was on my way back from Vegas and I found myself staring at a middle-aged man casually twirling the wedding ring on his left ring finger. And suddenly with no warning, there were two hot, fat tears rolling down my cheeks.

I kept it together through that next flight. But the image, and those 2 tears, haunted me all the way home to Charleston. What was this about? Where had that come from?

That man just looked so comfortable fiddling with his ring. It was clearly something he does absent-mindedly and all the time. It might be his tell. It might be his security blanket. That ring was very much a part of who he was and it did something to me. I felt something shift.

It confirmed a suspicion I’ve had of late: there’s a crack in the armor. I didn’t realize I’d been waiting for this; holding my breath. Wanting this. To feel again. Hallelujah, I felt a true feel.

See, I think I’ve been peddling all of you a load of bullshit. I think I’ve been so loudly going on and on about being a TRUTH TELLER and MY OPEN HEART, when really, my little heart was sitting in a numb, grey, rock-hard cave. She was at the bottom of a well and unmovable.

I am not talking depression or sadness. It was no-feeling. And it was so no-feeling that I didn’t REALIZE there were no true feelings. And only in its complete juxtaposition– the feeling of ALL THE FEELINGS today, did I realize that wow, we’ve been very much walled in behind a safe moat of absolute numbness.

It’s ironic and amazing this paradox we live with as humans. You can’t understand “really truly happy” without also understanding “really truly sad.” You can’t actually allow another human into your jagged, jacked up heart unless you allow yourself the full range of feels.

Well, shit.

As it turns out, I felt no feels for many, many months and this hit me like a ton of fucking bricks this afternoon. I felt something move. I felt sad. I felt angry. But I also felt the stirring of hope in the form of butterflies when my little phone dinged with text after text from the man-friend. We were flying across the country in opposite directions today, which requires a play by play when things are this new and you just cannot NOT.

You cannot feel one without the other. 

Tracing it back, the hard-shelled heart started to crack a few months ago with writing. With singing. With starting to peel away layers of busy. With saying no to all of the commitments I hid behind that were bolstering the fortress around my heart. It’s easy to not feel when you just don’t actually have time.

So here I am, with nothing BUT time. Here I am with the luxury of an ugly cry, alternating between crying and laughing because I am just so happy to be feeling again. It sounds so crazy but I was all “LEAN IN girl” and got more tissues. I am pretty sure that’s not what Sheryl Sandberg meant by that phrase, but I am also pretty sure she’d be ok with my stretch in this direction. (We met once, we’re almost best friends.)

So here I am, just all open and feelings-y. And this time, I mean it.

Tonight, I am grateful. Happy to be home surrounded by snoring boys and pets. Missing a man-friend who’s 3000 miles away, but so happy to know my little heart is creeping out into the sunlight once again.

Come on out girl, we’ve got you.

xx

Ps- Can I just tell you that being a writer-type is also really annoying sometimes? I was fully laying down in bed, ready to sleep after getting up at 4 am in Vegas and coming all the way home to Mom the Day; and I lay down and this freaking thing just starts composing itself in my head. And I am like, I should probably write this on a napkin or find my journal for an outline or like for SURE I will remember it… and then all of a sudden, I am just all FINE I AM UP AND TYPING. #writelife you are no joke.