Sunday, August 21, 2011

These are just ghosts that broke my heart before I met you

I’m typing on our warmly disheveled bed where the sheets have been washed more in the last few weeks than in the entire first year we were married (“perils” of co-sleeping). Beside me is the sweetest-smelling little frog sleeping kindly and intently with his arms outstretched and his legs bowed. You know? The universe did shift to make room. I will be honest that at moments (at first, and never longer than a few hours) it felt too tight. I worried a little that there might not be room for me. Happily, merrily I was wrong and I think that my life has always and will always be that way—new things can seem so overwhelming, but they shift to fit, and I go on living the altered life.

August always makes me feel poignant because oh no summer is ending and everyone insists on spoiling the rest of it by blathering about back to school. This has been an absolutely delicious summer. Somehow we’re still free of most adultish trappings (though terribly poor as a result) and we had so much time to play, hang out with my family and enjoy our lovely baby. I've done a poor job of chronicling what we've done, and I haven't written any of my baby's "stats" but that isn't that kind of blog anyway. If I had to pick a category for my blog I would put it in the Catharsis Spinning Thoughts Overshare Beauty section. There are so many things I feel passionately about, sometimes I want to be one of the clear bright voices writing about things I doubt and things I believe, like some of my beautiful friends, but others say things so much better than I can and my thoughts about those ideas would just be a weak echo. Sin embargo, no one can best me in my passion for my darling Jonny and Chai, they are the stars in my sky, so I'll keep writing about them.

Anyway, I am kind of going back to school this August...I got a job! I start the 29th and I will be working part-time as a therapist at the Family Support and Treatment Center. It was actually the first job I interviewed for after passing the CSW test, which feels nice now that the three-tiered interview process is over (it was a little like being on American Idol--lots of levels). It was fairly grueling and made me feel awfully introspective. After the first one I came home in tears because of a stateside Spanish nerve they touched, and at the other two I was convinced they were going to hire someone else from my class, so I was more relaxed and determined to use this as an experience, not expecting anything from it. We did some therapy role plays where they presented me with some uncomfortable situations (child client who curls up in a ball and won't look at you or speak, and a man seeing you for anxiety problems who is disturbed when you try to include him in treatment goals--see I can talk about this because they aren't real clients) and then afterwards they asked me how the situations made me feel. The purpose wasn't to critique the therapy techniques but to see how aware I was of what was going on with me and how the situations were affecting me. I'm obsessed with stuff like this...and VERY VERY excited to learn from the amazing therapists at this agency. They do great client-centered therapy, play therapy, work with trauma/abuse/attachment issues. It's a fantastic fit for me. It's also only 4 hours a day, 4 days a week and J&C will be able to have happy father-son bonding time and we won't even have to be much less Bohemian than usual.

I will admit I've been a little worried that while I'm trying to help kids with attachment issues my own baby will develop attachment issues. This summer I've had paradigms shifting like tectonic plates in my brain. I’m realizing how narcissistic I am, how often my decisions are at least partially based in “what people will think" (the imaginary audience). When Jonathan went back to work right after Chai was born there were times when I felt uncomfortable—oh no! I’m a stay at home mom all of a sudden! I’ve read the Feminine Mystique (and etc, and etc, and etc)—and that wasn’t going to happen to me, no way. I especially didn’t want the life my young women leaders insisted I would want. I dumped that gooey vat of fakery out the window because at the time I was convinced it was a lie, and it made me feel wildly panicked to think that they could see me as one of them. I’m not, I’m not! I don’t want your sappy helpmeet life! I am not like you. But then the shift in the universe occurred; then I was curled up on our bed with Jonny, singing made-up songs to a beaming little boy who chortles and squeals when our eyes first meet in the morning, and I was holding him in my lap on our porch watching thunderstorms and talking to him about the rain dripping off the trees and the walnuts growing, and I was nursing him as he clasped his little hands together politely, slurped and sighed; and I was finding myself glowing with joy every time I picked him up, and in addition to all that I found myself with more and better love for Darling Jonny, not less, so I started to think, “When do I start feeling unfulfilled?" X out everyone else and their ideas and their philosophies and their lives of quiet desperation, all the blogs I read that make me gasp for breath with their narrowness, all the people who flash one facet of self and are strangers in seven thousand hidden facets, and just exist for right now in this dreamy sweet world of my husband and Chai. Why does it matter what anyone else is doing? The world we created only belongs to us, and right now, right now it is "everything/which is natural which is infinite which is yes"! So, while I'm thrilled beyond belief to have this job, I guess I'm trying to say that I could have been very happy either way. After thinking through everything I've ever thought, read, dreaded, hoped for and experienced and dumping it all in a blender, pouring it out and poring over it, the place I have settled in is that my "potential" and my personal fulfillment in life has always been relationships. My professional goals and philosophies are based in creating healthy relationships and healing damaged ones. Those are the roots of all my loftiest dreams and always have been, and where I find deepest expression for my spirituality as well. When I focus on relationships in any way--I am creating the best possible place for my soul.
"My salvation lies in your love."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

When we meet on a cloud, I'll be laughing out loud, I'll be laughing with everyone I see

Remember how I look at you like this all the time?
Today has been one year since the glorious day! I am still so in love with him…still hoping he will like me, so thrilled when I make him laugh. I live off “How dare you”s and “Don’t sass me"s. Jonathan planned a cluster frak of sweet surprises for today! After church (cough sacrament out in the hall in the random ward) we drove up Hobblecreek canyon—which was EXPLODING WITH SUMMERTIME GORGEOUSNESS. I love that canyon and I love those mountains! I have such positive connections with them because of my beloved. He said we were going to be re-creating memories, and he’d brought our picnic blanket and a thermos of hot chocolate to re-create our tea date, which happened at the same park in Jolley’s Ranch. It was so fun and lovely and I started actually feeling jittery, just like I did on our real date. That was the one that turned the tide for me…actually it was more like getting drenched in a tidal wave of hope and the realization that something so good existed that I hadn't even been clever enough to wish for--and mejor, that I could be happy. Later that day (the day of the tea date in fall 2009) I wrote to him from my Dr. Roper's class: The more I listen to you the cooler I think you are. In research methods we call this a positive correlation.
The rest of the day we spent re-creating our honeymoon…with delicious food, ice cream, Battlestar and S (all the parts of the D.R we had at our disposal in Springville)! It was wonderful. We cuddled on the couch and laughed and goofed off and I know we do that every day, but it really did feel like a celebration today. Chai obligingly slept the whole time except for the picnic, during which he giggled adorably on the blanket as we loved on him.
We talked about the day we got married and how blindingly happy we were, how beautiful this year has been. I can see us laughing together, me chasing him around the Commune after he confiscated my skittles, crying heartsick over family stuff, him letting me listen to his heartbeat when I was freaking out at first about therapy, beaming at each other over feeling little Chai's insistent kicking when he was still a dentro, talking our souls inside out, him telling me he was proud of me after graduation, thousands of entangled inside jokes we couldn't explain to anyone, Jonpardy at his birthday party, our Les Miserables game, driving to Wyoming, sweet words like promises and a million fresh second chances I've needed a million times and he's needed about twice. I'm cognizant as I write this of how obnoxious and gushy I must seem, but I can't see it any other way. I've known sorrow in my life, I've been bitter and wounded and lonely, so I appreciate how whole this feels, to have a friend, confidant and kind companion in all I do. I hope I'm that for him as well. I'm still not convinced that marriage itself is awesomeness inherent, but I know my husband is. There is so much I could say about him and how good he is. He has all my admiration, all my heart. I hope he knows that.