I Am

I Am

I am strong and hopeful
I wonder if everything really happens for a reason
I hear laughter
I see tomorrow
I want to be happy
I am strong and hopeful

I pretend that I have it all together

I feel lost

I touch my toddler’s sticky fingers
I worry about how it will all work out
I cry when I allow myself to let go
I am strong and hopeful

I understand that life is never what we expect
I say that I can handle it anyway
I dream for all the pieces to fall into place
I try to focus on the moment
I hope that one day I will KNOW I made the right choices
I am strong and hopeful

*This poem was made with the I AM template through Mama Kat’s writer’s workshop. It’s funny the things you discover about yourself when you are given the right prompt. What would you discover if you tried?

Mama’s Losin’ It

Writing Woes

So I have this writing problem.

I love writing. I think it heals me.

It allows me to process, to vent, to understand. It allows me to explore humor and candor, reality and dreams, and all of the pieces that fit together to make a whole me.

It gives me an opportunity to recognize myself.

There are times when the words form together in my mind and pieces compose themselves. I don’t have to think, I just have to listen to myself and urge my fingers to catch up to my mind.

Often, this happens late at night, when I am lying in bed.

If I am really feverish to document these musings, I reach for my phone on my nightstand. I open the “memo” section and text like a mad woman.

And then I am relieved. I am saved from the burning emotions brewing in me. Once I have released them into print I feel more calm, and can drift to sleep.

When the morning arrives, and my day becomes busy with getting the toddler dressed and making breakfast and trying to go somewhere so we don’t go stir crazy in the middle of this heat wave, the thoughts I composed the previous evening remain unshared in my phone.

And so my phone holds multiple posts, holding onto words and emotions that were once so prevalent they were all I could think about; but not being shared in the one community in which I could openly disclose them.

My phone hides all of my secrets.

(Yes, I am in BIG trouble if I ever lose that thing.)

So, in an attempt to re-connect with the blogging world and do what I came here to do in the first place, share myself, I will have to purge into the depths of my phone.

I am really not even sure of what is on there.

Some memos are just lists of what to get at Target. (Ok, a lot of them. Target is like my second home.)

But some memos are pieces of my heart.

So I will challenge myself and this blog (and my phone) to reveal more of the pieces of me.

And I will try really, really hard to be more present here.

On that note, does anyone know where the toddler hid my phone?

Why I Write

It’s dark here, as the light of the moon casts shadows over the bed.

Toddler breathing and cat purrs form the soundtrack for this particular scene of my life.

It’s a nightly occurrence, the glow of the moon through white cotton curtains, the steady breath of my beautiful boy, and the contented purrs of a cat beside me.

The clock ticks, warning me of the dangerous hour it is approaching and my impending duties of mommy in the morning that will be made so much harder if I don’t surrender to sleep.

But it is here, always here, that my mind becomes alive.

I remember my past, present and future as they all intertwine into a current conversation lulling me away from rest and restoration and into questionings and ponderings.

Sometimes, I revel in this time. This time of me. Sometimes, I dread it. Often, I feel alone.

One night, in this time of me, I stumbled upon a blog. I read posts by a woman who had struggled with her birth experience. For the very first time, I knew I wasn’t the only woman who felt this way.

I spent that night, and many more, pouring over her words and allowing tears to stream down my face as I motionlessly jumped up and down and silently screamed, “I am not alone.”

So I started writing. Writing thoughts more composed than just scribbles in notebooks or notes in the memo section of my phone. I started putting thoughts on paper and screen instead of just narrating them in my mind. I started to open my heart to the vulnerability and bravery that comes with hitting the publish button.

Sometimes, I write stories about my son. I try to capture memories that I want to hold on to forever. I would like for my son to read those one day. I hope they will mean as much to him as they do to me.

But mostly, I write to sort out the collisions of past, present and future that occur at my most fragile time; when I am in the midst of myself.

One day, maybe someone will read these words and they will mean something to them. Maybe one day I will understand them all myself.

And so I write for my vulnerability, my process of grief and self discovery, and my hope that one day these words resonate with someone so that they might say, “I am not alone.”

I started writing to find myself. I continue writing to find you.

Today, I link up with the lovely Galit and Nicole as they ask the question, “Who do you speak for?”

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Inspired

I tentatively placed my hands on the keyboard and willed myself to let go of the story that had been hiding in the recluse of my mind for months.

I watched as the letters under my fingers transformed into words on my screen, pouring out thoughts and telling a story I had never before shared.

I dared, much like I am now, to let the story unfold on its own, and present itself in its own way. Even I was not fully aware what direction it was taking.

I edited slightly, because when my mind speaks is doesn’t always remember to spell.

I published. I linked. I waited.

I held expectations no higher than a hope that this would be a prequel to my whole story and that it might allow me to connect with more readers in this wonderful blogging world.

And then it came. The brave. The transparent. The inspiring. The different perspectives. The outpouring of responses on a story I thought was my own.

I was amazed and humbled to discover that this story is not just my story. Parts of this reality had been experienced and felt and endured and coped with by many. People shared pieces of their own times of loss, their own times of difficulty, their own perspectives. People came here, to this small little corner of the internet, and shared their hearts.

To say I am honored is an understatement. I never knew that a simple post with a picture of a pumpkin would open the amazing dialogue created on that page. I cherish these bits of your lives you so generously intertwined with mine and savor them as though they are a decadent dessert. (Of chocolate, of course.)

This blogging world is still new to me. I am not even aware of all the things I do not know, as I have just started to climb this ladder and do not have the vision to see more than the next step in front of me. I am in awe of this community.

I have been lucky enough to find bloggers whose words float over the screen like a melody, whose descriptions entrance me, whose honesty both surprises and compels me. I have been lucky enough to read stories of people who break down the barriers of convention and instead allow the private of their lives to dance freely into the public. I have been lucky enough to find bloggers whose kindness surpasses many of those I know in “real life.”

Everyone has a story. It is what makes life so tragically beautiful. There is such artistry here in the intertwining of these hearts and voices. I see slivers and pieces of diverse stories slowly thread over each other as they weave their way into a part of the tapestry of shared experiences.

One of the reasons I started a blog was to finally share the birth story that I have never told, in full, to anyone in the past two and a half years since it happened. I have carried it, mostly alone, as I have walked this path of new motherhood. I started a blog to find you. To hear these stories. To know that I am not alone.

And to tell you that you are not alone either.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share a brief overview and summary of my story. Thank you for not making me feel like I am crazy to have these musings. Thank you for giving me the courage to begin to share my birth story. I will tell you all of it one day.

Thank you for making me feel inspired.

Words

Words

We’ve been told that sticks and stones may break our bones but words can never hurt us.

But that’s not true is it?

For my bones remain untouched by stones but these words continue to haunt me.

I’ve been told it’s because I’m a woman and I’m too sensitive

But I think it’s just because I’m a person

Who has a memory and a heart

And whose past bleeds into my future.

I think I’ve never seen you throw a stone or wave a stick maliciously,

But I’ve heard your voice behind the words that left me standing vulnerably;

Exposed into the darkness of the daylight and the brightness of the night.

And I see those words encircle me and invade my very self.

I have to remind myself to say “excuse me” and find my way out,

For these days are long and these years are short and your voice still finds ways to follow me.

Even after the sticks have been picked and the stones have been gathered

I find myself here, choosing to break the words back down into letters and cast them away into the alphabet

That I sing to my son every day

So that he may learn words.

But not yours.

UETju: Love in Letters

UETju he spelled with multicolored refrigerator magnets, and exclaimed excitedly, “I made a word!”

I smiled and showed my excitement and then he read it to me. “It says ‘love Mommy,'” he explained while pointing his fingers over the letters, left to right, just as if he were really reading.

I scooped him up in a hug and told him it was beautiful and I was so proud of him. Because it was, and because I AM.

He was thrilled at his accomplishment and thrilled at my approval and I was honored to be his word.

I could have held him there forever but there were more brightly colored letters to be arranged. There, in the middle of the refrigerator, UETju turned into XmEO. And so began another story, arranged by little fingers, told by a little voice, and adored by a nearby Mommy.

Unexpected Gifts

Sometimes the thoughts in my mind are so intense and feverish and many that they threaten to trample over each other until they erupt from my fingertips onto the page.

Sometimes the darkness in my mind contrasts so sharply with the bright white of the screen that I can not organize a thought.

Sometimes the blank canvas in my mind so is so accurately reflected in the blank canvas of the screen that I hate to dirty it with the stain of intimate thoughts.

But always, I find this space to be calming. Always waiting for me to come back and fill it. Always there to let me explore the collage of thoughts floating in my mind, tearing through to the surface, gasping for the first breath of life, when I type them here and give them a voice.

Always, here, I find myself at peace. In the solitude of writing, in the solitude of self exploration, where I allow my world to be quiet and listen to myself. Always, here, I find a new piece of me. Always, here, I discover inspiration.

I listen to myself most often at night, when the house is dark except for the faint light coming in through the window. When the world is quiet except for the sounds of my husband and my son breathing next to me in bed. Where my cat curls up at my feet and my breath falls in tune with the people I cherish. It is then that I can stop, and listen, and learn things that I already knew, but never took the time to process. In these moments I am at peace. And in these moments I can reflect here.

This blog is my place of peace for my thoughts and my inner stillness. Listening to the words that so desperately accumulate in my mind and then pour onto this page has inspired me. Giving myself this place of solitude to write and reflect and grow has turned into an unexpected gift.

Have you given yourself an unexpected gift?