Swimming In Real Life

“We have to allow ourselves to be loved by the people who really love us, the people who really matter. Too much of the time, we are blinded by our own pursuits of people to love us, people that don’t even matter, while all that time we waste and the people who do love us have to stand on the sidewalk and watch us beg in the streets! It’s time to put an end to this. It’s time for us to let ourselves be loved.”      ― C. JoyBell C.

 

I had a spectacular weekend. Friday night was the Spring Fling at Tori’s school, and it was clearly a wild success as plenty of people were there and the auction items were being heavily bid on. I’m not much of a school mom, but I managed to get a couple of items to auction off and I manned the door for a while. It was fun.

Tori enjoying the photo booth at the Spring Fling.

Tori enjoying the photo booth at the Spring Fling.

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny, so we opened all the windows in the house and the basement bilco doors to air out the house (we had some minor basement flooding with the intense rain we got during the week). We scrubbed the house from top to bottom and then we all lazed around a bit reading books. Tori went to a friend’s house for a sleepover, and Charlie and I took a very late nap – because we were going OUT Saturday night, the kind of out we never do anymore. We didn’t even leave the house until after 8pm.

We were off to see Jo-Ann and her bandmates play a show at a local club. After twelve years apart – where Jo-Ann learned her punk rock chops were ideal for special needs parenting – they came back roaring. It was amazing to be up near the stage watching her rock out (even though I hurt my neck banging my head, which is hilarious) and I even got to shove a few folks back into the moshing area, which makes me feel badass even though I was never a true punk rocker.

I got to see a ton of people I hardly ever see anymore, including some folks I haven’t seen since before I got sober. It was weird and cool.

Have you ever seen 47 look so cool?

Have you ever seen 47 look so cool?

Sunday was a quiet day; we slept in, picked up Tori, and relaxed. I ran some errands with Tori in the afternoon before it was clear that I wasn’t really feeling up to being out and about (it’s tough to stay out until 3am at age 46, man – my bones were tired!).

In the background of all of this was the constant stream of pictures and status updates from the Mom 2.0 Summit, a conference I’ve always loved. I wasn’t there, of course.

I missed getting the chance to hug people and catch up in person, for sure, and I enjoyed watching folks have a blast from afar, and I had plenty of FOMO twinges. But there was something magical in my weekend about being here at home and being present for other things that are equally important, about hugging people I’ve known for half my life, about dancing my ass off and sweating at a punk rock show and watching my good friend repeatedly cry happy tears of joy that we were all there for her.

 

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There was one weird moment.

I was standing outside the club waiting for Jo to go on and chatting with Lynette and Sandra when a man I haven’t seen since 1995 walked up and said hello. A man I haven’t seen since December 21st, 1995 to be exact. A man I haven’t seen since about an hour before I overdosed on intravenous cocaine, had a massive seizure, went to the hospital, and finally decided to get my life together and get sober.

I was happy to see him, of course – he’s a really nice guy – but when I realized exactly when I’d seen him last, I felt like I’d been bodyslammed. It made me remember who I am, where I’ve been, and how far I’ve come. It was brutal, yet it was also kind of centering.

Since I’ve changed my life focus (God, that sounds pretentious), I am reminded again and again how much I’ve drifted from my core truths (again, PRETENTIOUS). As I’ve gotten some distance on things, I’ve also been able to see how much of what I was doing was a sort of crazy scrabble for validity – to my own detriment.

Right now I’m changing, and I feel like it’s good change. I have that strange feeling of being midleap; you know that saying, “Leap and the net will appear”? I’m right there. I’ve leaped a million times since I got sober, and I’ve learned that the net always appears. But when you’re mid air, there can be kernels of doubt and fear.

That’s where I am today. I’m leaping, I know the net is there, but I don’t quite know where, exactly, that net is. I have to wait and see. It’s terrifying and exhilarating. I can’t wait to see where I land.

 

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”      ― C. JoyBell C.

 

(I have no idea who C. JoyBell C is, by the way. I stumbled on the quotes on Goodreads and liked them. Off to learn more about her.)

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Comments

  1. says

    Amen! That quote sums up so much of how I feel post-conference. I had to head outdoors and sit down with my youngest today and fovus on that because i missed it and i need the space to jump again into the next part of my future.

  2. says

    It was such an overwhelming experience to do something you love so much and to have people who have been part of the bands history since the beginning come out in support. I adore you were there with me. That pic of all of us does nothing but make me smile all the time. Love you

  3. says

    The winds of change (pretentious, possibly also a song by Scorpion) are strong these days. I’m feeling them too. Wherever you land, I hope it’s somewhere near me. I like good company. Also punk bands.

  4. jb says

    lovely to hear how great your weekend was – greatness in all of its forms! And you will land – as you will leap again, I am sure. I think I recall you saying moving may be in the future and I hope to hear more about that. Love what you said about your punk band mama friend and her special needs kid.

  5. Nunya says

    I’m sorry about the troll. No one should put up with that. I hope you don’t take this as trolling, but I don’t think it’s terribly responsible, when you have a child, to simply leap and believe that a net will appear.

    Grown ups make their own net. They weave a safety net by building marketable skills, using those skills to secure steady, reliable employment. They parlay that steady, reliable employment into health insurance, a rainy day fund, equity, and a safe environment for themselves and their children. Then when the road gets rocky ( and it always does), they have more than a hope and a prayer to sustain them.

    I am happy that you are taking stock of things, and I believe you can acquire all of those things. You are not some naive kid just starting out: you are a grown ass woman with a child who deserves to feel safe and free from vicarious financial anxiety.

    I hope you start weaving your own net, instead of relying on the cold & indifferent universe to build one big enough to catch you and your little girl.

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      I totally get your point – and I don’t mean it to sound as if I’m not doing the solid work needed to take care of my family financially. I am. I’ve built up a client base and a solid professional reputation that means I get queries from new clients every single day, and I have contracts in hand for projects that are paying the bills.

      What I’m leaping away from is more on the personal side than the professional. I’m moving away from the industry of “mommy blogging” and working much more on client work that doesn’t have my name on it. I am, however, continuing to write, and I don’t quite know where that will take me. That’s the leap. I may end up in house again, I may end up writing for a site unrelated to parenting, I may do something else with my writing. I hope that allays your worries.

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