It’s Thanksgiving morning, the skies are windy and stormy. Water in the sky. It’s a bittersweet lullaby, the silence of solitude and the light echoes of feline paws touching the floor… and the thoughts race, not so silently.

Never is the morning more silent than when the first of many different firsts arrive. They say these are the ones that hurt the most. You know that saying “that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” – It’s true but it’s a bunch of bs…. and boy has life kicked me in the proverbial dick this year.

A great deal of things have transpired since I last was in this space. Too many to list, too chaotic to relive, too painful to endure all over again. Some spots have seen so much destruction, immeasurable heartbreak and disappointment. Some have been lights in dark rooms. One thing I have learned and am actively trying to engrain is that I will never move forward if I am constantly looking back. I’m bound to trip over something. It’s all a part of the learning process. Fall, get up. Hit the floor, stay there a bit. Finding the will to rise and completely demolish the broken home in hopes that you can salvage the foundation and rebuild into something stronger, better.

I don’t expect you to know or understand me, my decisions or my space. I am not in the business of proving anything to anyone and I am sure there has been plenty of misguided judgement and blame thrown in my direction this year. Have at it. At the end of the day, I know my truth. I live my truth. I feel my truth. And some of it is heinous and cruel and despite everything, I carry it within me, more silently than I should at times. Even amongst the maelstrom, I sleep peacefully on most nights… because when you walk away for the right reasons, with the best intentions in your heart, when you know your choices are an act of love or mercy or thinking about someone other than yourself… you don’t give a fuck what anyone wants to say, do, or assume about you. I know me better than you ever will and SHE is untouchable, fallible, delicate yet steel strong in ways you will never know or have the privilege to understand.

I’m desperately trying to learn about forgiveness and surrender. The repair of fractured trust. Tending to one’s own fires instead of putting out everyone else’s with water you don’t have to spare. All while learning to stand on your own feet and build pillars for the not-so-little in the middle of it all. It’s like juggling daggers… which can be fun, exhilarating but one wrong move and you’re bleeding everywhere.

November: The month of gratitude. I try to be grateful every day… and I make those lists often and year round. And I’m so fucking thankful to have air in my lungs, a wonderful space over my head that I call home, felines who know when I need it the most, the love and respect of my radiant Daughter, my amazing Sisters, the Coven of support, love and friendship that has held my hand, wiped my tears – from far and wide- forever reminding me of who I am when I don’t see her in the fog. You know who you are… it does not go unnoticed.

I celebrated my 45th birthday last week in what ended up being one of the hardest weeks yet. My trip around the sun anniversary is like your New Year’s Eve. I look back, overthink, reflect and resolve. Boy, has my life turned up over on itself in the past year, that’s for fucking sure. Change is some tough stuff, and the best lessons never arrive easily. Healing does not arrive without discomfort.

I will say this, I go into it with more security in myself, more confidence than I had, a hell of a lot less fear and maybe just a little bit more hope that better is on its way. It already is.

Forever, North.


 

It’s a quiet Saturday, now afternoon. It rained last night and it really feels like the beginning of Autumn, at least for as much Autumn as San Diego will feel anyway. The smell of petrichor and earth mixing with our own… pipe tobacco candle, bacon, coffee, browned butter. My girl, peacefully sleeping on the couch wrapped in my blanket. Hammock and the planes roaring in their rise and fall at the airport nearby.

It’s been five months. Some of the longest days in what feels like the longest of my lifetime. And for someone who spent months bedridden, in a full body cast recovering from a severe compound fracture, I can say it’s about the same if not worse. Laying there, with constricted lungs, with the hopes that maybe tomorrow you will wake up and feel a bit more recovered. You see, you have to go through the pain of it all and in this case, I am learning to walk on my own all over…. for the third time in my life.

I took a massive step the other day. One of the hardest leaps… when you know you just have to press forward. A symbol of digital ink cementing your choice to build something better. Can’t say it didn’t kill me on the inside but sometimes we have to do things that don’t feel the best in order to grow. Change and radical self acceptance come at the expense of very valuable lessons, and unfortunately the best lessons come from painful experiences. The journey to reclamation.

There comes a time where we have to look at ourselves and our inventory. And I have. Brutally. Honestly. Truthfully. It’s not easy to do, especially when you’ve been conditioned to think in so many ways that went against your nature and intuition. Your gut feeling that tells you more than your mind and heart want you to listen to. Until one day you did. You pull the fingers out of your ears, the hands lift themselves from your eyes and you just jump off that cliff in hopes that maybe you’ll finally see the wings you knew were there the entire time. There is nothing more powerful when you realize what you’re worth. I didn’t see it for the longest of times and I searched for worth in external sources. I found my “happiness” in material bullshit, men, people who never deserved to breathe the same air as me, things that mean nothing in the end. When you find your voice, your bravery, your courage and you do it without fear? Watch how the scared and insecure scramble when you finally do. I am perfectly imperfect. Complicated. Integral. A package of complexities made of sal, agua y azucar. I look forward to the day my heart heals and I am ready to delve it out because whoever gets to have even a shard of it will be very fortunate.

All things considering, I am doing ok. There are days where I wake up with peace, some not so much. The anvil on my ribcage is still there dealing with the weight of it all: my play in my choices and also the ones I had no control over but wounded me immeasurably despite my best efforts to not let them. It’s a risk one takes when you trust your heart to others. Either it’s cherished or shattered. And the amount of shattering I have endured from so many angles, you got to wonder how I do it all. Still. I mean, I could tell you why… and it’s sleeping on the couch right now.

So I plug forward and all things considering I think I am doing pretty good for myself in such a short amount of time. I found a home to rebuild in that makes me so happy to walk into. I look at my treasures and art, things that make me happy and have been markers to so many stages of my life. Every day I am greeted with breathtaking palettes of sunsets flanked with cackling of wild parrots flying by. Every day the signs reveal themselves and I am reminded that even though I chose the hardest and most difficult of paths, the one I am on is right, even if at times I have to feel insurmountable loneliness, suffocation and disappointment. But then I look at her and it’s like aloe on a burn.

My girl and I are cultivating a wonderful life. Day by day. Creating new rituals, laughing together, bonding over our current guilty pleasures in the car, hair braiding, stepping outside to revel in nature’s majesty when the sun dips over the horizon, holding hands while watching trash tv, piled in my bed watching funny animal videos to tears, trying new things, seeing new places and all with a radical honesty and candor that’s a testament to all the love and effort I have put into us. She is without a doubt the best thing I have ever done and I would go through another 18 year heartbreak if it meant having her in my life. I will continue to live, speak and act in a manner that makes her feel safe and beam with pride. I will do it gracefully, with force, intention, authenticity and colorful profanity. She deserves the world. And so do I.

As Autumn rolls in, the symbolism isn’t lost on me. The world begins to decay around us only to resurface as something new and hopefully wonderful. Our birthdays are around the corner. 13/45 and we’re looking forward to our Halloween decorating, pumpkin carving and celebrating her crossing into the teens. And with us wrapping up another trip around the sun, I look forward to doing it together, working with what we got and hopefully transforming it into something beautiful.

It’s a journey, not a destination.







 

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It was there the entire time.

 

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 I decided today would be all about that rad self care and quality alone time….

Slept in and texted with my girl Carolin in bed

Made an amazing batch of coffee

Killed it at Pilates today. My abs will be sore af tomorrow (update: they sore)

Treated myself to post workout poke lunch

Scritches on a neighborhood kitty

Cleaned the house up to smell of pipe tobacco candle, incense and a “made for you” playlist on Spotify that was on lock! Reza’s room looks aces. Looking forward to a week of solid time with her.

Washed, folded and put away all the laundry while getting caught up on Handmaids Tale and So You Think You Can Dance.

Teavana peach tranquility tea

Hung up more art and unpacked more treasures

An almost 2 hr convo with my mother in law that was very nice despite the tears and subject matter

Reorganized the bookcase and it just makes me feel so good to see a space that’s “me”

Quiet candlelit bath with a Tadaima Okaeri bath bomb from LUSH. Funny enough, I just learned that those phrases mean “I’m home” and “welcome back” in Japanese. The magic that I picked that one bomb and used it today does not go unnoticed. And yes, it’s worth the price tag. 

Freshly made bed with clean sheets and one of the familiars coming in for a snuggle.

LUSH Sleepy lotion and bedside talismans gifted from beautifully, well intended friends

Revisiting something I used to do and gave up 18 years ago… falling asleep to music. Tonight: a Sleep and Relaxation playlist by Hammock.

Today was a *good* day.

 

You do not owe anyone support, approval, validation or even as much as a conversation about things you do not agree or are not comfortable with.

Full stop.

 

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