Happy Anniversary, Ivonne. It is the 2 month mark from the day you moved out and wrote the first passage in what is now your new life chapter. It comes with bittersweet arrival because the time has flown by and yet dragged itself like a dull blade on cardboard.

“It feels like YOU”, seems to be the general thought that is conveyed to me when people set foot in my space. I knew it from the minute Reza and I peeked through the windows and still, I pinch myself that it’s ours now. Every day I get to see the ocean water, drive through concrete landscapes, feel ocean breezes, even reveling in the feelings of joy from the roaring planes carrying people to new adventures and loved ones at the airport nearby. The other day we were gifted with the most incredible sunset and we couldn’t help but stand in our doorway reveling in the pink and purple light of her magnificence. I love this fucking city so much.

The universe delivered us something truly special.

Yesterday was also the 4th of July. A day meant to celebrate liberty and freedoms… yet to me the word “freedom” has taken on different meaning. They say holidays are the hardest, and this without a doubt certainly was one of them. Not sure why it was so difficult in ways, because over the past few years he always had to work on the 4th so we were left to our own devices to celebrate or get out of the house anyway. I think I can count on one hand how many times we watched fireworks as a family and I get it, it was part of his job. Yet this year it stung. We live pretty close to an incredible vantage point of the city’s biggest fireworks display. Walking distance, even. And in an effort to make new traditions, my girl and I walked down there with everyone else in the neighborhood to go take a peek. We stood together, arms locked and it took everything in me to not weep silently. What has my life become? We walked home and she expressed disappointment and how hard it was for her to see all the kids with their dads. Even more when he didn’t have to work this year and he chose to go out of town for it. Color me destroyed.

Holidays are all so very triggering. There is so much focus on gatherings and intoxication and I can’t help but be reminded of how much of it I dealt with over the years. The gatherings where it got taken too far, too much was had, said, or done. Observing myself watching the Self Destructive Channel, in sadness or discomfort as I counted how one led to one too many, in embarrassment, or the anxiety built from the shame of onlookers or worse, sometimes just pretending it wasn’t happening. And yesterday was no doubt a hot poker in my feels chest, if anything to serve a reminder of just how much more work there is to be done to unpack the trauma of it all.

It’s hard, especially when your daughter is cut from the same bolt of intuitive cloth. She can look at me and know that I am not in a good space. She saw right through me and calls me out when she sees it and if there’s one thing I swore to myself was I would always be honest with her about everything. It’s important. She needs to see me fall and pick myself up over, and over, and over. That underneath it, I too am human and am working through the disappointment just as much as her. And every time she prods those doors open we have the most beautifully bonding conversations, we hold hands or she puts her head in my lap and we hold space for one another. Holy shit, this not so tiny human is one of the most incredibly brilliant lights I have and will ever know.

So now I get to make new holiday memories in spaces that feel safer and welcoming. Don’t get me wrong, all of this is so uncomfortable but I am wading through the pain and sadness of it all, in hopes for lighter hearts and brighter futures and a lot less tears so maybe I can look back without it hurting so much and moving onward and forward.

Forever North.


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