November 2nd, You’ve Been Demoted

Get it? Bird and Chef!!!
Get it? Bird and Chef!!!

Yesterday was Chef and my anniversary. As usual, it was a mixture of sadness, trauma, and relief. But this time, it was also sprinkled with a new hope for my future. Recently, a friend told me that I carry around an invisible wall around me, almost like a neon sign shouting out my unavailability. Unlike Chef, I’ve been stuck in all of this, unable to move forward, and refusing to go back. That’s the kind of power love has, and I still marvel at how stubbornly it has held on all these years.

A few weeks ago, I stood at a crossroads when it came to Chef, and the struggle felt almost physical, it was so raw. Somehow, I knew there really was no wrong answer. What was important was to choose the path, and start walking. I took a step into the future, choosing the road away from that chapter of my life, and sadly, I chose to leave Chef back there in the past. That chapter was simply too painful and wrecked beyond salvation. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, nor was I flippant about it. This move to Austin was supposed to be a new start for me. Dragging all the trash from the past here with me would ruin it, and unfortunately, Chef comes with a lot of mental and emotional baggage. I’m finally making the decision to let go of those last few strands of hope, and walk away. This time, I won’t be looking back.

Last night, I was sitting in my living room, watching Mike & Molly with Oliver’s head in my lap, and Sparrow curled up resting her head on a pillow we were sharing, and I felt happy. Yes, oliver and memy dogs ate my couch. Yes, Sparrow’s separation anxiety is literally making my crazy. Yes, I barely make enough money to live here, and my car needs some work on it soon or I’ll be in a world of debt. Yes. Each day seems to start with a different problem designed to stress me out. But a month ago, those problems were different from these, and they somehow still managed to get resolved, despite my doubt and worry.

I thought briefly of keeping a small calendar so I could write which set of problems were weighing so heavily on me, just so I could see how easily and quickly the Lord had handled each set. A month ago, Sparrow and Oliver were disappearing for hours at a time, exploring Red Rock and scaring me to death. A month ago, I was worried about how I would be able to save up enough money so I could move out on my own. A month ago, I had no home. A month. Four weeks. And here I sit, all those problems resolved, and grappling with these new ones. The difference this time is, I can easily see that the Lord has me in His hand, and knowing He has not forgotten about me goes a long way to soothing any doubt and fear that might be lurking in my heart.

Maybe the biggest difference I see in myself these days is I suddenly have become more social. I actually got lonely last week — LONELY! I so don’t do that. And yet, I found myself longing to hang out with someone, talk, laugh, and share. Go figure.

I occasionally go back to the beginning of this blog, especially on anniversary dates. In a way, it is a way to measure the healing, remember the truth, and it offers me hope in the knowledge, nothing, even the worst kinds of pain, lasts forever. It reminds me, yes. I will be happy again. Yes. I will laugh again. Yes. I will be able to forgive. Yes. Life goes on, and it took me with it.

Bird's Phone 2013 261Today, I’m thankful for time, for hope, and for the peace I have gained in the knowledge that the Lord never left my side the whole time. I’m excited as I look towards the future! November 2 used to be a very special day for me, but today, I release it back into the pile of un-celebrated dates, each  one of them carrying only the potential of being promoted to a personal favorite.

~ Bird

PS: I’m going speed dating Friday. Yep. I’m that girl.

Wisdom to Combat the Moving-Forward-And-Leaving- the-Past-Behind Blues

35015Rebekkah and I were driving from Red Rock to Austin the other day. It is about an hour drive, and we were conversing about some research she had heard about. She said anthropologists noted that whenever they arrived in the place where they would immerse themselves in a new culture, surrounding themselves with new people, new customs, new smells, new tastes…everything unfamiliar, they would experience a deep depression. But, she remarked, they also said that this black feeling would go away on average, about two weeks into the experience.

Texas isn’t a new place for me, but it has been over a decade since I cs-lewis-quote-better-things-550x320lived here for real. Last year, I was here two months, but Dad was really sick, and the wounds from losing my husband were still tender. This time, I blew up my bridges in Oklahoma. I did this on purpose. I learned a lot from my nomadic childhood, and leaving foundations in places that are, as a whole, not good for you, will leave you open to the temptation to return again and rebuild. It isn’t really necessary to go into detail why Tulsa is bad for both my kids and me. Suffice it to say, we simply should not go back and try again. But, I did not blow up bridges to people I love who were only good to me. Tulsa as a whole, is not where I should be. But I will carry a piece of her with me forever, in the shapes and memories of people who I love.

download (2)I left behind people that I will miss terribly. The Lord gave me Janice and Larry, who both taught me to stay calm, and not be so extreme all the time. Holly taught me what it looks like to walk and not faint, and walk and walk and walk, and still, not faint. Sonya and Kendra, some of my very favorite people, gave me Oliver. ‘Nuff said, right?

Stephanie made me feel like there were other eccentric souls just like me, and I 14feae356bda6cfe978afc0e40e434a3don’t have to feel alone so much. (I have every intention of using all my persuasive skills to lure her to live here in Texas among other weirdos like us!) I left behind Rob and his sweet little girls and some of my other Red & Gold friends, and my very best Oklahoma friend ever, Kim. I will miss you most of all, Kim-alicious!!

24772This move cost me something, as they all do. But most of all, I left behind Chef. I cried like the first day I realized my marriage was lost to me forever, and then I wiped away the tears, put the car in drive, and left that sadness behind with the rest of the broken hopes and dreams born, burned, and buried in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Chef is truly on his journey with the Lord alone now. No more interference from me.

Unlike a whole unfamiliar culture, Texas reminds me daily of its own c-s-lewis-quoteunchanging personality, and in a way, it welcomes me back. I recognize the smells of wildflowers and mesquite trees. I can pick out the cicadas’ songs from the choir of other nocturnal insects that sing at night. The heat is different here, and every single allergy I’ve had in Oklahoma has instantly disappeared. I was born and bred here, and my immune system is delighted.

download (2)My Oklahoma dogs, despite their rocket scientist rat poison incident, run and play like I have never seen them frolic.  They don’t know why, but they are positive they deserve this slice of heaven as a reward of some kind.

It’s been less than a week, and I’m finally emerging from the fog of a new life thatQuotes-C-S-Lewis-the-golden-trio-char-jezzi-and-anj-32352771-528-199 looks so different than any I’ve had before. This time, I’m not a freshly separated woman, wounded and still bleeding. I’m just another girl, moving to Texas to be near a family I love. The future looks hopeful, though unfocused. I’ve learned throughout my life, just because I can’t imagine what something is going to feel like, it doesn’t mean I won’t like the way it feels. I am relaxed. I am cheerful. I am hopeful. And I am excited.

17abc9dd53eb1a7f5a6a8d56132c2b18Whenever I find myself down, I like to drag out C.S. Lewis’ books, and peruse through his unearthly wisdom about being a foreigner longing for home. I thought tonight, EHAS would share a little of his timeless quotes. We are all trying to walk and not faint these days, wouldn’t you say?

I hope you have a new forest of dreams growing in your lives! Life shouldn’t be full of droughts! Yes. Sometimes, fires of life can wipe out acres and acres of hopes and dreams; but, don’t grieve too long for what once grew in your heart, and is no more. Instead, delight yourself in the new life that will begin to grow there. There is a time to weep; but remember, there is time to laugh again too.

~ Bird

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