Dreams, essay, Feminism, Freedom, Inspiration, Love, Memoir, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Prose, relationships, Spirituality, Womanhood

Half-Truths or The Actual Woman

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I didn’t grow up to be who I was supposed to be. I wasn’t supposed to have oily hair or a messy bun. But I’ve settled for it. I wasn’t supposed to have unemployment, compromised driving privileges, trust issues, or a dying cat – that’s some other woman.

I didn’t grow up to be tame-haired and golden. I didn’t grow up to be worshiped by a man, doted on, a traffic-stopper, a perfect-in-every-way kind of girl. I’ve never been that.

Not only have I been to therapy, but I’ve walked away from it (that’s worse, it means I haven’t been helped yet). But this story is full of half-truths. You know, maybe I did grow up to be who I was supposed to be (how could I not? I was in control the entire time) (even that’s a half-truth).

I was supposed to be a role-model, for one. All nice girls wish to be role models, that’s how you know you’re good. But I couldn’t even pull that off (half-truth). You know you’re fucking up when a child asks you, “Are you a kid too!?” Eye.

Things have gotten better since then. I feel in control (half-truth). I accept the messy bun. I let the teenage neighbor kids see my climbing-out-of-the-car-with-two-paper-bags-of-groceries-clumsiness. I wish sometimes the girl could look at me with that want-to-be-like-her-when-I-grow-up-awe. You know the awe. But I don’t think I am that woman. I’ve accidentally watered the flowers in a see-through gown, waving at the neighbors. I’ve fallen in a hole chasing after the dog. I am someone else, slightly off-set of that woman. The alternate. The sister story. The girl with the hair falling in her eyes, needing to be washed. The girl with the floor needing to be swept, scrubbed. The woman in the gray dented station-wagon. The woman with the budding, not blooming, flower garden. The woman with $4.50 in fines at the library. The woman who just signed up for the Adult Reading Program (because she hopes to win a tote-bag). The woman who used to work in retail and now works in manual labor. The woman with a college degree, who makes $11 an hour. The woman who would rather paint and write more than anything. The woman with a few pretty dresses that she never wears. The woman who has many friends over the age of fifty. The woman who is apprehensive of parties, but loves them once she gets there. The woman who thinks she knows herself so well (but has a lot to learn). The woman who writes personal stories on her porch in the sunshine. The woman who wishes for tan legs, but won’t pay for them, or sit still long enough for them. The woman who wishes for the luxury of travel, an open road, snacks, a band to follow, cold beer…a bunch of things that aren’t really her, but maybe…The woman who has a defrosted chicken for the crockpot. The woman whose man will be home soon. The woman with her dog barking and her cat purring. The woman with the messy bun, fresh face, bare feet, tall grass, summer sun. The woman, the actual woman, I was meant to become.

Inspiration, Poetry

Healing Spaces

Photo credit: Crystal Danielle Gasser
Photo credit: Crystal Danielle Gasser

Some places make
for better healing spaces
out under the moon
in the first rays of
the days sunshine
in the shower
where my fears
run on forever
along with that
steady stream of water
then out they go through
the dime-sized copper pipes
and into the land if only for a
moment’s notice before rising
up again
I find a healing space
on the inside of a just
laundered sock
at the lip of a hot Mason jar
filled with tea
on the soft, forgiving face
of a yoga mat
at the tip of my tongue
when I am speaking
the truth
in the warm embrace
of a familiar loved one
I find a healing space in
dreaming
creating
accepting
allowing and
holding back
I find a healing space in
kissing and
licking
cooking
cleaning
and challenging myself
there
there
there
it is
the healing space
where my actions
are for the good
not destruction
how easily we can self-destruct…
I find a healing space
when I CHALLENGE
muscle memory
when I allow myself
to do what’s best
I find a healing space
in forgiving myself
I make a list of the
healing spaces
I write down:
kitchen
bath
candles
incense
scents
warm clothes
wood stove
massage
self-massage (more likely)
I write down:
order
a clean car
clean pillow
clean mouth
clean fridge
I write down:
near a stream
sea
lake or
fall
I write:
inside of your own self
if you’ve got nowhere else
at all
I write:
on the teet of my
dream goddess mother
I write:
in my lover’s arms
I write:
call my father
I write of healing spaces
like within the pages of a
Jack Kerouac book
I remind myself and
I write it all down then
I remind myself to look
again