My First Memory
My first memory, I think I was younger than two, is from right here in Anacortes. I was with my grandparents at the park on 32nd St. Back then there were these animals attached to giant springs that you could sit on and rock back and forth. I remember the want. I remember not having the language to communicate. And I remember reaching out to those fun looking toys.
As luck would have it, right then a group of boys came along and hopped up on the springy things. They were probably teenagers. They were going crazy on those things. I remember feeling afraid. I remember my grandpa hollering at the boys to get off and scolding them for being way too big to play there. The rowdies left and I got my turn. But the whole experience had been tainted by the too many things that welled up in me.
At two, I was embarrassed for the too-big boys playing on equipment meant for small children. I was embarrassed for them getting caught. I felt badly that they had to leave on account of me. I felt badly that my grandma was embarrassed by my grandpa making a scene and chasing the boys off. I felt self-conscious that my grandma tried too hard to cover over the awkwardness and make it fun for me anyhow.
I’ve been swimming in those feelings and emotions ever since. I came into the world a highly sensitive little peanut and have spent the majority of my life trying to hide it, deny it, convert it. The bottom line is, this is me. It always has been.
I cry when I’m sad, I cry when I’m happy, I cry at beauty. One time I was in Manhattan with a dear friend, and we spent an afternoon wandering around the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So. Much. Beauty. That night when we got back home, I spent the rest of the night vomiting. Sensory overload. My body was overwhelmed by the enormity of it. By the enormity of beauty. It wasn’t the first time that happened and it probably won’t be the last.
Making Friends With Myself
It’s taken me my lifetime to begin to make friends with myself. To quiet the critical voices in my head pointing out how others are stronger, happier, more productive than I am. The voices that chastise me for saying too much, eating too much, being too much. To gentle my inclinations to restrict myself, to become small, to not take up too much space.
Fifty years and counting it’s taking me to allow myself to be the creature I came onto this Earth to be. There is so much to be enjoyed and marveled at. There is so much good work to do sharing our lives in community where we get to journey together and share reassurances that we are not alone.
A Few Of My Favorite Things
Have you ever had a Roku Gin Martini, no Vermouth, extra shaken (for the ice crystals, it’s all about the ice crystals), and 3 pearled onions? It could be the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted. Have you ever driven through Skagit Valley when the Snow Geese are migrating and you have to pull off the road because your heart has momentarily stopped and you’ve never seen a greater display in the natural world? Have you ever sat with a friend in a devastating situation and somehow the words that roll out of you are just the right words, even though you have no idea where they came from? Have you ever been the friend receiving those words? Of course, all of those things make me cry. Even the martini – it is so beautiful, made so perfectly.
We Get To Be Gifts
This is me. Plus, all the grouchiness and obsessiveness that I’m not talking about even though I fully admit they’re part of the package too. And speaking of packages, we get to be gifts in this world. I get to be a gift in this world. Remember that time you got that gift that made you feel seen, and known, and so grateful? That’s you. You are a gift. We are. And as we bring ourselves kindly and bravely into this wide world, it makes it easier for others to step into the light of who they are. A chain reaction of gifting. Talk about beauty – I’m crying just thinking about it.
If you love who you are, or you need to make friends with you, if you’ve been ashamed, or embarrassed, too much, too little, or you’re in desperate need of a gift, let’s be friends~