Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sense of self

So after that last post, where it was mostly just brain vomit...
I started sitting and reflecting on who I am now.
I really think I have shook the label of infertile as my FIRST descriptor of self.
In fact, it feels like it has shifted pretty far down the list of identifiers.
Does that mean that I don't still ache so deeply for the babies I am not watching grow up?
Does that mean that I still don't think about how my body didn't do what it was suppose to do?
Everyday it enters me mind, but I think my relationship with those events
are in a different place now.
They are not forgotten but more like interned,
almost as though, I have allowed them to lay to rest;
transcend this earthly plane and ascend to a new level of conscience.
Does that make any sense?
I am seeing signs of it regularly now.
I look at babies again, and smile at them, because they are funny and drooly.
I am not angry when I see a pregnant woman,
but wonder how long she tried for and how scared she might be at this new road in her life.
I mentioned to my yoga teacher that I couldn't do some poses because of my endo, but I mentioned it in such a casual way, you'd think I had said I couldn't because of a head cold or something.
I am thinking about how to make memories with my niece and nephew as a way for them to remember me, not act out re-imagined situations I might have had with my own children.
It is strangely liberating, and slightly sorrowful.
I am growing
That is my best guess at this
I spend a lot of time alone, whether in the studio working, or just being me. 
I reflect on strange things like:
Where do the city raccoons live that eat out of the city garbage cans?
Why do some finger nails grow faster than others?
Why are some people afraid of quiet?
What can I do to be more focused?
How would I feel if I applied and got a residency abroad?
Why does cheese seduce me so...
Being alone and quiet a good portion of the day, makes me realize that it is indeed a gift.
Although I would have loved a home full of boys (that is what I always imagined)
I question if I could have been who I am if I had that too.
I am suppose to make art, but would I have still stayed on this path with a baby?
I am finding that I am seeing this now, as a sort of re-gift.
I was denied so much for sooooo many years, and so many more ahead of me.
I guess I am justifying what I have now as a new beginning, or gift.
Maybe I am simply making a lemon drop from a bushel of lemons...
but that seems to be my mindset these days.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Deep Thought- or just some random thoughts in a single post

I love the pretzel of hair on the back of her head
**Warning-I seem to ramble a lot in this post **
and the spell check stopped working mid-post so please excuse any spelling errors
OK so I am back in the studio, most of the week now...well portions of the day, most of the week now. It makes a difference and allows me to do all the crazy admin stuff that no one ever tells you is required when you are trying to make a name for yourself in the art world....or just trying to get your work seen by someone other than yourself and your visually over saturated friends and family.
The Barren is very patient and truly believes in my work and me, even when I am not totally convinced. I think this is paramount to my mental health and
fighting the easy slide into self doubt and depression.
I am lucky indeed.
I am making new work and have held back on my shotgun submissions, instead focusing on making new and interesting work.
Last year I spent close to $500 in entry fees and although I was in 14 exhibitions,
I only sold four pieces...some would say that is not a good investment.
So in an effort to be farther focused,
I am thinking three or four times before submitting works and trying to save a buck or two.
It is hard....really hard.
I want to be in me, please like me
On to other complaints...
The honeymoon is over with this vegan takes a lot of effort and preparation and planning.
I seem to always be hungry or totally over extreme or another. It is exhausting!
It also means that when I do eat something non-vegan, I spin into mental tabulation of what I ate, how much and how bad was that for me...I am pretty sure an hour of hot yoga does not burn off a weekend's worth of white potato hash browns and a scoop of ice cream or toast
but I am letting my mind think so for now...
According to my parents, who are really confused about how and what I eat now...
I channeled my great grandmother two nights ago and made something that she always made, stuffed cabbage rolls...but I made mine vegan. (she is probably rolling her eyes, heck I am rolling mine) It took a LONG time and was much like making enchiladas or tamales...where you have a complicated filling and then roll and bake and presto- done.
I have to admit, they tasted really good and the parents said that they were a good representation of the tradiational dish...but I wonder, did I make these because I was desperate for a complex new dish or was I trying to connect with family?
I find that as the years go on, and I age without offspring...
I wonder how I connect with the family here?
I find myself looking at photos desperate to see if I resemble anyone,
or carry anyones traits...or am I really the anomaly.
I have also been having dreams about searching for family.
Complicated routes and great distances are involved...but in the end I don't see them.
I have been watching "Long Island Medium", I don't care if it is all staged or fake.
Something in me needs to see the messages, and then I wonder
..if she read me, who would come through and what message would they deliver?
I wonder if my babies would...can someone who left before they are whole-
be whole on the other side? and then deliver messages?
I like the idea...I am not religious so I can not seek out the answers there; so I am left to my own version of spiritual guidance which leaves the door WIDE open
to questions and theories and feelings.
Onto other news
I went away last weekend to enter The Barrens homebrew into a competition...we'll know in June if he goes to the next stage...but we spent the night away and he got to sample loads of microbrews.
I had every intention to sample them as well, but with the voice in my head and her calculator I couldn't do more then a taster of two...I tried to not be a wet blanket and bring the whole scene down, I went wherever the next pub was and sat quietly and laughed and engaged in conversations...
but really, I was bored.
It was a good weekend still, and I got some real time with The Barren
who is traveling a lot more now for work.
So with all this extra time alone now, I fill my head with thoughts.
Sometimes deep, sometimes shallow..but it is always filled.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Someone Not Me

I had to go to the nursery to recover from what was my Friday...
I buy plants when I am extremely upset, emotionally.
Plants have always set my brain right, the garden and the potted plants on my patio have acted as therapists many times over.
It is a good vice, I mean a plant buying binge is far better in my mind than other vices.
I was called into jury duty. I sent in the card and followed the rules, but really I don't want to serve on a jury as I would have a hard time ruling on someones life.
When I got to the waiting room, a judge came in and talked about
how important it is to be a juror.
I listened and understood that I had no control over the day...and I tried to swallow that.
He assured us that we would not be called for family issues, like divorce or child custody.
I took an exhale of relief.
While waiting, someone from court appointed advocates came in and
told us about what they do in foster care....and speak out for abused foster kids...
I was getting mad, I felt assaulted by the sad situation and I wanted to run from the room.
She left and I went back to the drawing I had brought to keep me busy
and listened from my name each time a pool was called.
On the third round I was called to a courtroom.
I was OK with that, and after sitting in a jury chair as the room was quite full
 the judge read what the trial was about and I about lost it...
Crime of a lewd act against a child, and multiple molestation allegations
My heart was about to explode, it was beating so hard and I began to sweat.
When the judge asked if someone had a hardship and he got to me,
I stood before a packed room, shaking (I could hear it in my voice)
 and said that being a woman who has lived through 8years of infertility
I could not emotionally handle the details of the case.
He asked if I had a job, if I was married and if I had kids.
( I was angry, as I had just told him I was infertile...
hell, I told a good chunk of my counties demographic )
He then said it was not a hardship and to take a survey to fill out for the lawyers.
The prosecutor asked my name, and I spelt it as I left the room.
He said he didn't pick the jury, but the lawyers did.
I was fighting crying at this I left the courtroom
I made it all the way to the bathroom at the end of the hall
to totally break down in a puddle.
Then I looked at myself in the mirror and told me:
" pull it together, you can write down why to the lawyers"
Keep fighting it
In another lifetime I was that person who would have wanted to be on the trial,
serve justice and get the wrongs righted.
I am not that person now.
I can mostly accept that.
I am struggling a little;
as I was asking to walk away from a moment of need.
I spent the next hour filling out the form,
details about if I knew people who were victims of crime
did I know police officers
did I know lawyers
did I think children's testimony was less valid than adults
and finally an area to tell them if I felt I could be unbiased.
I pleaded that as an infertile woman
I am very sensitive to stories of children and
that the details of this case might send me into a depression, undoing all my therapy.
I told them I could not be unbiased or open minded.
After I finished the survey, I left the building angry
and feeling like I was being forced to witness another horrible thing in life.
I got back to my car, knowing I would have to return Monday...
I called my mom to tell her that I might not be able to take her
to her medical procedure on Tuesday and when she said you OK?
I lost it and cried, a words just tears.
She was patient, and then said "can you tell me anything?
...I said: "the worst you can imagine"
"She said is it about children?"...and I cried
I told her I needed to get some plants
She told me she would foot the bill, I giggled...and then said
"I'm sure your survey will get you excused"
I told her I hoped so, as that was my only hope now.
After buying a trunk load of plants and new mulch...
I spent the weekend trying to not think about it.
it was futile.
I dreamt about it, I had quiet moments and panicked about it....
I returned this morning and after waiting,
my name was in the first pool of names called into the courtroom.
The judge excused us.
I looked at the prosecutor and whispered "thank you"
then turned and left the courtroom.
I could breathe deeper
I am now home, squeezing the kitties watering my new plants and sipping tea.
I hope I did the right thing