I Cleaned My House Today…

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 9.37.09 AMI cleaned my house today. From corner to corner, ceiling to floor, I evicted the comfortable dust bunnies, erie cobwebs, and distant memories.

I cried today. I mourned each day I lost spiraling downward as the bunnies moved in. I cried every tear I had already felt and added four thousand more. I sat, once again, on the bathroom floor and wept irrationally like so many nights before. With knees hugged tightly to my chest, I just let myself weep.

I picked myself up today, up off that floor which displayed so clearly the neglect I’ve shown in my life. The rugs so caked with dirt and mire were finally hung out in the sun to gain new life.

Each messy cupboard, each closet begging for some attention, each misconstrued pile of mail I never opened was attended to. Trash bags were filled. Piles of laundry were sorted. The 6 month old eggs were tossed. Pictures were stored away.

I cleaned my house today. I say this with extreme victory in my voice. You see, I never thought I’d find myself struggling to stay afloat, too exhausted to sort the mail, too broken to plug in the vacuum. But that is where I am. Each day is a silent (or not so silent) battle to reclaim all that I allowed myself to lose. Each day is a reminder I am stronger than I thought I was, more determined, more vulnerable, more authentic. Each day, although a battle, is an obnoxious gift begging to be claimed and embraced.

Today I say this with all the joy, authenticity, vulnerability, honesty I have within me:

I cleaned my house today, tears in my eyes, sun shining in, birds singing new songs, and finally knowing there is hope on the horizon. It’s funny to think the first light I’d glimpse at the end of this tunnel would be me in worn out jeans, shaking out rugs on the patio, and releasing my excuses just like I released the adorable dust bunnies back into the wild.

Not all Who Wander…

Today marks exactly 6 months since my life completely changed. Without acknowledging that aloud this morning, I think my sub-conscience did. These last 6 months have been awful, beautiful, life-stealing and life-giving.

I stand here a more authentic version of myself than I’ve ever been before. The Laura that greets me each morning is the real woman who has been hiding nervously all these years.

Am I still incredibly afraid of ever attaching myself to another person again? Yes. Does that mean that my bravery is weaker than my fear? Nope.

It’s hard to accept it’s all just a distant memory. A faded picture growing more dim each day. I am thankful this choice was made for me. I am thankful I am forging my own path, finally. But that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.

6 months… I’m finally stronger and the farthest thing from lost.

Beautiful Things

Sunset“You make beautiful things.”

A few weeks ago I found myself starring west out of an unfamiliar window that some people called my home. It was new. It was weird. It was nothing like I’d thought it would be. As tears began to pool in the corners of my eyes, I mourned the story I had pre-written for this part of my life. I mourned… sitting on cold pavement as the sky blazed orange. I mourned the broken promises, now fictitious plans, and all the things I held so close to my recently shattered heart.

“You make beautiful things out of dust.”

That’s the funny thing about new beginnings: I’m not sure anyone actually wants them until they are thrust upon them and they have no choice. I’d found myself at the starting line of a new beginning looking back at where I was, longing for any opportunity to return. There was acceptance in the past. There was fun and laughter. There was something more real and honest than anything I’d experienced before. At this new beginning there is nothing but stark silence as the rain falls. There are no incoming words to soothe my broken soul. There are no promises of future restoration. There is nothing but me, the cold pavement, and the sky begging to become night.

“All this pain. I wonder if I’ll ever find my way.”

To quote Ben Folds, “hope is a bastard, a liar, a cheat, a tease.” She stands just outside your reach, whispering promises that may never come. She creeps up in the depths of your soul, trying to heal the wounded parts against your will. She ploys you late at night with phrases like, “hold on”, “don’t give up”, “you’ll be ok”. She shows herself in the faces of those who love you as they try to take your pain away. She tries to steer your mind away from the happy memories, sweet smiles, and mountaintop moments. She tries to remind you that things weren’t that great. That you were in a bad place. That you weren’t cared for. That you weren’t appreciated the way you should be. She stands just out of reach painting a picture of what could be, but offers no help to draw you closer to her. She shows herself in rainy sunsets, alone on the pavement, shaking with a sadness you can’t contain. She whispers the truth… upsetting, outrageous, anger-inducing truth.

“He makes beautiful things out of us.”

The sun blazed orange and flashed to breath-taking pink. My chest ached from the cavern that appeared within. No kind words from friends could reduce the pain. No gentle smiles or strong embraces could close the hole shouting its presence. I was dust. I was less than dust. I was the mess swept under the rug that breaks down and finds its home in the land between existing and not.

“You make beautiful things out of dust.”

Hope lingers near. She lingers in every sunset I watch from my new “home”. She declares herself each morning in my review mirror as she illuminates the brilliant fall colors while I hold back pre-work tears. She exudes her warmth in the embrace of a friend who knows the only thing they can do is hold you while you shake. She stands vigil by my side as I fight the thoughts trying to drag me further into the pit I fought so hard to save myself from.

Someone once told me that “there is no hope”. Little did he know she was blazing right behind him, gentle arms outstretched, calling me towards the truth that beautiful things can be made out of dust, we just have to be made into that dust first.

 

 

I am the Hero of this Story… but I Needed to be Saved.

photoSharing your story is opening yourself up to a bevy of hurt, unwanted input, and strange criticism, but it’s more than all the negative. When you share your story, share your life with someone, be they on the internet or in-person, you are opening yourself up to something beautiful. How do I know this? Let me tell you.

There he was—the good-lookin’ nerd…

I’ve never admitted this before, but I actually noticed Adam (not his real name, sorry) right when he walked in the room. “Please let him sit at my table!” I pleaded with God. Thankfully, God had my back and Adam found the last open chair at my table full of silent females staring blankly at anything but each other. I said HI as obnoxiously as I possibly could. Let’s just say, I’m the smoothest chick on planet earth. SMOOTHEST! Thankfully he flashed a smile and soothed the rapid beating of my heart. Now years later, he still has that calming effect on me. We exchanged our pleasantries, but more importantly, he laughed at my stupid jokes. I knew right then that he was something.

Meeting him was unexpected, and exactly what I needed. (more…)

Conviction Delivered via Gmail

Never has someone spoken into my stupidity as clearly as this moment right here.

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What do I think you’re not saying?  You want to play this game??

Well, we’ve established that you have certain goals you’re not willing to disclose.  I can only assume that the reason you don’t want to talk about these goals (or, shall we say visions for the future) is accountability – yeah, I went there.  As soon as you say it out loud, it becomes a real thing.  As soon as someone else knows about it, you’re accountable for it.  I would be able to ask you “hey, what about [this]?  Why aren’t you working on it?”  Is it because you are afraid to fail?  Is it because you are afraid to let people know that you want what you don’t think you can have? (more…)