About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Monday, March 28, 2011

Not all who wander are lost

Have you ever walked into a room and wondered why you were there?  It's like you wandered in with an intention that disappears into the fog of your brain in less than a second.  So you stand there looking around at all the possibilities in front of you:  did you want a soda, a pen, an apple, a book...what the hell did you want?

Well, that's how I feel about my life lately.  I wandered around for the past five years after my husband died, all intentions lost in the fog of my brain and find myself standing in my house wondering what the hell it was I wanted through all of this. 

Not all who wander are lost.  I love that saying.  Often the wandering is part of living, of adapting, of evolving.  I wandered through the the trauma of finding my husband's body after his suicide, wandered through the kids' grief counseling, wandered through getting my daughter over her subsequent anxiety attacks, wandered through my own dark grief where I battled loneliness and guilt, wandered back into my career after a lot of false starts and wandered into this moment where I feel more like a warrior than a widow.

People don't understand where I have been or why it has taken "so long" to "get over" Sean's death.  They can think whatever they want as long as they shut up about it.  Maybe they haven't experienced real love so can't relate to the void left by its departure.  Maybe they haven't had to guide two small children through a traumatic loss all alone.  Perhaps their lives have been untouched by true tragedy like witnessing the last breath of someone dearly loved.

And, no, writing about it doesn't mean I'm not over it.  On the contrary, it means I am finally in a place of strength so I can express all of this without crumbling into a heap onto the ground.  It took two years to be able to write again.  Two years.  Grief sucked my creativity dry.  I have spent the past few years getting it back and have only been able to write about the suicide and grief for the past year and a half.

Like a tulip bulb planted deep within the earth where it grows beneath the snow in the darkness only to burst into color come spring, I needed time to heal, to grow, to evolve.  I am thankful for the time.   

Yes, I took the scenic route and climbed over a lot of boulders to stand here today.  I look around at this house I have lived in for thirteen years and question why I am still here.  I am not sure it fits ME anymore, not with warrior me in residence.  I crave action, people, interaction, newness, LIFE. 

It's okay to wander.  Every day is a new beginning, a clean slate.  Every day is a chance for the fog to clear and to ask...what the hell was it I wanted?  And then go and get it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Turning off the noise

Earthquakes. Tsunamis.  Wars.  Oil spills.  Nuclear meltdowns.  Celebrity meltdowns.  Lately, it feels like watching the news is like sitting through a Hollywood movie without the happy ending. 

Life is stressful in our own corner of the world without listening to the constant stream of gloom and doom that leads us to the edge of crazy town.  Most of us have at least one of the following in our lives:  crazy family members who enjoy twisting the knife in our wounds, financial obligations that feel overwhelming, people casting doubt on our every move, grief that haunts us despite the passing of time, major life decisions that feel devastating no matter which way we turn, relationships that are more frustrating than rewarding or health concerns that freak us out more than we want to admit.  We all have our own story...our own struggles...our own challenges.

I say let it all go.  Have fun today.  Turn off the television for 24 hours.  Play with your kids.  Play with your pets.  Go for a walk--in the rain, in the snow, in the sun, whatever--get outside.  Do something mindless.  Let yourself stop and watch the sunset.  Take a deep breath.  Exhale.  Let it all go.

A friend told me the other day that she no longer knows how to have fun, wouldn't even know where to begin.  I feel her story is more the norm than not.  Somewhere along the way the word fun has become synonymous with lazy.  If you're an adult having fun, then you must not be working hard enough.  If you're having fun, then you must not be taking good enough care of your kids.  If you're having fun, you must be drinking (because--God forbid--a natural high is unheard of!).  If you're having fun, then you must be stupid to not notice what's going on in the world.  Fun?  Oh, yeah, that's something we did back in college, right? 

Bullshit. 

Life is serious enough as is.  We need more laughter, peace and love in our lives.  Why look for more drama?  Let it all go.  Release the fear, the anxiety, the regret, the sorrow, the anger, the need for approval...release it from your attention.  No, it doesn't mean that you stop caring...it means you free yourself to be happy despite it all.

There is only so much we can control.  In this moment, it is 100% in your control to choose how you're going to feel and what you're going to allow into your mind.

I choose happiness and acceptance.  Now...time to play fetch with my dog for awhile.