March 25, 2012 is The Single Crunch’s anniversary – about three weeks before the death of my mother.
I started this blog after sharing a slideshow I made and uploading it to YouTube. It was shared by different Facebook pages that seemed to have a solid fan base -
- and people were liking it.
I was all, “Oh snap I’m a videographer.”
Then I was all,
“Wrong answer. I’m not a videographer. But this was fun. I wonder if there’s a way I could share my stories in a way that showcases a talent I do have? Hmm…”
I ran down the list of my three talents and since one of them requires me to be naked, I went with writing and parenting.
Obviously I was going to write about my children.
I didn’t want to be an instruction-giver or a method-teacher.
I wasn’t looking for a following.
I think I only wanted to share.
I wanted to make some people laugh.
I wanted to touch someone’s heart.
I wanted to give another mother hope.
I wanted to be that mom who’s mostly not being represented on your average gentle parenting page
or your average unschooling page
or your average breastfeeding page.
I wanted a bit of community in my life.
And looking back I’ve realized
That I also wanted an escape.
I started writing just as my mom was dying and
I sat in the hospital bed in her room for weeks,
posting and sharing and replying to comments.
I was happy about the blog…proud and excited that something I’d done
was working out.
I think subconsciously
my brain knew I’d need something to hold onto.
Something to fill the planet-sized void in my life
that appeared as my mother was leaving my life.
Some weeks ago I was on the phone with Sheila Pai, one of the most calming, nurturing souls I’ve ever had
the pleasure of not actually meeting – and
I said to her that I don’t think I’m going to “get any better” than I am now.
I’ve never really bought into the idea that victims of childhood abuse can “fully” recover, because
“Fully” for me would mean I’d be who I would have been if I’d never been abused.
I decided a while ago that I’m not going to spend too much time attempting to “change”,
I focus on striving to cope.
My brain sent me a message when I was a teenager that
Sure, I can work through my past and get better but
I am who I am
See, I can identify an issue I have and
start to work on it and
it gets better,
But then I realize I’ve had to sacrifice mastery in other facets of my life,
And that now I’ll need to go back.
Often I only get so far with an issue before I reach a place
to try and navigate.
My brain figured out for me that sometimes
the answer to healing ourselves is in fact
That when we cannot rid ourselves of our own demons,
we can render their presence less of a burden
by giving of ourselves to others.
Giving the good stuff,
the best part.
And that when we share ourselves openly and freely
and when we share because we genuinely, passionately love everyone alive
and we share with tender concern for the welfare of others -
they can reflect back for us
what they see in us.
And that perhaps what they see
is a lot of good.
And that maybe their voices will drown out the pained wailing of all those demons.
So I’ve learned,
I’ve always known,
that my journey is not my own.
That in order for me to be at peace with myself
and my world
my existence must be one of service to others.
That’s what fills my cup.
I didn’t fully understand that last March when I started The Single Crunch.
I didn’t get that what was making me feel so big and so proud and so full,
whenever I receive a comment from a reader,
was that the reader said
I’d helped them.
I wondered at first if it was an ego thing but
really, me, ego? :)
I’ve never had much to be egotistical about so,
it wasn’t that.
It was being able to reach my arm out and caress the shoulder of a friend in Australia,
from here in my home in the busy Boston streets.
It was reading from a mom that her kids should thank me and thinking
no they shouldn’t because
I know what it takes for you to keep reading
and hoping you’ll get better, Momma
and I honestly love you and your children,
and I hope it gets better, too,
and I want you to see me and to know that it can,
it will and
the fact that you’ve chosen to share it with me
is making me better too, so
There are still times when
it doesn’t compute that maybe
I am helping others.
Like if you’ve been buying lottery tickets for years
and you’re there in the living room one night
and your eyes are locked on the TV
and your numbers show up on the screen
and you just stare because you’re shocked beyond words.
That’s what it’s like when I read messages from others.
Money doesn’t excite poor people because
we know it’s an illusion.
I don’t have a lot of money and
there doesn’t “seem” to be enough to go around anyway so
since there are so many human beings on the planet
I’ll trade in love and people.
Compassion is my currency.
And I won’t miss out on anything because
I was born poor and it would be my honor to die that way
as long as I’ve touched a lot of lives.
And even though I know how big the world is
my world isn’t always so big because of my circumstances,
so even one life is a lot, to me.
And there is more than one person reading my blog,
so you can imagine how I’ve hit the lottery.
There are two anniversaries approaching
in my life.
One is this blog’s.
The other is the death of my mom
because of a bunch of people
whom I will never regard as strangers,
I have a choice of which one I can devote my energy to.
And ain’t that pretty damn special.
Thank you for reading what I write. I’m proud of The Single Crunch and I am forever indebted to all of you for helping me to work through my past and my present, and losing my mom. Thank you. All love.