Monday, May 28, 2012

The Invitation (Warning - this post involves scary clowns)

Mr. He's Not That Into Me (who from here on out will be named Joe Cool) 
emailed me about this song today. I thought it was perfect for this post. 

Friday night I went to Savior Single Mama's house, that's a whole other post I'm gonna have to write about later, however, while we were sitting on her porch I shared with her the poem The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

Excuse me, Sir. Is that my self-worth
I see in your teeth?
I have been familiar with this poem for years. My favorite part is the stanza written about getting up with the kids in the morning after a night of hell. I'm sure you can figure out why. Mama's tired.

In the past I had always thought of this poem in relation to a partner. What I wanted from someone else. Who I wanted to spend my life with. Fortunately, an amazing man in my acupuncture class recently stood up and read the poem. After he read it he said, "This is what I strive for in myself." ......Damn evolved humans, they can kick you in the ovaries like no one else. I had never, ever thought of applying this poem to myself, which is a sure indication that I've been looking for someone else to fix IT. Oh you know IT, I've been writing about IT for weeks. It's kind of like Steven King's clown, but it lives in my soul and makes me think I'm not whole. Frigging clowns.

Anyway, back to the evolved man. He made me think....well, not actually at that moment. At that moment I thought that was all fine and good for him, but I was so in my heart break I did not give a shit about being a partner for myself or anyone else for that matter. I was in survival mode, but these days I think I've moved beyond survival and into Let-Me-Learn-the-Damn-Lesson-So-I-Can-Find-Some-Friggin'-Peace phase.

This new phase involves willingness and creativity and a little more energy (don't push it though, low expectations are the norm here). This phase might be a phase where you would read a poem to a friend, and realize you needed to read it to yourself, and possibly need to tattoo it in your soul, and try to live it FOR YOURSELF, not ask someone else to bring it to you on a silver platter wrapped up in good conversation and sexy talk. Nope, this time Queenpin, your Royal Highness of Heartbreak, you're gonna have to suck it up and send an invitation to yourself to be what you want. Bring in the clowns, but not the scary ones. I might just want to laugh while I'm evolving.

So here's the poem and a play by play of what I need to work on:

The Invitation 
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Queenpin commentary in purple

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing  Hello, to my blog,  my collage, my acupuncture school. Yay, me, score one. I'm feeling good about this.

It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive Ugh, no...what would people think for heaven's sake? 

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain Get off my back, I'm working on it

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human sigh....can a mother actually do this? Okay, I'm working on it

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another to be true to yourself. I don't like it, but yes I can. I'm sure there are plenty of disappointed people to attest to this.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy I have to think about this one, it's a little deep for my Sweet Pea brain. 

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
And if you can source your own life
from it's presence I can silver line shit like nobody's business. It is the key to my success.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
"Yes."  Maybe, let's see how my exams go

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children. I can shout YES to this one! 

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back. I have to say, these days, I feel like I am standing in the fire, holding my own hand and trying to be brave. I still abandon myself sometimes, its a process. 

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away. I've got a long list of what doesn't sustain me. Time to see what does. 

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like to company you keep
in the empty moments. Hello, me, let's dance....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Breakup List

I used to have a kick ass break up playlist. After the wusband left I collected a ton of songs filled with anger and angst. Unfortunately, when I got a new computer my playlists didn't transfer. Actually, it was probably fortunate since I really needed to let those break up songs go and move into a new phase of my life where I was not the scorned woman stuck listening to Phil Collins Against All Odds

I love the book and the movie High Fidelity by Nick Hornsby.  The main character Rob loves to list things in top 5's. Top 5 songs of this, top 5 mistakes of that. He is musing over a recent breakup and goes to meet the top 5 of his old girlfriends to see what the problem has been in his relationships. The movie is full of great music and good lines. In one scene Rob asks:

What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

Maybe I relate to this so much because there are so many times in my life that music has set the tone or spoken to my soul in such a way that I experienced a profound change in my thinking or my behavior. Music has moved me forward like a wave, either gently or forcefully.  When I sing (in the car mostly these days) I can feel it in every molecule in my body, and it is the closest I feel to the divine. Meditation has nothing on singing for me. Soul singing. Deep blues singing. Fun funk singing. Singing that rises up from my core and out of my mouth.

Today at work, while listening to Pandora there were some awesome breakup songs on. I was listening to Pink Radio (yes, really) and lawd, lawd those women have had some hard times with their men.  Listening to those women experiences made me realize how, though there are probably millions of breakup songs written, there are only hundreds that apply to a specific breakup. I realized that I can't really limit myself to a Top 5 Break Up song list because each breakup requires their own special set. 

With my wusband the songs were mainly about anger and loss. I felt scorned, betrayed, and so shattered when he left. I needed music to fuel my fire so I could get out of bed and mother my beasts, go to work, survive, and eventually thrive. My top 5 breakup songs for the wusband are:

1. I Will Survive -- Cake 

2. Hit 'em Up Style -- The Carolina Chocolate Drop

3. Staple it Together -- Jack Johnson

4. So What -- Pink

5. Call Tyrone -- Erykah Badu

With my Ex-Sweet Escape the song choices are so different. The songs pull at my heart and tug at my soul. They make me want to crawl in bed and bawl. I heard "The Ballad of Love and Hate" recently and I swear my heart exploded all over my chest and then somehow miraculously repaired itself. 

I am deeply sad over our breakup. I'm not angry, nor do I feel betrayed, I'm just really, really sad that he and I could not figure this out. Therefore, when I picked songs for our breakup list they are mostly heart wrenching. My top 5 break up songs for my Ex-Sweet Escape are:

1. The Reason Why -- Rachel Yamagata

2. The Ballad of Love and Hate -- The Avett Brothers 

3. I Hate Myself for Loving You -- Joan Jett

4. Gravity -- Sara Bareilles

5. Rolling in the Deep -- Adele 

It seems that each person, each situation requires a new set of tunes to heal my soul or move me through the moment. I swear I think the rhythm gets into my cells and helps wash them clean. Music allows me to feel deeply what needs to be felt, but then move on once the song is over. It's an amazing kind of therapy. 

These days it's less the breakup tunes and more the move on tunes that I'm drawn too. I think that is a good sign. These days it's Bruce Dennen singing sweetly, Blessed is this Life. Sing it my friend, and cleanse this woman's soul clean.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Can't Even Get Under Anyone Else

You know that saying, the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else? I want to do that. I'm dying to do that. But the problem is I don't really want to do that, and then when I tried to throw myself into it, the man I chose to do it with didn't want to do it either. He was too tired from a recent breakup. He said he was tired. I said I felt too beat up. Really what kind of beginning is that? Hahaha. Reading back over that it sounds like we met in a nursing home.  Luckily, I was kindly, sweetly, ouchly told that nope, he did not want to date the Queenpin.

Jeez. Give the Queenpin a break, does my ego really need to be trimmed down this much, dear Committee? Obviously, it does. Obviously this woman has got to stew for a bit, and toughen up, and white knuckle it through this mother fucking breakup with my Sweet Escape.

I'm trying to do it different this time. My Sweet Escape and I have broken up so many times before, only to fall back into the same pattern weeks later. This time I swore it would be different. I burned or put up for sale the postcards I made him. I smudged all the jewelry he gave me with sage, but most of all I decided to try to find someone else. A rebound, or a man to get under, or a just a little something different. Something to break the tie that keeps me returning to this man that I cannot seem to get out of my heart and my mind.

And it was fun and tortuous at the same time. The first thing I did was join a dating site. That lasted two weeks, it actually made me physically ill to log on. I decided that wasn't for me. Then I met a man and asked him for coffee. It was fun, and he was nice. But here's the thing about me right now, I am in the most over the top of my over the topness. Maybe when you are in the Hulk-ness phase of your AFGO you should not date. This new man, he was just not that into me.

I guess it all returns to that Sweet Escape shaped hole, that is really a God shaped hole in my soul. So far the things that have NOT filled it are:

potato chips and dip
dating sites
texting, phone calls, and date with Mr. He's Not That Into Me
TJ Maxx
wine and Killian's Red
blogging (obsessive checking of my stats -- my deep dark secret)
Facebook (my most recent status update says Let's just skip all the BS. Validate me. And yes, I was completely serious when I posted it)

The worst thing I did after being ever so gently let down was text my Ex-Sweet Escape. That did not make it better and really was about as fun as tying myself to the back of a pickup and being dragged through a gravel pit and then jumping in a nice salt bath. Mmmmm-mmmmm good. Feel the burn. Yep that's my heart.

The funny thing is the main reason why I asked Mr. Not That Into Me to get coffee was that he was glowing from being single. From the joy of being on his own. I have been in that very place and it was such a delicious spot when I got there, however, after the break up with my Sweet Escape I feel too tired, too whipped, to do the work to get there. I think by asking that man out, I may have been attempting my own small attack of the body snatchers. Maybe I could suck that out of him and into me, in some Harry Potter, voodoo princess kind of way I could steal his Zen and make it mine (I know my mind is so scary when I share it. You should come on it for a peak. I only write about the tip of the iceberg).

I think the Universe is sick of me trying to avoid this lesson. I keep trying to say fuck it, but the damn Universe is determined. The Committee is listening to my prayer that I learn the lessons I need to learn from all this pain and confusion. The lesson that IT, that something I keep searching for, is all within me. These outside things will not fix my sense that something is not right. Only I can do that. From within. Friggin' growth.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

That's No Cricket, That's My Savior

With all the growth in my life recently I have been praying a lot. I've been writing to The Committee and talking to them frequently. Their table has been littered with my worries, my joys, my pains, my fears, and my confusion. What the hell am I going to do with this one precious life, and the other two even more precious lives that rely on me? How am I best going to prepare them for their lives in this world as I fumble through my own?
Since the wusband left I have had to learn to rely on myself. Part of that growing up has been learning to trust my gut. I even took a picture of my belly with the words "Trust your gut" written on it, just to remind myself. Just to set it in my flesh. Prayer has helped a lot with clarifying my mind and easing some of my worries. I am getting into the habit of laying things on the table and walking away (at least for a minute) and then waiting until I have a feeling, or an idea that I can't seem to shake and I think, Okay this is the answer. I'll try this.

It is so easy for me to forget I have the divine in me. The Committee sits at their table housed in my soul, their table is my heart. The wisdom about how my life should be lived and how I should raise my children comes from the divine inside me, not from some ethereal boardroom in the sky.  I have a postcard I made that says: 

But really, what does that mean? I think there is a thin line between following the voice of the divine within and schizophrenia. There is this great weekly podcast call RISK.  One week they had a show called Spiritual Breakthroughs. The host Kevin Allison told a story about his God journal that was modeled after the spiritual conversation between God and the author in Conversations With God.  Allison's God calls him Sweet Pea and gives him amazing advice during a time when he is feeling lost and adrift. After a few months conversing with God Allison starts to question the journal and who is really the voice on the other side of the pen. One day when he is really stressed God suggests to Allison that he smoke a little weed, watch some movies, or put on some Miles (Miles Davis).

Wait a minute...what did you say God?  I'm not sure I heard that right. I could've sworn you just told me to smoke a bowl.

I think Walt Disney had the right idea when he gave Pinocchio the cricket as his conscious. It was a separate being. There were no questions about hearing voices, seeing things that weren't there. It was an actual critter. We all saw him, heard his amazing little cricket voice. Yet, it was a cricket. It was miraculous that Jiminy was talking and singing. It wasn't just some normal human being that you could hear advice from any day of the week. This little bug obviously had something special. Jiminy was clearly a divine being and dressed the part, that dapper little dude. 

One pitfall of your divine voice being a cricket, though, is that if you get tired of listening to all his holy advice you could just crush him under your boot and find another cricket. I have a ton in my basement waiting to be listened to. 

In my life I have had many crickets, many different spiritual teachers that have fit my life at the moment, but then I needed to move into another phase. I recognized their divine nature in the way they lived and the words they spoke. When it was time to move on I didn't crush them under my boot I just walked away.  But now in my life I have a desire to learn to trust my own inner divinity. Unfortunately it's not so easy when your inner voice speaks in the same tones you do. Trusting my gut requires a superhero leap of faith. If I listen to the wrong voice and make a mistake, then the buck stops here, with the Queenpin. There will be no lackey for me to blame it on, to put in the line of fire if there is a misstep or miscalculation. 

One of my favorite books I've ever read is called A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving. Owen Meany listens to his divine self without fail. He knows he has a divine purpose in this life and he sees that divine purpose woven into everything. He accepts that his certainty makes him different, that it makes him hard to take. When he speaks in the book it IS ALWAYS IN ALL CAPS, BECAUSE IT IS SIGNIFICANT. Does that annoy you? Owen Meany does not give a rats ass, and I love him for that. He is  quirky, weird, and brave as hell. The courage of a lion in a four foot frame. 
The thing is, Owen Meany is a character in a novel, and though Sassy Queenpin is a persona, the author is a human being, and her life will not wrap up neatly in the end. It is life and it is messy. The larger scheme is too vast for me to see and, unfortunately, my cricket isn't giving me hints on what's to come (cruel bastard, oh that's right, I don't even have a fucking cricket). 

Kevin Allison wrote conversations with God for five months. Looking back years later he says, "Now, I still don't know to what extent I believe in God. I still don't know what the fuzzy line is between me talking and some Higher Power, and I accept that even the best wisdom I have access to is flawed, but the best you can do is the best you can do, and why not always be reaching for it in some way?"

And this is what I return to again and again. Life is not perfect, and to try to make it so for me or my children equals misery. One of the greatest compliments I ever received was from a friend (Marvelous Maine Mama, queen of the Pancake Palace) who read this quote: 

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming 'WOW What a Ride!'"

She looked over at me and laughed and said, "That reminds me of you." Without a doubt I know that that is the lesson the divine is here to teach me, and that hopefully I can pass onto to my children: LIVE AND LOVE, IMPERFECTLY, MESSILY, LOUDLY, LIVE AND LOVE.

What I need the frickin' cricket to remind me of again and again is that THE REST WILL JUST FALL INTO PLACE. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Un-Apologize

With all my growth lately I'm truly starting to feel like the She-Hulk. I am bursting, straining, exploding out of the confines of what was holding me back, and it's not just the quit smoking weight I've gained. I am becoming the woman I have always wanted to become; the woman I know that I am but have been afraid to step into. I am becoming a woman who does not need to apologize for who she is. This is me. I'm complicated, baby, I'm thick, I'm juicy, I'm mouthy, I'm furry. I will make no more apologies.

This week I have realized how much of my life I have spent apologizing for who I am. How many years I have spent either openly or internally whispering, crying, shouting, growling, "I'm sorry that this is the way that I am." The bitter taste of that sentence has eaten holes in my being, yet I have often felt that in this society I must be wrong and THEY must be right. Look at those other folks, they look happy so they must be right, I of course am wrong, because I feel lost on the inside. 

PUH - I spit on you, idea that others know better than I
about how to live my one beautiful life.
 I now know we all feel lost. No one knows the rules of life. Some people find comfort in conformity. That is how they find their peace, other folks find joy in rebellion. I wonder which one the Queenpin would fit in? HA! I bet you can guess. 

The funny thing is, my mentor, that great man I always look to for wisdom on how to run my organization, the great Don, he was a conformist. He saw the importance of social conformity and used it to strengthen his organization. He used a lot of power to keep people and things towing the line as he saw it. But have you seen the damage that did to his kids? Holy moly, that group was a friggin' mess. In this instance I'm going to have to look beyond the Don and find some other mentors. He just doesn't understand the beauty in non-conformity. He would not like the idea of feeding the She-Hulk that is my soul these days.

I just saw The Avengers (big fan of super hero movies, sexy people saving the world - purrr). The Hulk character is so ashamed and afraid of his power. There is this shame he carries with him and wears like a lead coat. In the end of the movie he has learned to accept his power and use it for good with the help of the other Avengers. That's me. I am using the guidance of The Committee and the amazing wise ones in my life to accept my power and use it for good. It may not look the way you want, somedays I may be ugly and green, bursting out of my khaki pants and work shirt, but most days, baby, I'm gonna be that beautiful butterfly you see emerging from her chrysalis. 

On this delicious Mother's Day morning I'm going to give my beasts and myself a gift. I'm going to un-apologize for who I am in hopes that by being true to myself I can teach them how to accept themselves exactly as they are.

  • I'm not sorry for being overweight. I like my body, I like my curves, and my squish.
  • I'm not sorry for being a sexual being. I like it, I love it, I want some more of it. 
  • I'm not sorry for being a sweet furry beast. 
  • I'm not sorry that mother fucker is my favorite curse word and I throw it around like a bouncy ball. 
  • I'm not sorry that I don't like bureaucracy. I think red tape is stupid and if I can get around it I will. 
  • I'm not sorry for my loud mouth and that I don't believe I need to dress up for church.
  • I'm not sorry that I have choose men that don't fit the mold, but who have each taught me amazing lessons about myself. 
  • I'm not sorry that I'm a single mom. That my beasts are learning that family is what you make it. 
  • I'm not sorry that I feel things deeply, hotly, and then I move forward. 
  • I'm not sorry for being a bull-headed woman
  • I'm not sorry for expressing my view of the world, which I can see from your reaction may be slightly different than yours. 
I un-apologize to you. I am not sorry anymore for being me, Sassy Queenpin Mama

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Giving Never Makes You Hate Yourself

There are some amazing women bloggers on the web who are supporting women and families who need a little. In this time of total self-absorption and growth for me I realize that service to others is one way to heal my heart. If you've got a itchin' for a little service check out these two fantabulous blogs:



Rants from Mommyland

I've noticed that thick wallet is making your butt look a little big, you made need to lighten the load a little by giving. Just kidding hot stuff, your ass looks great, but you should still give if you can. If you can't spare any cash good vibes are always accepted as payment.

You know what he's thinking? Giving is sexy...and also that he wants a snack.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sick of My Sadness?.....Too Bad

Who is this woman that can spend half a day sobbing and rubbing her chest because of the white hot pain around her heart, and then spend the evening laughing her ass off playing Egyptian Rat Screw and Spit, yelling in her worst French accent about possums doing 69? Who is this creature that wakes up with an ego hangover from her cackling laugh and raunchy jokes, yet she is still aching for her man?

Is this what I have become?
Yesterday I emailed my man: The thought of allowing someone to get to know me again just seems exhausting. I wish I could just hand out a pamphlet.

Then later after I hadn't heard from him: So I think the silent treatment is the best way to go, even though I don't like it and I have been a sobbing mess again thinking of you with a new woman in your bed or just a heart that doesn't include me in it.

But I know that the silent treatment is the only way I'm going to let you go. Which is what I was trying to say with that ridiculous email I sent earlier. I can't entertain the thought of anyone else because all I want is you. I don't want to get to know anyone else, because really, what is the point? My heart is full of you.

So I just wanted to thank you for the silent treatment and ask you to keep it up. Because then maybe I'll finally be able to let this go.

(It's okay, Dear Reader. You don't have to be embarrassed for me. I get it, this is bad! I have flashbacks  of me at Dead President Junior High sending notes from my Trapper Keeper to Poor Boy Whom I Could Not Stop Obsessing Over).

My Sweet Escape Past Tense called me at midnight and said, "You're killing me baby. I can't stand it that you're so upset." 

"I know I'm being crazy."

He laughed, "I know, you're always crazy."

"But I only let you know how much." I sobbed. It was all very pitiful and ego crushing. We got off the phone soon after. This break-up is a good, and we're sticking to it. It just friggin' SUCKS.  I was slightly comforted by the fact that he thinks it sucks too.

After the wusband left I gave him 2 weeks to get his shit together. Once the two weeks were up I moved on. I was bitter, and angry, but I was done for good. There was no chance for reconciliation after that brief period. I'm am not used to what has happened to me with my man these days. This inability to let go of a person. This unwillingness to move on. 

The hypnotherapist I saw (she helped me quit smoking - 4 weeks ago. Yee-Haw) said numerologically or astrologically (I can't remember which) that I was in the mid-life crisis stage. I laughed and said, "No shit."

Instead of a sports car I got a phoenix tattoo. A phoenix which represents female to cover up the dragon I've had since I was 18. The dragon represents male. Hmmmmm, is there a cosmic message there? defines a mid-life crisis as:
-a crisis that may be experienced in middle age involving frustration, panic, and feelings of pointlessness, sometimes resulting in radical and often ill-advised changes of lifestyle. 

This was my prayer last night, after the phone conversation with my Sweet Escape Past Tense:

Dear Committee, It has been one month, please don't let this breakup follow the rule that it takes 1/2 the time together to get over someone. That would be 10 months and I just can't take this this crazy woman who has possessed my soul.

But I really don't mean it, because though I am in so much pain, I can feel the changes coming and that is exciting. The other day I made a short list in my prayer journal.

Dear Committee, This is what I think your telling me 1.)*********, 2.)**********, 3.)************,  Let me know if I'm off track. 

So far so good. They haven't sent word back that I'm making all these insights up.

Don Corleone wasn't afraid to show sorrow and grief, but he did fear weakness. He feared that if he showed the slightest sign of weakness he would be immediately taken advantage of, immediately overthrown. Recently I have been worried that I haven't been funny enough on my blog the past few posts. That I might be dragging the reader down with all this talk of break ups and crying and crazy. BUT.....

I think that has been my fear for too long. My fear of being seen as weak has caused me to wind myself tighter and tighter, until I feel like my ability to experience the joys and magic of life has been dulled. I'm not saying that anyone who knows me sees a sane and put together person. I mean, I am still me, but I hate to be seen as weak and vulnerable. I have had this intense fear that if I show my weakness my beasts will be ruined, my friends will judge, my mother will worry, my readers will stop reading, and everyone will KNOW (KNOW what?..... I'm not exactly sure).

I'm sharing this with hundreds of people I don't know
and about 50 I do.  SURPRISE, I'm nuts!

If you don't recognize this Queenpin in the pages of this blog anymore it's because I'm following the example of the newest member of The Committee, Akhilandeshvari. I'm breaking this Queenpin up so I can form into something more beautiful. 
Duct tape butterfly - tee hee

Plus I'm having so much fisery (fun and misery) during this AFGO that I've just decided that I'm gonna bring ya'll along for the ride. If you get sick of the vulnerable spilling of my heart's contents all over this blog, if you can't take the cringe-y feeling you get when you read my sad emails to my man, then move on, Sistahs (and brother).  Because writing this out is part of the process. Every Gangsta's got her breaking point, Queenpin's getting ready to get finger paint messy.

Friday, May 4, 2012


The Quilt is me. The squares are
 the Wise Women who help me create myself.
I have been lucky to have some truly wise and amazing women in my life. I am drawn to badass women, because as you can tell from my pseudonym, I aspire to be one. When I was in my early 20's I had an amazing mentor. Before I even had an inkling that almost 20 years later, I would be a single mom who wanted to run her own business, there was this badass mama in my life guiding me with her wisdom and sass. She happened to be a single mama, who ran a successful business and who spoke her mind. Tell-It-Like-It-Is-Mama, is funny, firey, and oh, so damn wise. I met her when I was 19 and was mentored by her until I was about 22. Sometimes I had to avoid her so I could wall off her wisdom. I didn't want it to interfere with my fucking up. Eventually, I had to go do that thing where I had to learn by doing instead of by listening, and she and I parted ways. Thank goodness for Facebook where we have hooked up again and I am now privy to her wisdom all over again.

During the 3 year span of our mentor/menti relationship Tell-It-Like-It-Is-Mama taught me a lot, but one thing I have taken to heart was about AFGO's. AFGO stands for Another Fucking Growth Opportunity, and Lawd, Lawd am I going through one now.

AFGO's are often not pretty, and you don't actually have to learn anything from them, but if you do grab the opportunity by the balls, what comes out on the other end, is a pretty amazing orgasm of wisdom, and courage, and peace. AFGO's take a few weeks or months to get through. There is often crying, venting, and general discomfort involved. It is your souls way of saying, "Hey, baby, there is lesson you need to learn, yet you seem to be avoiding. I'm going to make it a little clearer." Then you, the AFGO-ee, have to decide to listen and grow, or stuff it, and wait for the issue to come out in some other strange way.

My dad used to call me Bulldog Jaw when
I was really concentrating on something.
I jut my jaw just like this lovely lady. 
I've decided to listen. Throughout my day I keep repeating to The Committee, "Please let me learn what I need to learn. Please let me hear what you are trying to tell me."  I'm trying to have faith that I won't miss it. Listen, I tell myself, but not too hard 'cause that vein is gonna pop out of your forehead, and you're gonna look like a bulldog from jutting your jaw forward in concentration, and then you'll get a headache.

This morning a friend of mine posted on Facebook, Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Thing by Julie (JC) Peters. I, of course, read it immediately. The article talks about a Hindu goddess named Akhilandeshvari, which means the Goddess Never Not Broken. She is the goddess of AFGOs. She finds the beauty, the strength, and the possibility created by the breaking apart of your ego, the shattering of your expectations. As soon as I met her she immediately had a seat at my table on The Committee. She rides a crocodile for goodness sake. How could I resist such a luscious badass, who helps me embrace my never ending need to search and break apart so I can grow, heal, and find peace?

I think in our culture there such discomfort with someone lying broken on the floor. I see the expressions on people's faces when I tell them that I am really sad, and yes, there has been a lot of sobbing. I've heard hundreds of ways to get over it, but few suggestions to, "Take care of yourself, girl, be easy. Treat yourself like your sick." However, that is exactly what my inner voice is telling me to do. Be easy, baby, this is hard. Do not be afraid of pajama days and ice cream sundae's. Do not be afraid of being a little bit of a mess. Do not be afraid to feel what you need to feel.

This morning I woke up aching for my man. Missing him so much that I lay in bed and imagined us curled up. I then reached for my novel to distract my ache. After two pages I knew it wouldn't work so I lay the book down on my chest and just thought, "I am sad. I am sad because I miss my man. I am sad because I'm ready for a partner. This sucks." and then I breathed deep and felt it. Surprisingly it was kind of lovely. This deep ache created because I've had the opportunity to love a man so much, and also that by not being with him, I am taking care of me. It was a beautiful hurt that I felt and I breathed into. After a moment of poking my finger in that ache the pain lessened and my day began. I chose to get off the bedroom floor and walk into my life. (Though you better bet your ass that I am giving myself permission to get back down on it anytime I need. If I'm coming over to your house anytime soon, please make sure the carpets are clean.)