I Second That Emotion.

It’s July 28th, I think? It was when I started this. Really I started it five years ago today.

When it comes to my emotions and my words, in speaking, sometimes, often, I have bottled feelings up for days and weeks and years. Sometimes they’re so squished together and filled to the brim and gaining pressure and steam, that when I go to open my mouth, nothing comes out. Break it down again – I break down. Again. For years, I couldn’t even argue with Cassidy because if I opened my mouth or my head, a freight train would come screeching out, but I wouldn’t yell. The silence would be deafening. Break it down again – broken down. Even when it seems innocuous or even domestic. Even if it’s about money.

It never really is. It’s all of the missteps and spaces between.

To this day, I can’t always have a simple argument or discussion without blinking back tears. I get defensive, which I don’t think of as a character flaw. I think of it as defending, and having something to defend. It doesn’t always mean I’m right.

Often, I’m not.

When it comes to my emotions and my words, in writing, sometimes, often, I have bottled up feelings for seconds and minutes and hours. Sometimes they’re so squished together and filled to the brim and gaining pressure and steam, that when I go to write down the words, they fly too fast and too uncontrolled for my taste. Sometimes that’s ok and it’s sparkly and rainbowy and you laugh when I laugh, and I laugh when you laugh. Sometimes my written words cause tears, and not the good kind. Occasionally, my Facebook posts have to be edited or deleted. It’s rare. It’s just that when it comes to my emotions and my words, well baby, that’s what I’m built for here. Offensive, and not defensive. It doesn’t always mean I’m right.

Often, I’m not.

We use our emotions and our words, sometimes together, sometimes apart, to break it down again, and put it back together.

“It’s in the way you’re always hiding from the light
See for yourself, you have been sitting on a time bomb
No revolution maybe someone somewhere else
Could show you something new about you and your inner song”

— Tears For Fears in Break it Down Again, because I keep saying it..

Five years ago tonight, I was putting my emotions and my words together, in the only way I knew how. Published 7/28/11:

Once upon a time, there was someone else.

I’ve always believed that when you fall in love and when you’re with someone, a whole new world opens up. You create a “room” in space that was never there before and is only there by chance, by luck, by unluck, by fate. Whatever means it takes to get there, your collision of love and shared experiences creates this room in space and time. Sometimes you both leave the room together and you shut out the figurative light. Sometimes one person leaves the room and the other stays in it for days, or weeks, or months and years. Sometimes you both stay in the room forever, but the light goes dim in your room. Sometimes the light goes out. Other people join you in your room, your world. The people you’d never know if your love hadn’t created a room. Your parents, your lover’s parents, siblings, friends, cousins, grandparents, anyone.

I was once torn between two rooms. I guess I was temporarily overlapping. One room was filled with the sound of music – the most beautiful piano you could ever imagine. Decaf lattes. Summer nights. Hammocks. Cutting vegetables with his mother. Coffee with his sister. Career advice from his dad. Breathing machines. Whole Foods. Wheelchair Vans. Serenades.

The other room was filled with moose and wolves. A San Francisco apartment. A Cape Cod beach house. Bacon sizzling in the morning. Yosemite cabin adventures. Shooting stars. Airplanes. Mountains to climb. Mountains to marry on top of. I chose this second room. There was not necessarily right or wrong. There was just heart. And chance. Or fate. Or love. Or all.

So I left the safe and cozy first room and they turned out the light behind me. But I had left my muddy boots by the door.

Once upon a time, there was someone else. And not only that, there were his parents and his sister. I was close with all of them. And people don’t talk about it a lot – but when you break up with someone, you mostly have to break up with their families too. I’m sure there are striking exceptions, but often the pain is too great and to continue the other relationships would be tense, painful and sometimes secretive. Often, we don’t have the energy or the heart to do so. So we split apart as well. Sometimes it’s instant like a Band-Aid. Bam! You once considered them your second parents and now you may never speak again. Yet sometimes it’s slow and awkward. You want to remain close but it’s too hard and you slowly drift apart.

Before I met my ex-boyfriend, before we were sort of blindly but not blindly set up with each other, I was told his father was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). When I actually met my ex-boyfriend we stayed up talking until nearly 4:00 am on our first date, and he told me that his father was not actually dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was fighting it tooth and nail.

I always believed him. The family fought the disease with every strength of their beings. The disease usually kills in 3-5 years and he fought it for well over ten years. Those were a lot of extra years with his wife and kids. With all loved ones.

He lost his battle with ALS early this week.

My ex’s father was the bravest man I ever knew. And not because he faced death. Oh no, he went beyond that. They say there is a fate worse than death and he chose the bravery and beauty of that fate worse than death. He faced life, in pain. In treacherous pain. He struggled to stay at or above the surface of life. Sweet, horrendous life.

I am surprised by his death because it had never seemed like an option. Surprised, but no less impressed. So, so impressed.

I loved him but I lost him years ago. Funny how that doesn’t take away the pain of losing him again.

— 2016 me here again. There will be more on this story soon. It’s cycling back again and it’s relevant and it’s powerful and there’s a book and I’ll be blogging about it all, with this beautiful family’s permission, of course. With their encouragement.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “When it comes to my emotions and my words…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.

Ten Reasons You’ll LOVE Blogger Bash: Giveaway

I attended Blogger Bash 2016 as an Acorn Ambassador. There’s an AWESOME giveaway at the end of this post!

I’m not going to lie. I was nervous. I’m from New Jersey and then I lived in San Francisco, but NYC is still such a different world from where I come from, and where I’m building my home now. Somewhere along the line, I opened my mind to the possibility that even though I like living in the middle of the woods, down by the river, visiting NYC is pretty much amazing.

Visiting it alone? Scary, but amazing! A hotel alone for a mom of two? Pretty much heaven.

I get nostalgic already, thinking about the little and big leaps I took here and there. I am not a public transportation person and I wanted to leave the city at my own will when it was time to pick up Des. He had a great three days at my parent’s farm, while Scarlet had a great three days with camp and friends. I also loved that I could park my car (ahem, Cassidy’s car), hope for its relative safety, and not have to worry about it for over 48 hours. Then I could leave when the conference was over.

Not that I wanted to leave. Did I mention I was only two blocks from one of my mothers-in-law, and it was her first solo trip to NYC too? New York has that kind of serendipity and magic. We used to say “OINY.” Only in New York. Has that trended yet?

That was my journey, and I hold it close to my heart. Other than my blogger friend Herchel – previously not someone I’d met face-to-face – I really didn’t know a soul other than Acorn and Herchel! I walked in and met so many people. I was beyond excited to meet three of the Acorn Influence lovelies. I have been on this blogging journey for so long, and it has really picked up in strange and wonderful ways throughout the last year. The Acorn staff has been beautifully supportive.

Now enough about me – it’s time to hear about the giveaway and about Blogger Bash 2016!

Ten Reasons You’ll Love Blogger Bash:

1. You’ll get to explore NYC! It’s the center of the world. The Big Apple. There’s never enough time to see and do everything you want to do – (like a pop-up museum with a rainbow sprinkles pool) but Blogger Bash keeps you PLENTY entertained!

(Courtesy http://bloggerbash.com/)

2. You’ll get to meet some childhood idols..

3. You’ll get to meet your children’s idols..

4. You’ll get to BE your children’s idol.. I brought home three products from MOOSE Toys and the kids are still swooning.

(Courtesy http://bloggerbash.com/)

5. You will find brands that genuinely interest you, and it’s not just toys. It’s adult stuff too. It’s everything. And there’s FOOD. And there’s even kid toys that make food that are fun for adults. I got a cake pop and I love cake pops!

(Courtesy http://bloggerbash.com/)

6. You will meet your blogging friends, sweethearts, colleagues, soulmates, whatever..

7. Hey, do you like food? You’ll like Blogger Bash.

(Courtesy http://bloggerbash.com/)

8. Your mind will be open to different and personal versions of success, and different ways to get there.

(Courtesy http://bloggerbash.com/)

9. You will sit in awe and LEARN amazing things. I had the pleasure of hearing the Blogging Concentrated brain childs speak.

(Courtesy http://bloggerbash.com/)

10. The fun doesn’t stop when you get home. There you can friend and connect with all the wonderful bloggers and brands you met face to face. You’ll send out emails and receive emails about wonderful partnerships. Of course, the big thing everyone talks about is the Sweet Suite swag box that arrives, large and in charge, on your doorstep not long after Blogger Bash. It’s AMAZING and I’ll do an unboxing post here soon, so stay tuned for that. That said, the connections, the learning, and putting faces to bloggers and brands is priceless. Swag is wonderful. Connections are wonderful-er. I made up that word.

(Courtesy http://bloggerbash.com/)

And NOW, drumroll, here’s the giveaway:

There will be three winners total, with three different prize packs. (1 winner per prize pack) The brands include: JAKKS Pacific, VTech, and Skylanders. This giveaway will be live until August 10th, midnight, EST. US ONLY. 18+ ONLY.

Blogger Bash 3 Prize Pack Sweet Suite Sweepstakes!