10 Things I’ve Learned From You, Yes, You.

I thought I’d have more time to write this, but life had other (and better) plans.

And that’s ok because it shouldn’t take long anyway. I’m pretty much pretending it’s a 5 minute free-writing session because all of this stuff is hot to the touch, and fresh off the tongue. What have I learned from you? A ton. And who are you? You, specifically, are my fellow FTSF bloggers. Sometimes, maybe, you’re the only ones reading these Friday posts. Or maybe you’re not the only ones but there’s nothing lurker about you. You are flesh and blood and bone and typing and wisdom.

I see two of you right here (below). Also, I don’t look like this in real life. My face is less smushed:

Tonight, tonight, tonight, I spent time with a high school friend. You see I used to be fearless, in other ways. I fight fears and phobias nearly daily, but I used to drive from city to city at every hour of the night. I’d do anything to be by your side. There was a time, I pumped enough milk to leave Scarlet with Cassidy for the day, and drove from busy city to busy city, through busy city, just to get to my friend Vik for his mom’s funeral. These days I’m sometimes nervous to drive from one country town to another. What ifs, ands, and buts. I don’t want to be stopped anymore. I wasn’t at all stopped tonight.

Just to spend 7 hours with an old friend. We took Vik to dinner and ice cream and then talked on the couches, so comfortably and like no time had passed, for like.. four hours. Magic. Sometimes, often, it works. And other times, I’m watching clocks and fading away and letting anxiety strip me of that bold color – that drive – the listening – these love adventures. I got some back. And I don’t want to give it up again. I want to remember the opening of hearts and thoughts.

No watched clocks. Just free.

Without further ado, here are 10 things I’ve learned about blogging from other FTSF bloggers:

I’m sort of editing it to say 10 things I’ve learned (in general) from other FTSF bloggers:

1 – That waiting until the last minute really works when your heart and talent are there. Kristi used to only write her posts last minute, and still might, and each one is poetic gorgeousness. She spins them from gold like Rumpelstiltskin.

2 – From Kenya I learned a whole fresh perspective from someone living such a different life from me, in such a different place, with such different experiences, and yet I have always felt like we often feel/think/do the same things.

3 – I’ve learned that online friendships are something fierce and real, and sometimes don’t just stay online.

4 – I have learned what my life could be like 10 years from now, and how great that might be.

5 – I’ve learned that different viewpoints can still lead to respect and heart.

6 – And I have learned about kindness and thoughtful comments on blog posts, like you know they read every single word.

7 – I have learned the importance of nostalgia and sharing photos and stories forever.

8 – I’ve read some special needs mama perspectives that are achingly and crushingly beautiful.

9 – Mostly I’ve learned just how much I believe I’ll never stop blogging, as I haven’t paused in over 8 years. I have hesitated, though. Blogging isn’t always writing in the way I want to write. It rarely is. Yet we all find our ways back here – thinking of ways to write to and about each other – and having no trouble doing so. Much love to you, yes, you.

10 – And I’ve learned that I still long for that simpler time when it was just words and us.

*Bonus: I have learned about primer mascara (the white tube) and baby foot peels.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “10 things I’ve learned about blogging from other FTSF bloggers.” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE.

What would you say?

It’s the End of the School Year As We Know It

And I feel fine..ish.

I do. This week. It always hits in some dark and sinister and curious way. I’ll never wrap my head around the fact that my favorite time of year is also my least favorite, and that my least favorite time of year (winter, spring-winter, winter-spring, gloom) is always somehow more smooth and neatly wrapped and confined. I don’t get it. I can’t wrap my head around summer. As a kid I could, because summer vacation is amazing. As an adult I don’t really have summer vacation because my career will allow it, but my mean boss (self) will not. I can’t wrap my head around the time of year. It’s too big. It’s messy!

There are so many school and extracurricular events. There’s Field Day here, and Scarlet’s 5K there. There are piano recitals, voice lessons, talent shows, extra cute puppies, birthdays, deadlines, milestones. My kids both have their birthdays soon. My “baby” is leaving kindergarten behind. I feel his heft and weight in my arms and I remember it as so light I could twirl him. I could simply throw him in the air, and he’d laugh, and I’d feel like air – like cotton candy air. Sweet and perhaps a bit sickeningly so. It’s because it doesn’t last. It warps and melts – lightly on your tongue – and into hard lumps in the bag.

I can’t feel anything in my heart, so I feel everything everywhere else. It’s a dull ache in my head, a sharp pain in my stomach, and a swirling, lightheaded feeling in my head. No metaphors here. June and July rush at me and I try to talk and I can barely breathe. I take deep breaths before sentences. “This hurts.” “That is amazing.” “I need this.” “I want that.” I don’t.. I don’t.. know what I’m doing and where I’m going.” I sit and I write and I edit and I enter data and I code words. When do I sit and breathe and drink it in and jump and feel? Birthdays and milestones and death dates and gravestones. Why do I feel like something is being taken away from me, little by little, when in fact all the love and knowledge just grows.

I simply cannot let go easily and I simply cannot comprehend the gasping breath of a school year from start to finish. Oh, how they grow. And oh, I do too. It doesn’t feel like it. My heart pounds so loudly I swear you can hear it. I can sit still while my entire body is on fire and electric. This stuff.. it gets me. I see no way around it other than through it. There’s no over or under it. The passage of time meets smack in the middle with too many goodbyes, too many birthdays, too many anniversaries of the ones I lost that meant the most at one point. How could I have lived this long without them? How could I find so many ways to stitch it all together and keep working at this patchwork quilt of life? They grow, and I do too.

The growing pains always throw me off-guard, and remind me every day that I’m alive and walking with them.

I’d love to tell you where that came from, or even what it means, but probably you know. I’ll only ever be finding new words to describe my bafflement at transitions. We loved and lived hard this year. Summer, you can take it away next.

Here are 10 fun summer questions to answer. Feel free to borrow some!

1 – Do you consider yourself a summer person? Totally. I was born in the summer, my firstborn was born in the summer, and I met my husband in the summer. We all know I hate rain, heat, humidity, etc. but that said I would take it all over winter. Or worse – all those spring days that feel like winter. Worse than winter is sprinter!

2 – What is your favorite memory of the summer season? Of course – this day, unlike any other, when I met this guy:

And the first time I saw her face:

3 – What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? It’s a tie between cookie dough and anything with peanut butter/cups that isn’t chocolate based.

4 – What you prefer to wear in the summer season? Just fairytale dresses and sandals. Maybe throw on a jean jacket at night.

5 – Do you eat more or less in the summer season? Mostly less because I’m more active and more hot. I like that there are seasonal foods. In the winter, I’m all about popcorn and soup. In the summer, it’s ice cream and lemonade.

6 – What is your most favorite thing to do at the beach? hmm.. I do love riding waves, reading, and having picnics. I love digging in the sand doing absolutely nothing, but probably my favorite thing is to watch sunrises and sunsets.

7 – What are the things that annoys you the most at summer season? Mosquitoes and ticks! And that ticks kill moose. The humidity is not my friend. It makes me so sluggish. Why can’t weather be more steady?

8 – Do you prefer having long or short hair in the summer season? Like you have to ask!

9 – What is your ideal destination for you in summer season? Anywhere with cool nights, mountains, whales and moose.

10 – Do summers bring happiness or sadness in your life? Well. It’s both. I think I twisted it all up inside out, upside down, and in the words above. It’s milestones and gravestones. I’ve lost many relatives in summer, like my father, but I gave birth to my daughter in summer. Des was actually due in summer but came in spring. Summer is when I got to know him.

It seems that summer is always when I get to know ME.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “It’s the end of the school year, and..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE.

What would you say?