What’s in your head?

Last week – if my pre-flu memory serves me – there was a meme going around social media about the ways people experience their inner thoughts. The Upworthy summary was: Apparently, some people don’t have an internal monologue and the internet is shook.

I’m a little shook, too. People think in PICTURES?

I’ve had a running monologue in my head for as long as I can remember, and probably even longer than that. My inner voice is undeniably loud and demanding – and even worse, my inner voice is an Editor. It’s not enough to send a string of words through my head once. My Inner Voice will turn the same words over and over and over, moving them around until they fit together nicely. This means that my brain is either replaying conversations I’ve already had (and telling me what I should have said and how) or practicing for future conversations (imagined or actual), or writing the first draft of an epic novel. Sometimes, it’s doing all three things at once.

I think this is partly what contributes to my introvertedness – and is probably the main cause of my RBF. I have a semi-permanent pinch in my brow line from concentrating on that inner voice. Sometimes I’m paying attention to it because it is interesting, but more often than not I’m trying desperately to shove it into the background. It’s exhausting. I wish with all my heart that I could think in big, beautiful images. Or even dark, gloomy images. I would love a break from the nonstop march of text characters through my skull. Especially at night, in those gloaming moments when the day has fallen away and everything is quiet. Those are the moments when the words in my head can be equally beautiful and maddening. Beautiful when they flow through me in a story that I wish I could remember in the morning, part of me but somehow separate and intangible. Maddening when they won’t SHUT UP AND LET ME SLEEP.

It’s not always terrible, having words dancing in my head. Sometimes they come pouring out of me and I think yes! this is it, this is going to be a book! And maybe, eventually, all those words will form themselves into an idea full enough and coherent enough and interesting enough to be published. That’s part of what I’ll be exploring in future blog posts. But in the meantime I’ll be over here imagining what it would be like to have images in vivid colors and patterns swirling through my skull as I drift off every night. It sounds like paradise to me.

If you’re a visual thinker, I hope you’ll let me know what it’s like inside your head!

Rebirth.

dandelion on fire

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.”
~Janet Fitch

There is a magical thing that happens when you live through a few decades, if you are open enough to see and embrace it – somewhere along the way, you’ll find yourself in a time of rebirth. Some rebirth is painful and slow. Some feels like a supernova. Sometimes it is something you want, and hope for, and work toward – and sometimes it hits you with no warning, a black steam train out of nowhere on a pitch dark night.

I’ve had a few transformative periods in my life, but the fire I walked through over the last two and a half years was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. There are times when I’m not sure there is anything left of the old me, except the Facebook memories that pop up in my feed every week. Some of the change was intentional – me, reaching out for a future I hadn’t imagined before. Some of it was a side effect of choices I made. All of it felt like slowly drowning in a swift moving river. Until I let go, and let the current take me.

Seeming happiness stands in the way of true joy
more than even misery does.

~Piko Ire

I spent nearly two decades of my life pretending. I made the choices I was expected to make. I followed the path I was supposed to follow. Everything around my life seemed right. None of it felt right. I didn’t feel loved. I didn’t feel seen. I wasn’t doing the things I wanted to do, because they didn’t fit in the perfect box that was my life.

But that’s the thing about pretending – at some point, you can’t do it anymore. Even if it hurts to stop. Even if you blow up your life by speaking your truth.

I lost friends on this journey, and family. I changed homes 3 times, and jobs twice. I doubted myself, cried myself to sleep, raged into the wind and sobbed in the shower, lost weight and gained weight and wondered if I was crazy or stupid or both. I watched people I loved and respected lie to me and lie about me. I took a stand and I held firm all the way to the end. And I lost.

But I won, too. I won my freedom. I won the space to be who I am, completely, the good and the bad and the crazy. I won confidence and happiness and peace and joy. I won the life that was barely a dream three years ago.

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
~Lao Tzu

I’m stepping into that life now, shedding ashes of the old, embracing fear and uncertainty and leaving the cloak of expectation behind. I’m not what I once was. I’m something infinitely more real.

A new journey beckons. I hope you’ll join me.

Semi-Annual

Okay, so here it is – my twice a year blog post where I say ‘wow, it’s been a long time’ and ‘geez, I’ve been busy’ and ‘hey, is anybody still out there????’ And then I say things like I’m going to ‘post more often’ and I’ve got lots of ‘great stuff lined up’ and then another six months go by with just a blinking cursor on the screen.

Nope, not this time. I won’t do it. I won’t rehash the same lines. No more hamster wheel. I will start fresh and simply post this:

Life is good.
And I’ll be back.
I will.

Meanwhile, from the archives . . .

One year ago on C&T: Honey Marshmallows (no corn syrup!)

Two years ago on C&T: *crickets*

Three years ago on C&T: PB Cookie Peep S’more

Four years ago on C&T: Cocktails in Paradise

Five years ago on C&T: Salted Butter Caramel and The Booziest Cookies I Ever Did Make

Just a Little Busy.

IMG_3017

I’m still here.  Or, actually, I’m mostly over here.

One year ago on C&T: I made Buffalo Chicken Pot Pies and took pictures but never finished the post.  I’m lame.

Two years ago on C&T: Lemon Lime Icebox Pie

Three years ago on C&T: Huckleberry Shortbread Bars

Four years ago on C&T: Chocolate Modeling Clay Pt. 3, Almond Shortbread Bars and Chocolate Rum Cake

Double Chocolate Cherry Cobbler

IMG_3171

So, I turned forty recently. FORTY. For the most part, I like birthdays and I have no problem getting older. But for some reason, this one is throwing me for a bit of a loop. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom now, and being a mom is making me nostalgic. And being nostalgic means I’m remembering all the fun things I’ve done over the years (many, MANY years) and for the first time feeling like the door is starting to close a little in my life. Continue reading

Honey (HFCS free) Marshmallows

IMG_2590
Hi there!  I feel a bit like a ghost coming back from the grave to haunt my former life – it’s been a while since my last post, yes?  Somehow I thought I might still carve out a little time here on a regular basis, even after little dude came along, but I think perhaps I was, well, wildly optimistic.  For the most part I’m just Continue reading