naked on paper

Lets talk about this new site for a minute, shall we? It’s nothing more than a domain name right now, but www.nakedonpaper.com is coming soon.

I’m not entirely sure what it’s going to entail yet, but I do know that it’s going to be a place for me to write unabashedly (you mean, there’s more?) and since I’m announcing it here and what not, I know that some of you (ehum, family.) will probably check it out or follow me over there. Whatever. I’m deciding not to think about that.

There’s actually a lot I don’t write about here because of the known audience. I just have to get over that but I can’t. It’s hard. Plus – a new place that didn’t start with a focus on my kids is going to be freedom in and of itself.

I think www.nakedonpaper.com is also going to become a collaborative space for people – whether they write for themselves, for other venues or not at all – but who have something to say. Something honest to say. I’m going to let people submit their stories. A piece of their story or the whole thing. It’s going to be a place where we can hang out, naked on the paper in front of us, and still feel safe.

I want this space I’m creating to be a comfortable place for people to come. There’s broken parts of me that writing fixes. There’s also really happy, unbroken parts of me that writing celebrates. This place is for all of that. For the wrinkles in life. For the stretch marks. For the birth marks. It’s for the skin. For the raw goods.

This space I’m creating is NOT for your erotic fantasies put to paper. I want none of that. The name is provocative and a play on words for my own amusement and word symbolism. As of now, I’m the police of this space and I will be policing the shit out of it. But, putting the porn aside, please feel welcome to bring your whole self here. (Over there, rather, when it’s ready) You’ll have the chance to be anonymous or use a pen name. You can use your real name, too. Whatever keeps you comfortable, whatever keeps you naked on the paper.

I can’t wait.

How are things?

Here’s the follow up to that one time I when I wrote all about my frustrations with some current life situations. Oh, right. That one.

Things at work have slowed down quite a bit and we actually get to see Aaron over a plate of food more than once in a month. Sometimes even 5 times in a whole week. Which means, we’re all extremely high on jubilation most of the time.

I’ve gotten some questions about how I feel putting all of that out there, on the internet. “All of that” is a euphemism for our dirty laundry, I’m guessing, because HEY! I wrote about how hard marriage is some times!! WHO KNEW THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED?!?!

Truth is, I would not have written a darn thing if Aaron and I weren’t on the same page. If I was unwilling to see things from his point of view or he was unwilling to see things from my perspective, we’d be having this conversation with a well-paid third party to help us get through this time in our lives, and we might do that any way. See someone. A counselor. For marriage. Did you get that? Read it again. WE MIGHT GO TO MARRIAGE COUNSELING.

I’m not writing this as a slap in the face to anyone or a “hey, get out of my business” type of thing, but I’ve had actual conversations with people who read this site and think that more people should be talking about things like this. Like marriage. Or at least, not trying to hide an issue if there is one – or speaking out about seeking help when you obviously can’t handle the weight of the situation alone anymore. So thats what I’m doing. I’m being honest. Why can’t we all just be honest?

Back to where I was – things are vastly improving as the days go on. We had some really tough conversations for a few weeks about how we were going to get passed this time, how we could picture ourselves on the other side of this great big cavern and we talked about talking to someone (counselor) which we’ve done in the past and have loved every bit of it.

Part of me wants to explain that, that we’ve been in marriage counseling before and why. I don’t want you to think I’m in a troubled marriage or we’re on the brink of a break up or have been. None of thats true, but I come from a broken marriage and I in no way have any kind of fantasy about what a happily ever after is supposed to be. I meant my vows when I said them but I also realize that I’m human, Aaron’s human and we live in a world with a bunch of humans. We’re not angelic beings just because we put rings on each others fingers, or because we wanted our marriage grounded in Christ.

I invest in my marriage through conversations, even counseling, and time and honesty because I love my family. I love Aaron. Sure, we have kids and they’re amazing but I’m not one of those people who thinks the children come first – as soon as the kids come first that means my marriage is on the back burner and that means that in due time, it’ll creep up somewhere, that I’ll have to all of a sudden focus on my marriage again and I’ll be lost, lonely and wondering what I did wrong.

Bla bla bla. Bla. More talking. Yay! bla bla.

Point is. Thank you for caring and taking the time to ask me in whatever form you did how I was doing. How we’re doing. Truth is we’re doing better. Things are good, we have some balance and a bit of a schedule to rely on these days. We’re feeling stable and happy and loved.

volcanoes inside

There’s this thing that happens inside of me when I’m nervous, excited or anxious. Mostly it’s been around uncomfortable situations but it’s changed. The entire inside of my body shakes. I’m an earthquake of exploding emotions from the inside out and there are triggers that make it blow.

Life has changed. I still get that vigorous, anxious emotion when uncomfortable things come up but it’s more now because exciting things are happening. People, my life is waking up. We’re in the middle of something that will bring me to the brink of wondering how I ever lived without this. “This” being so many things. Opportunities. Adventures.

I know for a fact that I died in many sense 8 1/2 years ago. I know exactly why and how and when. I remember the very second. Some day I’ll tell you about it. Ever since then I’ve been slowly making my way through the remnants of my life from then on out.

I had a teacher in high school who once told my parents that I was special. Not in the way you’d think. Not like, aw, she’s a special student. I appreciate her in my class. His words had weight to them. Weight I couldn’t wait to lift. He could have whispered that and my soul would have heard it and taken notice. Someone knew. Someone got me. Someone else saw it.

I don’t say all of this to make myself look amazing or awesome. I promise, I’m very much the opposite – but you’ve had it. I know you have. There’s a moment in your life where you think/wonder if anyone else sees it too? Do they see the potential you have? Does anyone else recognize this, recognize me?

Am I the only one who has ever felt this way?

I just always knew that this wasn’t it. I was put here to do something special. We all are. But from a very young age I could feel it. Like sitting so still the morning dew grabs onto your own arms, and because you’re so aware of your surroundings – the sunlight gives you goosebumps.

Maybe this eruption inside of me, maybe this is the special thing. One day I’m going to let it go and watch what happens. It’s getting close. I cannot wait.

And I’m scared shitless.

This is WAY more than over sharing.

This is going to sound like “woe is me!” but that’s not my intention at all. I’ll just have to let you interpret this at your own will.

True Story: I married Aaron knowing full well that he was a workaholic. He comes from a family of very hard working people and the men especially are men who work beyond what is asked of them. They’re great men. From a mans point of view – I’ve learned – this is how they show us they love us. So I know, in my head, that Aaron loves our little family more than I can fathom. However … I’ve been writing in my journals since year one that if I just put in my 5 years, maybe then … maybe after that period of time, maybe I’ll finally matter to him.

It’s harsh and it sounds like I don’t matter at all – which is not true. I already matter more than work, it just doesn’t feel like that lately. You may or may not know that Aaron started 2 more companies this summer and is going through a rigorous schedule of mentoring with the hopes of being successful once the program is complete (end of July). Good news is he’s learning some amazing lessons, making great new relationships within his working world and having a hell of time – both good and bad. Also? We’re a week and half away from the ending.

But it’s really hard to explain to Jessica why daddy won’t be putting her to bed again tonight (for the 3rd night in a row) because he’s working late. I’ve been asked, point blank, if daddy wants us any more.

Excuse me.

That’s tough to write.

I know this is sending all kinds of red flags out to the family members who read this site. Moms and in laws and grandma’s and siblings. Yeah, this is fucking hard. And other than the transactional conversation of “how was your day?” and “were the kids good?” the most recent conversation we had was on the phone when Aaron called to say hi and tell me about his meeting – and I cried because he remembered I was alive. At the time he called I was folding his week-old laundry that sat crumpled on the floor. Something he did on his own for years until recently. It’s like he’s a shadow in this house – with small traces of his life scattered around just mocking us to believe that he’ll be back soon.

But the last conversation we had in person? Probably a date we stole a couple weeks ago, and guess what we talked about? Work. More work. And then we talked about how work was going.

It is no secret these days that the mention of work before acknowledging that I have a mind will completely shut me down. I miss my partner. My friend. I miss my husband something terrible. I’m not lonely, actually. For some reason I’m just weepy and tired and really ready to shake someone into believing me that this isn’t what owning your own business is really all about.

Aaron is not a bad husband or father, although I know I’m not making the case for the opposite very well … and he’s more than aware of how hard this has been on our family this summer. Oliver will be this size, this lovable, jovial toddler once. And Jessica will ask questions like “How does rain work?” and “When flowers open … do you think it’s like a song, too?” for so long. Then it’s over. They leave and hopefully find their happiness in life and here we sit in the silence of the memories he doesn’t have.

I guess I needed to write this because when people ask me what we or Aaron does and they hear that we’re a small business – they almost always get aloof. Like, oh, you’re “”business owners”” with a double entendre of air-quotes. And I don’t even know what it means, but it makes me feel like I need to downplay the fact that we are business owners. Like I have to be sensitive to them. AND ALL I WANT TO DO IS SCREAM AT THEM … DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS??? IT MEANS MY CHILDREN GO DAYS WITHOUT MORE THAN A MORNING DIAPER CHANGE FROM THEIR DAD AND IT MEANS THAT THERE ARE OTHER HUMANS WHO GET HIS FULL ATTENTION 100% OF THE GOD-DAMN TIME AND WE GET LEFT OVERS, WHICH IS A FUCKING BULL-SHIT EXCHANGE OF SERVICES.

It means it’s hard and I feel hopeless in this cavern of hopefuls. Because next month, it’ll be better. It’s always going to be better next month – and next month has never, ever come.

———————————————-

This is hard to write and publish for very obvious reasons. I don’t want to put Aaron down as a man or disrespect the work that he does do. Truth is, he’s amazing at what he does. He provides for us in a way I never thought possible. He’s kept his company debt free and hired employees and he’s methodical in his practices and work ethic. And he loves me something terrible and is struggling beyond anything I can see every single day because he’d rather be reading books to Jessica and chasing Oliver. He’d rather be making out with me and holding my hand and walking beside me down the road. And the hope is that after this is all said and done, that he’ll get to do all of those things way more often. But how are we going to get from here to there?

I also have perspective here, my husband is not part of the armed forces and over seas for months or even years at a time. I understand this. I’m not comparing my plight to that of someone who has to live, literally, without their partner. I just want someone to hear me. To understand that this is hard. I want someone else to be honest about it, too. Because I know for a fact that I’m not alone.

And I’m sick of being shoved into the pretty little column of “stay at home mom” or “wife” or “home maker”. I am a fucking warrior for my family. Did you know that the conversation actually stops when I’m asked what I do for a living and I say “I raise our children”? Literally stops. Apparently I’m not worth the sweat equity of the next generation. Of keeping a human being alive. No, I don’t wear polo’s or know how to code in HTML. I don’t answer phones or serve a customer for a paycheck. But my husband, the one you find so sincerely God ordered from work heaven? The one who fixes all your problems with your brand? He wouldn’t be half as amazing if I weren’t standing behind him – holding him up above my shoulders so the whole world could see how proud I am of him.

You’re right. Being a “mom” full time really isn’t that interesting. But then again, neither are you.