Love Alone is Worth the Fight. I fought hard for love in June.
I’m trying to find where my place is
I’m looking for my own oasis
So close I can taste this
The fear that love alone erases
So I’m back to the basics
I figure it’s time I face this
Time to take my own advice
Love alone is worth the fight
June filled me, depleted me, and made me show her what I’m made of. I celebrated my children, embraced hellos and good-byes and worked. I worked. I worked so hard I lead a conference call in a McDonalds’ playgound and peed in a trashcan. I even gave over my veins and breasts to Western medicine and traveled to a state I’ve never been to before. June is my second December and I did everything I needed to in order to embrace her in her entirety.
How does a mother let go when the heart that lives outside her chest can sing? Since 7th grade I have seen him grow from a fledging to a strong tenor. June 1st was his last choir concert in our local town as a student. His journey as a choral student has provided me times of pride and joy I could not have predicted. As he heads to Southern California, my hope is he will continue to experience the gift choral music has brought him and we will see him perform again.
A week later, we watched him graduate, sitting in the football stadium of our high school with the heat pouring down on us. We celebrated with both sets of grandparents and his best (girl) friend. He graduated as one of the valedictorians and marched with his friends. My heart truly thought it might burst. So much I have wanted for my children my husband and I did not know. Connection, support, belief in oneself. We celebrated well.
During all this time, and even now as I type, I have wrestled the animal of mother pride with trying to honor the lack of attention teenage sons say they want, online and off. My heart struggled under the weight of worry and wonder, while working through what I just needed. But this has been the month of mother pride. For all three of them. My daughter turned thirteen and we hosted her friends at the local pool. She made her own cupcakes for the event, having discovered a recent love for Starbucks caramel frappuccinos. Girls at 13 sometimes choose to stop being in their bodies, to play and be active. But not my girl. She struggled to pull together pool games and a party with girls who are done playing. I pray she never stops loving being in her body and playing. And that she finds her niche, her place and peers to just enjoy life as adolescence bears down on her. This summer she’s been hired as an assistant at circus camps and our local art walk, in both scenarios working with younger children than her to help them find their art and be free in their bodies.
And briefly, as an update, Mr. Middle is muddling just fine. He keeps us laughing and on our toes. Applying for summer jobs and having freedom with the car are not small feats. Mr. Middle reminds me to relax and know, all is well with some risk and adventure. He reminds me that life doesn’t have to be planned, just taken as it comes. Though, he will tell you, older brother must move out.
This month, by the wisdom of my coach and friend, Bianca Broos, I am wrestling through the difference between dreams and ideas. We can have lots of ideas, but do we know our DREAM. I used to have an idea to open a bed and breakfast. I used to have an idea to raise four sons. But what is my DREAM? What is my dream that the price of racing around town to find Internet and ending up at McDonald’s provides me life? What dream caused me to get off a plane in a Dallas airport at 1am, fight for a place to sleep that had no bathroom after 7am, wake up at 9:30 instead and just say, “What the heck? I must pee here.”?
My dream is to teach others what leads them to breakthrough.
My dream is to teach what I am learning. And I never want to stop learning. Experiencing my own breakthroughs. Right now, what I am learning, what others are craving, and what is bringing others breakthrough is the study of the Enneagram. I helped dozens of others know their dominant types this month and begin the process of knowing their places of integration, disintegration, and unique contributions to whatever community they find themselves.
My dream is to be part of a creative community that knows they need me and I need them.
And so I flew to Austin, TX this month to meet with other creative women. Women I have (mostly) only known online for a year. It took me 24 hours to get there. Once I got there, I sweated like I have never sweated standing still before. And I let myself be photographed without perfection by a woman who sees beauty in the ordinary and in me (How do you like my header and footer?). Seriously, friend. You who are moving to Atlanta. I’m talking to you. I want you to meet my precious friends, Jennifer and Tony Upton.
I met an under 5-feet woman who roared to life for me.
I met a hard-working, TALENTED chef and ate and relished his food. It was a great comfort to me.
I was massaged by a woman who spoke truth over me while she hung from the ceiling and used her feet in a way no hands have ever done.
I met a kindred spirit that called me a leading lady.
I met a woman I just liked. And she gave me a book. What’s not to like about that? And she writes scripts for video games or something very cool like that.
I met a woman who shattered my stereotypes about obesity. She serves inner-city children in Savannah, GA with her husband. And I fell in love with her.
And not last, and not least, I feasted in downtown Austin with three beautiful women, including one that could easily do a stand-up routine on what it’s like to manage a Barnes and Noble.
June also included the Nevada City Bicycle Classic, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Farmer’s Market trips. It included some transforming and beach reading (see sidebar). I also reconnected with someone after 25 years and it felt like a fire hydrant had been turned on after years of drought. I wrote around this ongoing story in my Stirrings post this month. Life! So much life. And now for July to be a bit more fallow. Like January, July is my time to move from chaos to order. To be able to take all the raw creation and refine it into something more beautiful, sustainable.
How was your June?
This (LONG) post is part of Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into series.