Sunday, October 6, 2013

Celebration, Gratitude and Giving/Receiving

In an effort to re-connect my feet to the ground, I have enrolled in a course built to connect me to the positive side of life.  The demons of depression caught me good this last year.  The move to Utah has been harder than I ever thought it would be.  A number of friendships dissolved or waned in my life.  My relationship with Nascar was strained and filled with anger for quite a while.  I began to doubt myself, my choices, my chances for happiness.

I know inherently that things end.  I was told by a friend, "You feel things much more than most of us."  I can only infer that this means I feel the negatives as well as the positives quite intently.
Feeling this negativity really derailed me this year.  Bit bit by bit, step by step, I have found my way back to feeling the positives and moving past the negatives.

These boots are made for walking into the light
So we roll into the winter, my second winter in Utah, and a few things are apparent.  I have new costuming needs: Good snow boots, wool socks, and a pair of warm snow pants will allow me the freedom to roam outside in the sunshine while it is really cold outside.  I am so excited that I have been able to procure all of these items over the summer.  I am grateful for Gabby, who sent me the link for a super discount on these super fly snow boots.  I will be walking into the light all winter, escaping the dark and dirty inversion.




Over the last year, I have visited San Francisco a few times.  Gabby's 40th birthday, a summer trip to see my nephew, Noah.  In August, Gabby, Mimi, Alexa, and Patrick came to SLC to see us!  It was such an amazing visit.  My friendship with Gabby, has felt as strong, actually stronger, than before when we lived together.  She, Alexa, and Mimi, have all been willing to hold my hand long-distance as I cry about my loneliness, my fear about my relationship with Ryan, and how damn cold Utah is.

I have been blessed to have shared many friendships. I have had school friends, study buddies, party girl friends, dance floor pals, burning man ladies, and nursing partners.  Not all of these friendships were built to last forever.  Up until this year, I have always maintained a proper distance from those I am friends with.  I always believed that she who cares the least controls the most.  Well, this year, all of that was turned upside down.  I have never cared for friends the way I do about these ladies that I now am so many miles from.  I lost some friendships over the last year and that experience has really made me recognize some things about myself.  I used some sad experiences to motivate changes for myself.  I am grateful that these ladies have stood by my side, and I promise to use this time of sadness to fuel a lot of positive moments for us in the future.

I celebrate all the ladies I have shared friendship with in my life.  Each of these women have taught me something, given me love.  I am grateful to have lost some friendships this year, because it has made me ask some hard questions about myself and how I am a friend.  I see how I often do not respect boundaries for other women, and how I can often be prescriptive instead of supportive.  I recognize how jealousy and my need to compare myself to other ladies can really be toxic and make me less inviting to women I enjoy spending time with.  I am grateful for receiving these lessons.  I am most grateful for the women who have stood by my side and accepted my less than stellar moments.  True love and true friendship.

A few years ago, I posted pictures of cacti.  This was during an amazing time in my relationship with Ryan.  The Honeymoon Phase.  We have been together for 7 years.  The phase has changed.  We are life partners now.  We disagree.  We have to work together as a team.  We have to protect each other, but still protect ourselves.

This is an on-going learning experience.  He is my most special friend.  Often I am prickly and and treat him worse than anyone else in my life.  My final phase of this entry is for him,

I vow to give him the respect he deserves and to receive the gifts he provides.
I have learned over the last year that marriage is the hardest job of all.  Compromise does not come easy.  Each day I work accept him and love him, in the same way I wish to be treated.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thawing out

As I mentioned before, it was a long cold winter.  Physically, emotionally, mentally, I was zapped.  In my typical "woe is me way," I looked to blame it on so many other factors than just myself - the friends who I missed, the husband who uprooted our life so awesomely, the frigid weather.  I stopped writing, I focused on the negative, I felt sorry for myself.

I do not deny that all of us have these moments.  At 8 months into this though, I have to use all the tools in my mental health arsenal to stop it.

First step is forgiveness.  There are reminders of what forgiveness looks like all around me.  The grass is green again, as the ground has forgiven the frost that laid across it for so many months.  The tulips are blossoming, and the other flowers are spritely, despite of the crisp chill that still happens some mornings.  A gnome has found its way back into my heart and I will follow it back to the place where I smile biggest.










Being in a partnership is the hardest thing I have ever done.  Forgiving your partner for his human errors is so much more difficult than anyone ever explained to me.  No partnership exists without forgiveness, however.  I am such a bully when I don't get my way, and he is so stoic.  These two characteristics make for unhappy bedfellows.

My main struggle has been believing that if I forgive you, this means I condone your behavior.  Or perhaps it could be that I am most comfortable behaving like a spoiled little girl.  I am betting it is somewhere in the middle.  As the springtime ramps up and the thaw begins all around me in nature, I feel it happening in my own soul.  For this I am grateful.

The language that we speak is so different.  You speak through actions, I speak with words.  I am the first to say, "I am unhappy and it is your fault."  You stalk around the house angry that I don't see the good stuff.  We are quite a pair these days.  I will be eternally grateful for the moments when we sit down on the floor and begin to see eye to eye again.  These are so necessary and we need to do them more.

Thank you, Nascar Pitcrew, for giving me new floors to sit on.  I promise to use them more and recognize them for what they are.  A gift for us, from you.

New floors in our house, all work done by Nascar Pitcrew

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dear Nature,

Thank you for bringing the sun back into my life.  The winter in Utah nearly broke my spirit.  Lots of smog, so much cold snow, and the loneliness that comes from being the new girl on the block.

Last weekend, I spent the day hiking with my canine pal, my love, and new friends.  The sun on my face and laughter in the hills made me believe there was some hope for Utah and I yet.


Melinda and Louie

Moab's Hidden Valley

Louie


Having a canine pal has been so enlightening in my life.  Who am I kidding?  Lacey is not a pal.  She is my child, my love, a bond that Nascar and I share.  I knew I wanted to marry Nascar the day he said he wanted to have children with me.  Contrary to what Charles Cooper says, wanting to be married to raise a family is NOT the only reason to get married - but it was mine.  The disappointment that has come with our lack of fertility, combined with the stress of moving, starting new jobs, the vast amount of alone time I have living in Utah - all of these factors have made me a pretty sad lady since we moved.  Lacey Jackson, a sweet dog rescued from the Salt Lake County Animal Control by Nascar, has become my salvation.   She is so cute and funny and adventurous.   She is shy and really quirky.  Last weekend's hiking trip in Moab was only her second time off leash, and she proved to be quite a scrambler dog, with good instincts.  She even listens fairly well.

My girl Lacey


Scrambler
While in Moab, we hiked Hidden Valley, an area with pictographs dating back hundreds of years.  The photos do them little justice.   There was a magic to this place we were in.  The abstract rock formations, the art and communication that dated so far back, the rattlesnake we ran into...all of these experiences reminded me of all the spirit the world has to offer.  These moments connected me back to the adventure that I am creating.

We Dance

We Fight


We love

We Are




Sunday, December 9, 2012

In my DNA

My emotional DNA is getting fit.  The emotional side, the physical side, they are interactive and using energy the way they used to, back in the day, when I found the majority of my happy moments, grooving on a dance floor.  I am active, moving my body every day, sleeping fitfully most nights.  I feel in control of my energy again.  I am using it, not being used by it.

I am currently in a biochemistry class studying DNA and cellular function and energy use.  It is a curious to me that the energy that our cells use is made up of the same stuff (nucleotides) that our cells are made of.  We are the energy we use, both physically, and metaphorically.  Rediscovering this cellular truth at a spiritual level is life.  The good times are moments to celebrate this truth, the difficult times are ones to re-connect with it, and believe in it, no matter how hard that may be.

DNA Replication

You never really know how things are going to change or end, but you have one chance to live out the reality as well as you can.  The answers to good living are buried deep inside your DNA.  Look to your guanine, cytosine, thymine, and adenine.  I have found the best way to connect with my DNA is to be physical.  Yoga, walking, meditation.  Using my body to quiet my brain, so I can hear the whisper of the sacred spiral of DNA.

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Speaking of DNA...did you know dogs have 39 pairs of chromosomes, compared to humans having only 23?  The first dog to have her genome completely read was a boxer, and since 2003, we have been more dependent on science research using dogs for medical breakthroughs for humans.  This is because humans and dogs share many of the same capacity for illness.  Despite our proclivity for similar illnesses, I am convinced dogs have healing properties for humans.

Meet Lacey Jackson.  Rescued from the shelter, Nascar Pitcrew picked her out for us.  She is almost perfect, except for the fact she likes to herd cars (a characteristic of her border collie DNA) .  We are working on this behavior.  Having her canine energy is such a lift.  She really makes me smile and forces me outside, even on snowy days!



Today's Walk in the Snow

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We bought a beautiful house.  It is 107 years old.   As a young woman, I remember being told that if you dream of a house, you are dreaming about yourself.  Could this home be a part of my DNA?  I am not sure of that, but I am sure I will discover a lot about myself living in these old walls.  Here are some shots of the lovely, old building we call home now:


Taken from the park across the street this morning

The original kitchen cabinets from 1905


The chairs Gabby helped me pick out


Future plans....




Thursday, June 21, 2012

To Be in SLC


NASCAR AND I LIVE IN SALT LAKE CITY, UT NOW.  FOR REALS.
This transition has left me feeling like an onion  - stripped layer by layer of all her parts.  No job, more free time than I have ever had, Nurse Bacon struggles to recognize herself at least once a day.  My one constant is Nascar Pitcrew.  He truly is my rock.  Hard to believe it has been 3 years of legal marriage, eh, Nascar?  

Happy third Anniversary, My Love


In the last 2 months, I have:
1.) Left a job I loved and all the teamwork, friendship, and financial gain that went with it.
2.) Applied for every job I have seen available and only heard back from 1.
3.)  Been told by a nurse practicioner that I am in peri-menopause and my chances for having a baby are slim to none.
4.)  Felt really distant from a lot of my friends and family.
5.)  Decided to not go to Burning Man – each year that experience is my ultimate validator and my best re-set button.
6.)  Decided to stop writing “The Integration of Nascar Pitcrew and Nurse Bacon” blog.

6 really big things that have affected my psyche in some really deep ways.  My mom says it is all right to feel a little depressed.  Life change is hard.  Why does it seem that so many others I know handle it so much better?  Why do I always end up feeling like en emotional dunce?  Why can’t I just get off my butt and do some yoga?  My mom also says, no one ever comes to the Pity Party you hold for yourself.  Damn it, I know she is right. (and Thank you Mom for coming to my Pity Party – I know that is how you show me you love me and I am damn glad you are my Mom, today and every day.)


I decided today to return to blog writing.  I just really like it.  It helps me clear my head and the validation is priceless.  I am not birthing any great ideas, but I am getting in touch with me through the action of writing.  When I first started college, I wanted to be a writer.  I was going to write riveting stories of epic proportions that would change the world.  Now I count the likes on Facebook incessantly.  This is not very healthy.  I may do some research and write a blog post on Facebook's effects on a person's psyche someday.

Some of the best things about Salt Lake City are:
1.) Nascar and I live alone.  We have room to spread out and we have sex a lot more because I am not exhausted from 13 hours of work 4 days a week.  (sorry my maternal aunts, if this comment offends you, but physical intimacy is a vital attribute in all good relationships)
2.)  Nascar loves his job, and his job loves him.
3.)  I walk 4-5 miles, three times a week, with a good friend.
4.) Nature trips.
5.)  Making dinner at home a lot more.
6.)  More time to craft and do yoga.  Umm, still working on that…

So, here I am throwing my Pity Party on the interwebs.  For those of you unlucky souls who chose to read this…damn Facebook…I am sorry to disappoint.  This is not really a Pity Party, nor is it an emotional makeover.  There will be no tears, and only a few snarky comments.  There will be no promises to break, no parents to blame, no feel good sentiments to make my martyrdom feel acceptable.

#7 on the list of Best Things about Salt Lake City is this:  The weather is hot.  The sun is shining, and even I can’t be sad when I have the choice of playing outside.  (Sorry San Francisco, but Utah totally has you beat on this one.)

So this post will be sort of dull.  and normal.  and will not instigate anybody.  It just will be.
That is what SLC is teaching me.  How to be.
  • To be totally ok in my aging, slightly rounded body.
  • To be crafty like a 6 year old is crafty.  Because reality TV is boring you now (after 3 hours straight) and if you look at Facebook one more time, you will cry.  These are the projects you make for friends, for yourself, and not because you feel like it is a necessary project for the Hipster Girl Scout badge to wear at Burning Man.
  • To be Fun.  Play the part, rock like an aging rocker, enjoy the moment because it is the best right fucking now.
  • To be humble.  Gone is the extra moneys from extra hours at work.  Pride can no longer be bought with dinners out, art projects and vacations.  Trips to the grandparents, a fledgling garden in the backyard (even though the tomatoes are not growing), and the rose garden that came with the rental house – these things and a whole lot of time is what you got. Flaunt it to yourself and share it with others. Accept the love being sent your way, and you are no longer too good for any invitation.  When people ask you to hang out…..Go.
  • To be in love with the one your with – and not just because he is your husband.  But because he is so fricking handy, and funny, and cute in a rock and roll kind of way.  And because he asks how you are and does not push you to get over yourself (although sometimes you wished he would).  But mostly because he is your best friend, and has proven time and time again that your feelings matter, and he has chosen to honor your feelings and insecurities over his pride in some sticky situations – and for that you owe him blow jobs for a century.
       So I am not sure how this blog will evolve.  I am doodling on a WordPress template, but do not feel like I yet know what my aim of writing will be over the next year.   I definitely want to get away from the self help innuendos that made up the last year. Those were just shade structures for self pity and blame.  The past is the past.  I am glad I spoke of it.  I am proud I took 3 months off of drinking and stopped denying that some of my coping mechanisms were not working so well.  The writing helped me heal this and posting it publicly gave me the validation I will always crave.
          I might just post pics of cool hikes we do and stuff I make.  I will most definitely still blog about being married.  This “marriage” project with Ryan is the most gratifying and difficult thing I have ever done.  This move to SLC was severely taxing on our union.  I had never given up so much of what I considered myself, in order for another person to fly (or swim, in his case).  In the aftermath of peeling the onion, I am finding the inner self I lost touch with over the last few years of hard work and going big.  She seems to be more normal and healthy than I remember.  This may mean less likes on my Facebook profile.  I may never make it on the Rumpus website.  www.therumpus.net, but writing and sharing helps me be.  And you never know, I did not think I would ever live in Utah either.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Heading Down the Road (as sung by Tom Petty)


"Love all.  Trust a few.  Do wrong to none." - William Shakespeare

12 years in San Francisco, this is the longest I have ever lived in one place.  This is the first time that I have left a place when I was not running away from something, but running to something.  Good bye San Francisco, I leave today, and want to say Thank You for the lessons.  I am definitely leaving a piece of my heart here.  I came here angry, defiant, entitled, imperfect.  I leave here proud, in love, and open - but still imperfect.  The best ingredients to make some tasty Awesome Sauce to serve up in SLC.

For 6 years I was defined primarily through my role as a county hospital nurse, secondarily as a wife to Nascar Pitcrew, and thirdly as a sister and daughter.  Prior to that, I was an obstinate adult student (angry at the expense of college, angry at the lack of opportunities afforded my financially handicapped self, yet I was obstinate enough to make it happen for herself).  I was a heavy drinker, hard, loud; I used drinking as a way to protect  my broken heart.  I never quite fit into any scene, so I made my own.  A mix of burners, wine drinking philosophers, students, nurses.  I have developed many faces, many attitudes to complement whatever role I am playing.  During these years, I have often felt like Dora Maar, severe, bold, misunderstood (unless you are looking at her from the right direction).  The common thread in all of these faces is a coarseness, an anger, that has promoted me, made me successful, kept me going.  (You may not think that Dora is angry, but I think that having my nose on the side of my face would make me really mad)




As I drive away from San Francisco, I have nothing to be angry at.  My husband, my successes, my life has been a work of art so far.  Little Girl B defied the odds and Nurse Bacon has a pretty charmed life.  In many ways, leaving San Francisco is what has to happen in order for me to let the last of the anger go and for the Awesome Sauce to set just right.

My life is full of the love of a good man, who brings stability, creativity, and a willingness to learn to the table.  He has been waiting patiently for me to be at his side again.  We are not without problems, but that is the way of life.  Problems are chances for growth and learning.  Cooperation comes from open communication and a willingness to accept criticism, as well as offer it, in a kind way.  This can be a messy process, and often I look in the mirror disappointed with how I have chosen to behave.   The love we share should be full of respect, empathy, pride, humor, comfort, and a little bit of naughtiness for some fun.  I am always amazed at how the niceties get thrown away when the comfort sets in.  We are biting, we bully with our emotions, and we forget to treat the VIP in our life with the same respect we offer to strangers.  I am looking forward to practicing kindness with Nascar Pitcrew.  Unencumbered by work schedules, family obligations, or the like (at least for 2 months), I hope to cultivate some habits of kindness and respect that last us a lifetime and propel us forward into the world even more successfully.  How can I be angry (or even sad) about this chance?

I arrived in San Francisco, full of survivor's anger.  I was extremely pissed off that those two individuals I called parents had left me and my brother to swim in the pools of their own severe dysfunction at a very young age.  Upon arrival at the Golden Gate, I felt without opportunity, abandoned by my mommy, and abused by my daddy.  Slowly, understanding set in.  With every personal success, a feeling of forgiveness became palpable.  Personal accountability was attained.  The anger that brought me here has dried up.  Sometime, during my life here in San Francisco, the raging waters of anger became a deep lakebed of penetrating sadness.  The kind of sadness that takes therapy, the kind that tests friendships, the kind that is crippling.  But then, time wears it down, the ashes disintegrate, and all you are left with is a void to fill.  I filled that void with developing my career in nursing, and building lasting relationships with solid, yet scarred, human beings - we are all that, right?  My heart leaps with joy when I hear my brother say he loves me and I know he means it.  I will sing like a lovesick fool to Captain and Tenille with Gabby - anytime, anywhere.  I will wax philosophical with Lex through pregnancy and old age, of this I am sure.  I look forward to lady trips with a number of lovelies who inspire, as my life becomes less about work and more about living.  The anger turned to sadness, and in the last 2 weeks, I think I cried out all my tears.  The sadness has become a deep seeded gratitude for all that this adventure has given me.  Love, friendship, self-esteem, and the recognition that life does not happen to you, but you are what happens to the empty canvas that is life.  

When I drive away today, I will be singing along to a fabulous mixtape, made by a favorite DJ.  A mix of Billie Holiday, Sublime, Tom Petty, and Beastie Boys.  Gabby and I will practice the lyrics to Captain and Tenille at least 4 times an hour as we watch the mountains turn to high desert.   I am not running away this time.  In fact I am not running at all.  I am taking off, on an adventure.  
I am happening to life.

Auf Wiedersehen San Francisco!






Thursday, April 19, 2012

As Good Luck Would Have It

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” -Marilyn Monroe

I am constantly reminded to pull up my big girl britches at work.  It is easy to complain about the lack of help, the long hours, the intense labor that goes into one of my days.  And then I look at who I am caring for, and remember that my chaos looks blissful to them.

Over the last few weeks, I have dealt with some really sad cases.  The sort of cases that remind you that your hurt feelings, stresses about moving, or other quality problems really are just good luck.  It is by the grace of god that I have a job I love, have a plethora of friends to hold me, hug me and support me during my dark hours, and the right to choose a partner who is crafty, savvy, and who wants to share a lifetime of love and adventures with me.

A few weeks ago, I held space for a 60 year old man who was actively dying of lung cancer.  I had forgotten how violent and destructive death can look.  As I watched his family tearfully try to make decisions about his end of life care, I realized that there were not enough statistics or intelligent arguments to make such heavy decisions any less painful.  This man was drowning and his family's world was falling apart; they had no other words other than "Save Him."   I felt honored to watch the compassionate discussion held by a thoughtful and caring physician.  I was, and still am, in awe of how this doctor compassionately offered insight, while always allowing the patient and his family to be in control of their destiny.  I will miss working with this doctor.  She has truly inspired me.

The next day I witnessed a young man of 47 be told his cancer had re-emerged.  It was unclear if their was any chemotherapy that could be used to eradicate it.  I held his hand, we talked about the loveliness of San Francisco, our mutual beliefs in aliens, and together we got him up to the side of the bed, just so his feet could ground for one moment.  It was inspiring and made my temper tantrums about feeling left out of social functions, and my irritation at Nascar about broken cars and workshop clutter seem rather immature.

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The move to SLC has brought a rainbow spectrum of emotions for me.  I am much less bipolar now, and have surrendered to the excitement of something new.  My last day of work is a week from tomorrow.  I feel like a chapter in my life is being concluded, and with a happy ending.  I think I feel a similar happiness as Noah does as he masters riding his bike without training wheels.  Just like him, my training wheels are off and it is time to ride.





I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love sent my way over the last few weeks.  I am truly beginning to embody the Integration that I have so desperately sought after in the last few years.  I feel accepted by my peers at work, and so many folks have gone way out of their way to tell me and show me how much I will be missed as a part of the 4B team.  Even though Gabby is out of the country, she calls every few days to check on the process of the move, and I feel so blessed to have her in my corner.  Nascar is holding down the new fort in Salt Lake, and even though it has been over a month since we have seen each other, our team work is high functioning right now.

There were some dark days, early this month.  The extended version of this move has been exhausting.  My bedroom is a mess of boxes and packing paper.   Gabby subletted her room while she was out of the country, so I have a new roommate.  Bless his heart, he had no idea of my manic tendencies.  Lucky for both of us he is an easy-going, gypsy kind of guy.  Needless to say, the crazy amount of change in my life has been slightly chaotic, but manageable.  I am exercising a lot more often, and have maintained my commitment to not abuse alcohol in the name of stress reduction.  I have had to make some hard decisions and I have had to slow my roll, but it feels good.  The two to three times a week weight lifting and yoga sessions are really making my big girl britches fit my big girl curves better.  

Last Sunday I walked the Mission, listening to DJ Professor Stone and shooting photos of grafitti.  I was basking in my love for San Francisco.  San Francisco has inspired me to become the person I am today.  From volunteering at Larkin Street Youth Center for homeless kids and being motivated to go to Nursing School, to reading the Tales of the City books and trying to encounter a counter culture, I have developed a sense of self that was empowered by living in such an alternative and artistic city. The graffiti has always spoken to me, and I have made a habit of shooting photos of some of these masterpieces.  On so many walls, in so many artistic ways, are renderings of the woman I want to be.  I am inspired by the murals, not just artistically, but also spiritually.  Perhaps, as good luck would have it, integration is complete for a while.

Water Sign

role models

Roses

Pan in Pan's Perch

Maturity

For Noah and your love of Transformers





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About Me

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I am Nurse Bacon, a registered nurse who works hard and and lives a full life with her husband, Nascar Pitcrew. A little surly and a little sensitive, I am very much enamored with life and its nuances.