It has been an epic struggle to recover from my divorce. I was hoping that it would kill me but I keep waking up each day living a new life. I have a wonderful new life but it is often a struggle.
Grit. I am going to succeed because I have grit. I want to grab life by its hair and kick its teeth in except I know that life can kick my ass. It’s like making it to the top of a mountain and realizing you have cancer. Bring on the chemo baby. If I am bald you can’t pull my hair back. How do you like me know b*tch? I am evolving though every death threat. Life is sometimes that struggle for me. Through cancer scares and Asthma, I am at an age where friends are dying. Here one minute. Gone the next…
“Bye. I will miss you.”
How much time do I have to find my happy ending? I thought I had it once but I wished on the wrong star. Life is not a Disney movie. My dad started drilling that into my skull when I was very young. Still young enough to believe and can I be that young forever? I remember crying, my lip quivering as I implored, “Why can’t you allow me my dreams. My life can be a Disney movie if I live it that way.”
Except every story has turmoil to rival triumph. My father would impart his wisdom to spare me the most pain, except that I understand that growth is painful and I comfortable creating chaos if that is what I need to do to make magic real. It just may be that I might need to punch my prince charming in the face. “Let’s get the f*ck out of here country boy. You want a life of freedom and adventure. Let’s go. I am ready to go now.”
I will not live my life by chains. I want my own daughter to know true freedom. My daughter is at Disneyland right now because she has the greatest dad on earth and he can afford her every luxury. Her dad has long been in love with someone else and they have made a wonderful new beginning for themselves. I am immensely proud of the choices I have made in life , especially my choice to be divorced. I despise being single, but my first marriage had him in chains he wasn’t happy in. What other choice did I have. Good-bye as a kindness. Yes. That is how I feel about then.
Now I am struggling. It’s like I have been knocked all the way back to square one and the odds are in my favor that time will run out. It is difficult for me to not be impatient. My daughter is demanding of my success, “My mom is awesome,” she says the other day. “She is going to work her butt off and make us rich and we will live happily ever after.”
My goal as a mother is to teach her how to create a life that is rich and involved in all things worth loving. She is quite the actress. My little girl is animated on the stage in a way that makes her shine and I do not how to capitalize on that as a future, but I would give her every chance to try.
She asked me, “Will I be too old? If I wait until I finish high school and then college will I be too old to pursue a career in the performing arts? Don’t most actresses start when they are children or at least pretty young?”
My answer to her was “Yes, that is often true. There are also many in Hollywood who were born in Hollywood so the industry is easy for them. You need to understand that life is not a final destination and you can pick what you do when. Bill Gates for example. He made billions before he went back to finish college. He went back to finish because an education is the true value of life. That being said there are many actors and actresses that use their talent to catapult them to higher levels of interest. Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor. He went from meat-head jock, to Hollywood, to governor. Ashton Kutcher is also getting into politics. Donald Trump has made so much money he has deluded himself into believing he should be president. There are many way to achieve success in life. Knowledge is the value of what you do with it. You get to decide when and at what pace. I am here to support you.”
When times get really hard for me, not the mom, the real person, I sometimes want to give up. It would break my heart to hear my daughter speak the truth of what my own heart carries as options. I would never want them to be hers, but I will walk a mile in every pain so she can see with her own two eyes that I always find reason to smile, even when I am standing on a bed of nails with no shoes and the barest of feet. I’m still kicking ass after thirty-eight years of butting heads with all that I find disagreeable and there is plenty I find fault with. Who can fault the stars?
My daughter can. The daughter I raised sees me standing there in pain and she says, “Well get off the nails then stupid. You don’t need to hurt yourself. In fact, I would really prefer it if you could just relax and enjoy life. Oh and by the way, I need you to pay for my braces.”
She is demanding of excellence and isn’t it my job as a mother to make Disney real? Even Pinocchio became a real boy after he quit telling lies…
What if I am honest about life? What if I live by a true heart? What then for me? Do I deserve a second chance at Walt Disney dreams because my happiness will always be hers. If I can not secure a future for myself then what will become of hers? It’s always been my gift to show her the better way I believe in. The tricky part is that the world has its own identity and then there is society to contend with. Shall I also instill the grace of invitation. She should be kind and gracious and am I always that way? No. Sometimes I am cold and then there are others I am sharp. I would expect the same edge from her because I believe that too is necessary.
Yesterday I was walking in a crowd of normal people. Out in the middle of a beautiful spring day. I love Seattle. It was a perfect day to visit, in a perfect world and my heart knew every joy until I saw the men tangled together on the pavement breathing heavy. I didn’t know what to make of it at first. The scene:
My family. Other families. People. All sorts of people. We all stood there at corner near Pike’s Place Market just watching as the man on top punched the one on bottom in the head. A giant man, a native American man, with long braids and a broad face came to the men still tangled and engorged in battle. The man on bottom was losing. The man on top took his head and smashed it like he was looking for coconut meat inside his skull. The man’s head hit the concrete with such force that his teeth flew from his face with spats of blood. We all just stood there, in our heard of ‘normal’, waiting for the crosswalk to give us a green to cross while some of us started asking, “Is anyone going to call 911?” No one did. No one yelled, “STOP HURTING EACH OTHER.” In fact, there was one in the audience who was calling out. “Punch Him. Punch him.” No one tried to help, except one did. Yes, I do believe it was the native American man who was kind enough to help his brothers. The whole group were homeless. I found myself in a state of destitution. I have no Walt Disney Magic that has a cure for men hurting each other, or themselves. We are the savage truth of what our civilized city really is. I am happy to live in a magic I create by true grit.