I Can Do This

Well, we landed in the Land. It feels really good. The weeks and days, and even hours, leading up to boarding the flight were fraught with tension and toxicity. It's not worth describing in detail. But I've got some time with a lot of distance and a whole ocean between myself and some people who tend to bring out the worst in me. It's not entirely their fault, when I engage I'm participating in an unhealthy dance that always follows the same pattern. But I also refuse to believe the old lie that I'm a bad person who is entirely at fault for every ounce of hurtfulness, emotional neglect, and gaslighting that comes my way. It is my responsibility not to go back to people who have shown me time and again that they are neither interested in nor capable of nurturing a healthy relationship with me.

It's liberating as fuck.

I was really worried about single motherhood. But I love it so much. I do get tired and I would like to have a babysitter or dad weekend or whatever eventually so I can have some time to get things done and maybe go have dinner with friends or something. But in the meantime, I actually am really enjoying it. It turns out, when a bunch of your energy isn't being siphoned or diverted into navigating a living situation that is well past its prime, you have more of it for... everything else! I wake up in the morning, I'm ready to get up! I come up with a to-do list, and.. wait for it.. I do it! I can play with my daughter and we have our jokes and dance, and she barely watches any television at all. I can do meals, I can do bedtime, bath time, play time, all the times. I have plenty of energy and I know my child well, and I feel like... I don't know, like I can do things. I'm more than capable.

Right now I'm trying to find us an apartment and get all the deposits and stuff together, it's really steep here. But things have lined up in miraculous ways already. I went to my women's spiritual circle on Friday night (Goddess bless Zoom) and first of all, it was so nice to see everyone again. Secondly, the basic message of my journey was, give everything you want over to Great Spirit and let it come to you. So that's what I'm doing. My apartment will find me according to the divine plan, under grace, in a magical way.

So that's the thing I'm focusing on now, because once I get a place, then I can get a job and a car and find the little girl a school (squee!) and get the ball rolling. I'm excited. I'm still waiting to find out if I can get enough financial aid to return to graduate school in the Fall, so that's another thing that I'm waiting to see if it falls into place. Okay I just went and checked and they offered me a student loan, which I accepted, so that's awesome! Yay! So school for me in another month or so! Woohoo!

There's an apartment with a really nice landlady we're going to look at tonight. I'm really hoping we can get it. We love the apartment we're borrowing from a very kind family member, it's so cute! But it's right downtown smack dab in the middle of a bunch of bars. I'm not a drinker. I am, for all intents and purposes, a teetotaler. I basically only drink if I go out with a friend who orders a drink. But I don't really do it on my own time. I bought myself some wine and tequila at the duty-free store just because it's so insanely expensive here and some day I might want a margarita or some pink wine, but honestly I always buy alcohol and then take months and months before I drink it. I just don't like that feeling anymore. I used to like going out to drink and dance and lose myself in the music. But that's mainly what it was about for me, dancing and losing myself in the music. Like, cutting loose to just dance it out.

I don't really know what the drinking culture is all about. I feel a little bit like an alien. Like, I sit and look out the window at the people out on the sidewalks here at night and I want to interview them and ask what it is they're getting out of it. Is it the same thing that I used to get out of it? Is it about dancing and inducing a trance-like state where you can see visions and feel the cosmic pulse moving through you? Or is it about something else? What about hooking up with people you don't care about? I tried that once and it was awful. Very unsatisfying. Explain it to me, I want to say. I'm not judging. (I mean if I'm honest I judge a little as a reflex but that's why I want to understand.) What's going through your mind? How do you feel in the morning? What kinds of things do you think about during the day? Do you ever see visions? Do you have movies that play in your mind? Do you hear Great Spirit guiding you? Do you hear the small, still voice?

There was a time I would have been out there every night, checking out the different spots, mixing it up. But I was looking for something that wasn't there. I would scan the room psychically, checking to see if anyone from my soul tribe was in the room, giving off the signal. Nope, not here. Oh, well, I can always dance.

Now it's a bit different. This apartment is directly above a bar. So when we leave out the front door, I have to stop before I head downstairs and say a little prayer, take a breath or two, because going out among people who are intoxicated gives me a nervous feeling. Drinking kicks you out of your body and it's kind of like walking through a gauntlet of half-possessed people. They have a different energy. It's like they're there, but ghosts are looking through their eyes and they don't know it. When we walk out the front door, we face a bunch of tables at this bar on the corner that usually has a lot of people sitting there. The first day we were here, the little one and I walked out the door, and all conversation at those tables stopped. It was a little disconcerting. I had forgotten about "The Euro Stare." In Europe, people are less self-conscious about openly observing others out in public. In the States we do more of a furtive glance type of thing. I'm not sure what they do in the UK. But in most of Europe, people will just openly stare at you as you walk by. It feels really weird if you're not used to it. Different regions and cultures do it more than others. In Iceland they fully stare if they want to. So it was slightly uncomfortable to have this like, horde of tattooed dudes stop what they're doing and silently watch our little mother-daughter duo go by. It's probably because they know my family member who lives here and were wondering like, who are this woman and blonde-haired child coming out of his place? Did he father a baby with a foreign woman and nobody knew about it? What's going on?

Another time we came home from dinner at my mother-in-law's (technically ex but that's too many hyphens to type) house, and I was holding my daughter's hand and carrying her huge teddy bear. We walked past like three or four bars and restaurants with people outside, bouncers at the doors, loud music blaring, the nighttime scene getting going, and here we come on our way to read bedtime stories, wholesome as apple pie with ice cream. I generally avoid eye contact in public, but the people I did glimpse were looking at us like, "What are you two doing here?!" It was kind of funny.

I like seeing the drag queens out the window, though. I love them so much.

I have a friend who told me a while back, when she and her partner were going through a lot of stressful things at once, he started drinking more, liquor, in the evenings. And it actually made him kind of meaner. And he had started snapping at her and their kids a lot more, and it was really making her sad. He was a great guy and they were perfect for each other in so many ways, but it was really upsetting her the way things were going during that season of their lives together. I've been thinking about that, how she confided in me, as I look out the window after babygirl goes to sleep. Watching people drink, hearing them get louder, seeing them stumble, seeing them draped all over each other, watching some of them pair off and stand closer, swaying, I guess getting ready to go hook up. There's nothing like a bird's-eye view of a full night of drinking to make you think twice about it. Everybody looks the same. They're all on the same drug.

Don't get me wrong, I still fully support the use of psychedelics and marijuana. But alcohol? Hard drugs? I don't know. Alcohol in moderation, with food, is fine. But drunkenness is so ugly. The shapes the faces make. The body posture. The gait. Like zombies. I don't like to see it. I don't like to feel it. I can achieve the trance-like state without it. All you need is music. Drums are best for that.

So I can do this single motherhood thing. Having this distance and space where it's just me and her is so healing that it feels like I've been here for weeks already, but it's literally only been I think three days? It's amazing. I'm going to be all right. The other morning I was praying, and I started to say thank you for all the prayers that were answered, and I actually started to cry. I surprised myself there, because I wasn't feeling emotional at all at the time, it just came out of nowhere. I just realized how I had asked for help and to get me out of the place that I was, I had asked to save my life, I had asked to give me any kind of a sign that someone was out there listening, I had asked for a rescue and to be forgiven and to be plucked out of the life I was living and set on higher ground, to make me strong enough to go on living, to make me a better mother to my daughter, to help me find my way because every time I tried to do it myself I messed it up. And I looked at where I am now, safe, in an apartment, with a car, with my soul tribe around me, with my ex's family helping me and my daughter so much I don't know how I'll ever repay them. No longer depressed (I'm bracing myself for seasonal affective disorder when winter comes around, but I'm prepared), no longer self-loathing, no longer relying on others to try and help me feel good about myself. I just... I dunno, for the first time in, like, ever, I feel like... I've got this. I can, um, let's see, what's that word again... live. I can live my life and maybe even make it something good. And I had very little to do with it. I just asked for help, and had faith for a tiny moment, and then would lose it, and get it back again, and go through a horrible nightmarish roller coaster ride through hell, and come out the other side again, and I had a handful of friends who stuck by me and never lost their patience with me and kept giving me love and sending up prayers for me and stayed right there with me. And I finally got to the point after one really very difficult year where I felt like, okay I'm not where I want to be yet, but I feel held in the palm of Great Spirit's hand. Somehow this is going to work out for me, I just can't see how yet. And now I feel like maybe that's what's starting to happen. And I keep praying. Not just for me, but for others, too. I mean, why not?

I sit and look out the window at the bars below. I think about what my friend told me about her partner drinking too much and kind of getting mean, how it stressed her out... and I don't want that kind of energy around my little girl. Or around myself. I've been with guys who drink too much, and it was no fun. It's a really icky energy. Actually, now that I think about it... Every guy I've ever fallen in love with was a drinker. But the reason I fell in love with them was because when I saw them sober, they had such beautiful souls. I mean, some more than others. One more than the rest of them. Like they were always kind of cute and funny and stuff, but then you see them in their natural state and it's like, whoa. There you are.


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