Monday, May 23, 2011

Losing a friend

I've been feeling like I am losing a friend for the past few weeks. Not in a harsh or angry way. There has been no fighting or disagreements. It's just the passing of time and people growing apart.

The problem is that this friend means so much to me and we hardly see each other. Our schedules are different, we live far away from each other and our lives are going different ways as well.

When I was younger I feel like things like this happened more often and much easier. As I get older I realize that I am building stronger more meaningful friendships with the people around me. To see that those friendships aren't working is tragic. Particularly this one.

I'm deeply upset by it and feel like if we could hang out and talk to each other a little bit it might be different. She would see why I love her so much and why I'm missing her. But, maybe she doesn't want to right now and that's okay too. We all get to make decisions and even though I want her in my life maybe she doesn't want me in hers.

Megan is the first friend I made up here in Washington. She knows all of my history with my family, with Scott. She knows my kids and they know her. They love her. I love her. I have considered her a sister since day one. We get along so well, we challenge and support each other. It is a unique and beautiful friendship.

I feel like I'm grieving someone who has passed. I am so sad right now.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Finally it is spring here. Warm 70 degree days (almost... it is the Pacific North West afterall.)

I went rock climbing yesterday morning and finally, finally made it to the top of the rock wall! Tara had to talk me through the whole thing, but I was able to trust her enough to hold the rope and anchor me.

It is amazing how much I truly fear trusting someone else with my life. I absolutely freeze up and demand to be let down. I've done it twice and yesterday was no different, except I didn't demand to get down. I just shook and scared myself the whole way but I made it up. The view was beautiful.

And even though it was a small achievement as far as rock climbing goes, I feel like it was a good step forward for me in a personal way.

My whole life I have basically taken care of myself. My Mom is not someone who ever thought to be actively taking care of us especially when she was in her worst state and on drugs. A lot of things fell to the side and that included my siblings and I. Samantha, to her credit definitely took care of me as best as she could but she wasn't that much older than me. We were kids taking care of ourselves and each other in one of the worst environments. To see us now and know us, you would have no idea what we went through as children.

When we moved in with my Dad and Jen when I was 9, it was different. There was just so many kids and our parents were working and going to school that even when Grandma was around we still had to fend for ourselves a lot of the time. It isn't to say that they weren't taking care of us, but there is only so much one person is capable of and when you have 5 kids, it becomes more challenging. However, the stability in that house allowed us to become competent people in the world and to learn right from wrong.

I've only ever had one other incident in my life when I've had to trust someone else and that is my marriage. That didn't go so well. I trusted Scott with many things including what our life was supposed to be like and in the end he just sat on the couch and let me do most of the work.
Now, I'm paying for that. I have to work so much harder because I chose to stop school and he continued. He has more resources available and I don't have any. He has family and I don't. It's not a bad position but it's just different. Now I am again fully trusting myself and no one else.

It's a weird spot to be in.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I went kayaking again on Monday.

The water was a lot faster and there was a lot more of it.

Tara and I paddled well and got through the first stretch, it was rough and after we both said at the same time "That was hard!" Then we laughed and kept going even though we were nervous and a little worried about the water levels. It was making it really hard to paddle through unless you have a lot of experience and Tara and I are both new to this sport.

We needed a rest and Matt pointed an eddy out and said shoot for the eddy and take a break. Well, we got there but not quite in time. There was a tree at the bottom of the eddy poking out of the water. We got stuck and the boat flipped. I saw this was happening and went to take a deep breath before going under, but I was already under.

Water in my lungs. Instinctively my body takes another deep breath... of water. Fuck, Jessica Stop. Stop breathing water.

I open my eyes to see the yellow inflatable kayak above me and there's water. Water. It is silent and I think "Alright this might be it, but you have to try either way." I push myself down to catch the current to go under the kayak. I pop out, I'm breathing again. Tara is in front of me, scared and throws her hand out to me. I grab it afraid to let go and get stuck again. Our group got us immedietly but the fear still sits in a little bubble of my brain.

The weird thing is that when it was happening I wasn't really scared so much as calm and accepting. It was so quiet. It wasn't cold. Time moved a little slower and I was able to think clearly. The water felt natural in my lungs.

I can see how people say that drowning is one of the most peaceful ways to die. I don't feel like it would have bothered me at all to die that way the other day. It was so peaceful under the water.

The thing is is that it wasn't. The water was raging, moving so fast and when we finally did connect our cold, shocked hands with the handles on our friends' catamaran we were still being pulled with the river until we got into the boat.

I still want to kayak but I want to be safer and smarter about it until I get better. I have two beautiful babies that definitely need this Mama around.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I literally have just had the best day of my entire life.

I went kayaking today with my dear friend Tara and her boyfriend Matt, along with another coworker from work. It was my first time and I am absolutely IN LOVE with it. I can only compare what happened to me today with the way that I felt after giving birth to my children. Ecstatic, Elated, Scared Shitless, Crying, laughing and Screaming all at once.

I was screamin' and paddlin' and just going down the river. Tara and I shared a "duckie" kayak and had a blast. Tara is pretty scared of water and even though Matt has been getting her out on the river a lot lately, she still has fears. Today however was different. We were a team and I know rivers and she knows how to paddle. Together we made it and we didn't have to flip or swim even once.

We kicked ASS! There is no other way of describing this and Oh God, it was so so much fun.

On top of that, we were going near sundown so we were able to catch the sunset as it went down behind the mountains behind us at one point. It was so absolutely beautiful and inspiring that I cried. I cried so hard and so happily, I have never done this before.

I just got through reading a beautiful book, called Modoc. It was is about the greatest elephant that ever lived and by the far the most amazing elephant trainer in the world. These two had been born in the same hour, on the same day on the same farm. They were connected and literally spent their entire lives together. They had ups and downs and some insane adventures. At one point in the book, they are at an Elephantarium in Calcutta, India. A man tells the trainer something about their spirituality. He says that man needs to remember to listen to the song in nature, that every little thing is something and that we are all connected as one and with nature.

I have always tried to do what is right by the earth and by myself at the same time. Today however changed me. I felt that connection. I cried as I tore through the waves and laughed at exactly the same time. I wasn't sad or scared. I was happy, I felt my spirit had connected with my friend and with the water and with the sky. I felt complete the entire trip.

And now.. I am back home and sitting here on this computer so completely removed from that situation. However, I am going to carry it with me. I am going to dream about it and relive it as often as I can. If I could, I would be on the water absolutely everyday like I was today. I have never felt so good and so alive.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Here it stands.

I am but one measly person in this world as are you and everyone else, right? So why do we ever think that the things we do will affect so many?

Simply, because it does. That's why.

I am still pondering my dilemma. In the meantime I have been enjoying the sunshine that has finally and thankfully hit the Pacific Northwest after many, many long months of gray days filled with rain and cold.

I even feel like maybe a few freckles returned from their long lost California days of peaceful afternoons spent on the river as a teenager. No cares in the world besides how I was going to take care of the sunburn soon to come. (don't worry a quick phone call to Grandma and I learned that you can bathe in vinegar or green tea, apply Aloe Vera liberally and with abandon as you should have applied the sun screen and at last, she suggested drink and pass out because the pain isn't going away)

I miss those days on the river. I wish there was a way I could bring it back and soak it up if even for a few short hours. Alas, my time will come. There has been talk with Tara about a possible river trip on Tuesday. I'll be in a dry suit and kayaking but hey! Water is water and you take what you can get up here.

I have an adventure packed camping trip planned with some friends in July and I got myself a spiffy new back pack for the occasion. My next purchases will be a bike and a sleeping bag... maybe a tent if absolutely necessary but I'm hoping to borrow.

The babies and I are going to do some camping this year as well, probably just a few small overnight trips here and there with some friends, but it will be an introduction to the adventures they are sure to have as the years come.

I had a realization today about my children. They are nearing the age of accidents and danger. The point where they will soon discover they can get hurt and pretty badly at that. Adrien has already begun having told me just the other day "Mom! Look! I got hurt while walking in the woods!!" as he shows me scrapes, band aids, bruises literally from head to toe and on his little pale tummy too. Oy Vie! How is one supposed to set aside a mother's worries and fears to let them run about and do these things?!

Oh... that's right. It's part of growing up. After all, haven't we all been hurt a time or two?