the difference between want & need

this is the day
mark it on your calender
this is the day
you no longer need
a relationship
to feel complete
to feel a purpose
a relationship
is like the beer in your fridge
you enjoy them
in healthy amounts
they leave you empty
if abused
you crave them sometimes
you think you can’t get through
the day
without them
sometimes…
but you can.
this is the day
you know that
know it to be true
being drunk on love
is no longer
a healthy option

keep a clear head
today is not the day
to lose yourself
today is the day
you find yourself.

while i am not giving up beer nor relationships, i am recognizing that i do not need either one in my life in order to make it through a day, week, month….
sixteen years ago today, i had my first date with dusty. at the suggestion of my soul sister, tara, i am changing the significance of today’s date.
today i stand tall & whether i have a beer later…or go on a date eventually…i know that i do not need to.

i keep ending up with flower heads. i’m not sure what is going on there. as always, y’all are welcome to analyze my art & let me know what is going on.

without fail, after i have posted art here, on tumblr, & on instagram, i realize i once again forgot to clean off my scanner & there is a stray hair or an ink smudge or both on my scanned artwork…fine…let’s just think of it as my copyright/watermark. 

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phoenix rising

i realized something today
i am pretty fucking awesome
whether i’ve had
a beer…or two
or
am stone cold sober
whether my bathroom is clean
or the scene
of a toxic event
i am pretty fucking awesome
warts & all
literal & figurative
losing my mind
or all fucking zen
i am incredible
fantastic
amazing
think what you will
of me
but i am the only
one
who
knows for sure
i am
totally
fucking awesome.

after 250 self-portrait art journal pages (this is #251) in the past eleven months…it was bound to happen.
i felt good writing this…it was a bit harder to post as i am all, “what if i’m wrong? what if i suck?” but i totally felt it as i was writing it.
confidence.
belief in myself.
and it felt good.

random thoughts…my daughter

when i became pregnant for the first time,
i was dismayed to learn it was a boy.
“i don’t know anything about boys!” i thought.
then i had another boy.
and finally i was pregnant with my girl
realizing
“i don’t know anything about girls either!”
i used to call myself–gender confused.
this was in the early 90s before gender
was much discussed.
but i knew from the time i was five
i had both in me–boy & girl.
yet
somehow
i also had neither…
only to realize this when i became a mother
to boys & a girl.
so like everything else, i winged it
i just raised them as people
people i respected & loved
people free to develop into whomever
they were born to be.
i remember when fidgit started playing with
trucks & guns
“i guess he is a boy,” i said,
maybe stereotyping a bit
but later, he grew his hair long
got his ears pierced
and started studying art.
still a boy, i could think.
but my girl…
my girl…
she is a girl like i was never a girl
and i want to celebrate that.
i do.
but i cried today as i shopped for her
seventh birthday present
a children’s play make-up kit
really?
but i know it will make her happy
just like every time i bought a play sword for my crazy boys
& their dad looked at me like, “really?”
here’s the thing
i want my kids to be happy
i want them to be who they are
even if it is not who i am….
that’s the tricky part about being a parent, i guess…
one of the tricky parts anyway.

the photo is me in my early 20’s. fighting gender norms has always been very important to me–especially since as a teenager i found i was more comfortable in my dad’s clothes than i was in mine. i have never worn make-up (except on halloween) & i do not own a pair of heels. but now i have a daughter who drools over thrift-store pumps & uses an art marker to apply lipstick…which some people do. some people like pumps & make-up…i’ve just never been one of them. so maybe it stings a little that my little apple is falling rolling away from the tree? but if it is who she is & will make her happy….

sigh.

heaven help me if she decides to start shaving her legs.

escaping my escapism

for the first time
in
forever
i am not looking
for someone
to rescue me
no
not like i’m some fucking damsel
in distress
though i’ve tried
i’ve never managed to convince
anyone
i am a damsel
in distress
but still
always
in the back of my head
is the thought that someone
a certain someone
not just
anyone
but my hero
on his white horse
would soon ride in
& whisk me away
from all this…
except
the thought
is
gone
i somehow
escaped
my own
escape.

i’m in brand new territory, y’all. if i was still in therapy, i would be having a “breakthrough.”  but it’s just you & me here…watching…waiting…wondering.
and here we are.
brand new territory.
what now?
you know what?
what happens next will happen next.

meanwhile, i have started that queer week of my every month where i am a mother with no children. i mean…they still exist, but they are in wisconsin with their dad. and i am here, waiting…watching…wondering.
is this a week where i blossom & explore…or a week where i wither & mourn? it often goes either way.
but this time…
i think it is going to be the former.
don’t tell the minions, but after i left them with their dad–i felt a certain weight had lifted, & i could breathe again. yes, i will miss them…but in the meantime, i will revel in my perceived & temporary freedom from motherhood.

the ascension

okay
so i’m totally
starting
my life…now.
no
for real
right now
seriously
i am starting my life
you see
turns out
i was holding the map
upside down
but now
now
i’ve got it right
& i’m ready
to do this
ready
to start my life…
(watch me go!)

i didn’t plan this one out either…but i had been wanting to throw in some stigmata…what recovering catholic can resist a little stigmata?

we are kind of in a midst of this vein (ha–no pun intended) of my art journal.
my little revelation.
ooh–revelations. there’s another good catholic outlet….

ps. it is less than a week until my 30 year high school reunion. picture every movie you’ve seen about small town high schools. yeah. that’s it.
and i was carrie…except they didn’t even like me enough to dump pig’s blood on me….
so i still don’t have a date…unless tara makes it down here in time….
should i stay or should i go? i did rsvp “no” to the sit-down steak dinner…but “maybe” to the after bar. instead of saying i had to wash my hair–i said i had to put away my livestock…which is true.
still….
i thought it might be in bad taste to ask if anyone cool would be there. odds are no. i mean, in a class of 70-some, there were very few cool people.
& why would they come back?
(i mean other than to homestead with their four children because they were broke & twice divorced & had no where else to go?)
so i need someone super hot & dazzling to be my most awesome date ever…is david tennant available maybe?
or i will just stay home, drink a beer, and look at the stars.

awakening

& then one day you realize
that the one
who you had convinced yourself
loved you truly
you realize that he
is just as big a
turd
cunt
fuck
as the rest of them
& you don’t know how to feel
because what does it mean
if there was no love
in your life
after all
no love
what does that say
about you?
did you hold onto him so hard
just to prove to yourself
that someone
could
love
you?
& what does it mean that
that proof
that validation
has now
vanished?
what do you do
now
that delusion has hardened
into
reality?

hold on tight, dear readers. this is just the first of several journal pages of the quick & twisty emotions found in this one when her hot turns cold & vice versa.

trying to grow

have i properly processed
my feelings?
have i managed to grow
past events
that shackled me
from
years & years ago?
am
i
healing?
am i ready to move
on?
my brain festers that much
less
rabid thoughts
calmed
i stopped
i took
time
i listened to
me…
did it work?

ack! i have not finished the page of moses jones yet. okay…fine…i have barely even started the page.
fear of fucking up. i have to wander past my fear of fucking up.
but if i don’t draw
don’t write
at all…i go a bit mad. just ask the minions.
so it’s another art journal self-portrait to keep insanity at bay.
yay.
the one who i professed my love to…he ignores me. so my little head spins. is he ignoring me because he does not love me back? is he ignoring me because he loves me too much? so i find myself trying to shake off my obsession–
& just live.
just…breathe.

trying to grow.
always

trying to grow