My “happy place” used to be this orange chair. It was covered in corduroy, just wide enough for B and I to sit snuggled side-by-side, nestled into a corner of his parents’ living room. Whenever we sat there, the kids would be running around, crawling all over us, and the kettle would be whistling, and everything in general would just be all right.

I still love that chair, but.

The place we stayed, the night of our wedding and the night after – that’s the new place I go, when I’m meditating and I need to “find my happy place.” I imagine I’m there, lying under a white canvas canopy, the overhanging leaves casting dappled shadows on the fabric, the breeze gently whispering through the open windows and the tent swaying ever so gently. The feel of smooth, worn wood underneath my bare feet. Stretching and meditating and eating breakfast on our little balcony overlooking the woods. Eating simple, beautiful things like local yogurt and blueberries and lavender and honey and stealing giggly glances at B as if I’d never seen him before. We knew things about each other we hadn’t known the day before. There were no secrets or reservations. Just the golden light filtering into our tent, kissing our skin and shining on our eyes. It was a New Light. We both looked different. More human, and less. A little fey. A little wild. Clean and silly and free as two faeries.

My happy place.

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home.

We went back to New York for the holidays. Well, the fake holidays. The kind you hold a week earlier than the rest of the world because plane tickets have a way of going way, way up in price the week of December 25th.

So, it’s Christmas on Saturday – sort of. That’s what we’ve decided.
And we’re home for it.
Sort of.

It didn’t feel the way I thought it would, “coming home.” (Though, let’s be honest, very little ever feels / looks / turns out the way we think it will.) I’d grieved for months over the lack of my little town, my beautiful trees, the challenging, arrestingly beautiful and humbling weather (nothing makes you feel so small as a snowstorm). I missed the people and the places, and that stupid orange chair that is technically only big enough for one-and-a-half people, and that b.b. and I always crammed ourselves into, together.

I’ve come home. I’ve sat in the orange chair. And still, that little tug…

“I want to go home.”

Silly heart, I think. I shake my finger at myself (incidentally, this is difficult to actually physically attempt. I would recommend attempting it only very metaphorically…). You are home.

And still, it doesn’t feel that way.

Do I miss Texas? Hell no. But am I as finally blissfully happy as I thought I’d be, coming back here? … also, no. It’s not TX that I miss – with its humid, practically soggy climate and even more unfortunate political climate… It’s my little apartment – our – little apartment, that’s just ours. It’s being in charge of my own destiny, day to day. I feel like a child again, being here, staying with b.b.’s parents and having to borrow a car any time I need to go somewhere. It’s nothing they’re doing wrong – they’re lovely. I’m just used to being the grown-up, the head-of-household. (well, co-head-of-household.) So, thankfully, this trip “home” has actually made me happier about being in texas. I was blind to the advantages, before, of being so far away, of being so frustratingly and intoxicatingly independent. It is good and it is awful and it is hard work and I am looking forward to returning.

And also,

my father has cancer. My mother just told me last week. They’re going to try and treat it with diet – no traditional medicine. I have lots of feelings about that but mostly, right now, it’s just making for a very weird Christmas season.

Home is… I think I’m learning that home is… Not “where you make it,” exactly – nothing so cliche, but…

It’s not a place. It is a feeling. And sometimes that feeling is fleeting, but you still had “home” for just a brief moment, and that’s okay. And sometimes that feeling lasts a week, and sometimes that feeling is a person, and sometimes that feeling is a certain smell or a certain piece of clothing or cup of coffee,

or that spot right between your husband’s shoulder and his neck where your head fits just perfectly.

these things are home, more so than any place.

And that’s… okay.

self care.

I can brush my teeth with no problem.
I can usually eat one or two meals a day.
I can make myself a cup of coffee.
I can…

That’s where it ends, actually – the taking-care-of-myself thing. Drinking water? Nope. Getting enough sleep? Eh. Spending money on myself? Are you kidding!?

I needed a new laptop. Well, I wouldn’t say need. The one I had worked, technically. I could use it for at least half an hour before it overheated, and the touchpad worked at least 70 percent of the time. I was fine.

And I was fine with my wardrobe before my mother-in-law (my beautiful, generous, soulful mother-in-law) gifted me with a certificate to spend what I thought was a ridiculous amount of money on new underthings.
“From time to time we all need to toss out the old and make room for new, colourful things in our lives!” she wrote. I smiled. And then I read the amount she’d given me, and I vomited.*

Let me disclaim.

I wasn’t trying to play the martyr. I really was fine with my broken computer and my faded undergarments – they did their job well enough.
I guess, deep down somewhere, I wanted more, but the Guilt part outweighed the Want part. So what if those new things would make me feel like a million dollars? “I’m not worth a million dollars,” I thought, “I don’t deserve to feel good about myself until I’m more… something. Lots of things.

I still kind of think that, to be honest. But I’m working on it.

Like so many things, it’s a process.

So today, after a long and grueling day at work, I decided to force myself to treat myself well. As my amazing husband often reminds me “you deserve to be happy and be a little spoiled just as much, if not more, than you believe any other girl does.” (Again, I’m still working on agreeing with this…) So I ran a bath. And I tossed in a bath bomb I’d gotten as a gift months ago – I hadn’t been able to bring myself to actually use it ’til today. And I put on a face mask. And Netflix. Because, Netflix. I even got a glass of wine, and allowed myself to linger, and use my softest towels and my best lotion. And it felt amazing. The guilt was there, lurking, but I shooed it away with wine and bubbles.

I’m still not sure I deserve to be “that girl.” The one who does her makeup and wears pretty clothes… I always imagine, when I dress up, that I must look to everyone like a pig in lipstick. Like everyone’s thinking “who does she think she is?” Well. Every time that thought creeps into my mind, leering at me and threatening to steal my happiness, I’m going to (try to) respond “I’m Miranda. And I am worth it. Just as much as anyone else.”

… I think.

xx

*Sorry. This blog might have a pretty design and occasionally I’ll use pretty, flowery words, but I will also occasionally post some ugly things here. Ugly, truthful things. I hope this doesn’t upset you.

 

here we go.

Taking a deep breath.
Diving in.

That’s what I’d like to write. But in reality, in truth, it’s more…

Staring at the water.
Shivering.
Thinking “maybe I’ll just get my feet wet…
that looks pretty cold.”

What do I want to write about?

Moving across the country. Being in unfamiliar territory. Being away from family. Everything from the culture, the people, and the climate, to the vegetation being completely and utterly foreign, to me.

Here there be dragons. 

And I need some form of release, and expression – some kind of structure to get all of… this… out, in. (What a fine sentence that was! Ugh.) I have no stage beneath my feet, no warm, worn boards holding me up, filling my soles/soul with groundedness and inspiration, currently. Hopefully soon. I have no lectures to sit in on, no notebook and pens before me, ready to be filled with wisdom – I’m not in classes. I’m just working, right now. Just making money. Just supporting my very little, very new family (me. husband. basset hound. evil snuggly cat.) I go to work and come home, go to work and come home… I need something else / more. I’m going to find it.

And I guess I’ll write about it.

Here.

Something tells me that’ll help.

xx