Thursday, January 20, 2011

This is the stuff.....

You know how when you are growing up..or at least my parents told me..."If you make it through your whole life with having just one "True" Friend...your lucky! Well I guess I am the lucky one because I have more than one!! But this story is of one in particular...She is my ROCK, my saving grace, my therapist, my own personal audience to my own version of comedy, and most important....she is a person that I can't live with out!

We met when I was in about 6th grade, that is about when I was allowed to "stay the night" at friends houses and I had the Bestest Friend ever Jamey! Her family was a whole family which is what I felt like I needed in my life, mom, dad, brothers (alot of them and I disliked them about as much as my own brothers), and a OLDER SISTER! I was the oldest in my family and I desperately needed that older sibling although she did not find it as amazing as I did. Jamey and I followed her EVERYWHERE.....I WANTED TO BE LIKE SARAH! SARAH SARAH SARAH SAAAAAAAAAARAH! I practically worshiped her! I was really pathetic, and she was MEAN...but I am a gluten for punishment and I kept coming back for more. Over the course of a few years and them being my surrogate family we made a TON of memories. Here is a list of some of those memories...

1. Sarah during a ice fight decided to hit my hand to knock my cup back....It hit me in the mouth and she CHIPPED MY TOOTH!

2. The half shaved head was in style, Sarah shaved the back of my head! Not with a razor but with scissors.

3. Sarah ran away from home (she was legal but ran away nonetheless) came home from California with "Soleless Shoes" It was a string you tied around your foot, it was looped over a toe and decorated with beads! She told us we couldn't be kicked out of a store for no shoes...cause they were shoes...just soleless! Yes I listened and walked about a mile in my bare feet to a store cause Sarah said I could.....Yes I owwwed and ooooo'ed all the way there!

4. I always felt like I was a model at heart or a photographer from an early age...Sarah still has the picture of me that I had my brother take of me trying to pose all sexy against a tree...I was the rip old age of 13! Sarah calls humping the tree picture! I think she is holding it for ransom or for a random laugh at my expense....

5. Sarah when I decided I wanted to learn how to dance....she taught me...on the pole of her bunk bed...Good friend huh! She was setting me up for a life of trauma and I earned it and deserved it because we irritate her to NO END!

Although, we had these few things I am listing and there are TONS more I grew up and so did our friendship! I had moved away to live with my dad and I kept in contact with 2 friends. Jamey was one of them and Sarah was a fall upon really. She had her son and worked and raised him, then when we reconnected she was pregnant and ready to marry and I wasn't at that point in my life but I still enjoyed going to her apartment and drinking coffee with her and chatting...weird huh? She once was mean and now was nice but for some reason there was a connection with her....THE BIG SISTER connection I always wanted and needed. I didn't get on her nerves as much as I use to but I began to appreciate her and rely on her when I was at my lowest points which I was in ALOT then. I made mistakes that she warned me about and like a good friend said "I TOLD YOU SO" :)

Well over the last 14 years we have gone from being ME: The annoying best friend of her already annoying little sister. SARAH: The Big sister who would do anything to avoid the annoying best friend of the already annoying little sister TO: SOUL SISTERS! Sarah knows me better than I know myself, she calls me on my bullshit, praises me on accomplishments, backs me up when i needed but will knock my ass to the ground like a raging bull when I need it to. I have told her ALL my deep DARK DIRTY secrets and guess what...SHE LOVES ME FLAWS AND ALL!

For Christmas she called and told me she had a gift for me. We have never exchanged gifts in the 21 years we have known each other but she said this one was simple. I asked her what it was and she said it was simple and cheap and it made her think of next question was Will I cry? she said...MAYBE! Great! I cry at commercials so now I was anxious...She showed up at my house with her present and a letter and directions for how to open the thing!

First I read!

Dearest Shannon,
I knew when I saw this I just had to get it for you. It reminded me of you for so many reasons. First because its unique. Its handmade and not from a mold. So while there are others out there like it this is no exact duplicate.

Its beautiful at a glance, but if you look close enough you can see it is flawed. That's right, its not perfect! But its flaws add to its beauty


I opened a wrapped up tissue paper to expose a half of a butterfly wing and as I looked up Sarah revealed the top of her chest and she was wearing the other half!

I started feeling the burn in my nose.....:) I then had to open the end of the note that read....

It has a match and although they are not identical when you put them together the are a whole. They become one, not perfect, but a perfect match!

Merry Christmas,
I love you

P.S. When you put it on, it should be the perfect length to rest on your heart.

and I cried! This was the first time I had ever had a moment like this. I realized at that moment...I was truly blessed and its the little stuff that matters the most!

Here is this perfectly imperfect gift....


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Shift, Graduation and the New Life!

In a earlier post I admitted to attended marriage counseling with my husband. He was very uneasy about people even knowing that we were in it. I think he felt like people would view us differently. I on the other hand thought it was nothing to be ashamed of. We started last March and we are about to GRADUATE out of counseling next Tuesday! I am very excited about this. Its been a LONG road and we have hit a speed bump or five but something in the last month and a half has shifted and I couldn't be happier.

The shift happened at a really odd time. We were about to leave on our cruise for a week and the stress and overwhelming feeling of to much to do was really weighing on me. We ended up having a really serious blow out! THE GLOVES WERE OFF!! I felt like we had finally hit that rock bottom and we were NEVER going to recover. I felt disrespected and upset but mostly angry at how he viewed me and the things I did to keep this family running and he belittled my "job" (not my paying one, my duty to my family one). It was really horrible! Needless to say getting on that plane and joining him and our friends for a week of no responsibility and carefreeness (I don't think that is a word but it sounds cool)was more of a chore than exciting. I cried for the days leading up to the cruise. During our discussions following the "fight" truths were revealed and the feeling poured from both of us. I couldn't get past the fact that we had been in counseling for MONTHS and we still couldn't get our shit together. I mean really MONTHS.....some of the discussions were heated and some were just sad but at least it was being put "On the table" and it was up to us to decided how it was going to play out.

While on our cruise we took alot of time to just work on "us". We did alot of talking and alot of what I think we needed all along....Time for US! I stepped out of my box and my comfort zone and so did he. We took naps in the middle of the day along with "other time" ;). The reconnection was beginning and this was EXCITING yet terribly scary!! I went snorkeling in the middle of the Caribbean sea ( I have a massive fear of sharks this was a HUGE accomplishment for me). You never know how powerful the word "Thank you" is until you hear it and know you needed to hear it. That night after snorkeling Brian walked up to me while we were preparing for our dinner in the dining room and just lightly touched my arm and said "Thank you for snorkeling with me today I know how hard it was for you and it really meant alot that you went knowing I have waited my whole life to do something like that Thank you!" This was the first in the "shift". I was taken back for a moment but looked at him and said "Your Welcome, and yes I did "jump" out of my comfort zone when I jumped off a boat into a barrier reef and swam over top barracudas!" we laughed and it was the first time we had laughed together and at each other in a very long time. Well the rest of the week went off without any problems. We had the best time with our friends and with ourselves a part of my didn't want to come back not because of where were where but "Where Brian and I were". I just knew the second we got home Vacation brain would leave and the daily life with kids and jobs brain would come back and the fighting and arguing would begin again. Well that's me always waiting for the fall out and to make sure I am right....I will cause the fallout. The petrified me! I made sure the day we were leaving to say to him...can we please continue this life once we get home I don't want things to change...he agreed.

Coming home was interesting it was the WORST week. The morning I started working I backed my car into my trash cans and I broke my tail light...and a piece of my heart broke because I was expecting the worst actually the normal reaction I would get when I messed up and that was Brian yelling at me...I called him at work and clinched my jaw after telling Brian what I had done. He calmly said...."Its okay is it broke broke or can I tape it?" I replied "You can tape it" he replied "Alright well we will have to wait till after Christmas but we can fix it" I sat dumbfounded and shocked yet relieved that he didn't yell at me! This would be the second "shift". I made sure I "Thanked him" for not yelling at me and I told him how I appreciated him staying calm about it and I laughed as I told him I thought he was going to yell at me.

Thing from here just keep getting better! Are communication level is at an all time high. We haven't had a fight or argument since before the cruise and if we do we are quick to point out what is beneficial to the relationship and what is not and the other is quick to change the tone or body language and APOLOGIZE for being out of line. APOLOGIZE I actually APOLOGIZED for being snappy! That was another "Shift"

After attending counseling last night and talking with the counselor she was shocked and amazed at how just even 2 months ago we were falling apart yet now our pieces are sliding back into the proper place and the puzzle we created is becoming a solid picture! I say it was the "shift". Either way I can honestly say that I haven't been happier than I am right now and I am excited yet still sightly guarded that my relationship from here on out will be purely.....SYNERGY! How do I plan on doing is how!

•Focus on the things I can control: my attitude, my behavior, my words, and my energy. If I want something to change in any stage of my relationship, I can make it happen by changing own traits or actions – not Brians.

•I will make sure I take what I learned and use healthier ways to express my disappointment, anger, or frustration.

•Remember how I came to fall in love! Recalling my feelings of lust, attraction, and desire I have for Brian. I will think about the traits that I was attracted to, and let those old feelings come to life again.

•Appreciate Brian and all his good qualities;I will be grateful for the life we share. Gratitude in itself can enhance our relationships. I will be thankful and apologetic. Most important...I am going to LOVE that man like its my only way to live!