More Than A Year | I’m Not Sorry

It has been more than a year since I have written. Please don’t be upset with me. It has been more than a year since I have addressed you, my faithful readers. But I promise, it really hasn’t. But it has. I have started posts since the last time I have written. I have started them, and stopped them. It has been more than a year – but the “more than a year” has been the strangest, hardest, most intense “more than a year” I think any of us, on earth, have ever experienced.

My last post about the late Kobe Bryant struck chords with a lot of people. I got a lot of hate for it. The wind was knocked out of my sails because I took a risk writing about something that truly mattered to me. I got a LOT of hate for it. From people I knew and from perfect strangers. People thought I was being disrespectful – and I disagreed. People thought I was just an angry feminist on a rant – but why was that considered unacceptable? People took my post to mean that I didn’t believe that people can change. That I didn’t believe in forgiveness. And to some degree, and a life full of learning things the hard way – I can say that this is a little correct – but allow me to explain:

One of my mottos is “When someone shows you who they are – BELIEVE THEM.” So, sure, maybe people can change – but the amount of times that I’ve been duped into believing that far outweigh those who have actually chosen to make a change in their lives. Perhaps my life doesn’t reflect an accurate simple random sample in life, but it’s what I have to work with. I’m not sorry.

Do I forgive people? Sure. For stuff that’s inconsequential and won’t matter in an hour, a day, a week, a year. I have a much harder time forgiving you if what you have done has hurt someone – it doesn’t even have to be me who was hurt. If what you have done has purposefully caused harm to another person or animal or entity… We’re going to have problems. I’m not sorry.

So I took a step back from writing. Because I needed time to process the feelings and emotions I felt being attacked for standing up for myself, for feminism, for women’s rights.

And then the world literally fell apart.

So, you see, I spent the next “more than a year” starting thoughts to share with you all. But as the world fell apart, my energy dwindled, and the effort it took to finish thoughts I wanted to share with you was all but lost. I’m not sorry.

I’m not sorry because we have all spent the last “more than a year” in some kind of struggle. I could try to list out all those struggles but it would only depress me all over again. Suffice it to say, though, that I wasn’t someone who capitalized on quarantine by learning a new language or investing hours to my sourdough starter. (More power to you, if you did) But we survived. We survived 2020. With some bumps, bruises and a lot of loneliness that comes with isolation. We survived 2020. If you’re reading this, then you did too. And I’m fucking proud of you.

So with that, now, allow me to share the thoughts to catch you up on this past “more than a year”. These thoughts are disjointed, appearing in their original draft forms, incomplete sentences and all. I’m not sorry.

*****

COVID-19

April 2020

Holy hell, the world is collapsing. My dining room is a mask-making-working-from-home sweatshop and it’s kind of amazing. Toilet paper? Really?!

Flatten the curve

Heartwrenching ways to “celebrate” life events during a lockdown?

*****

BLACK LIVES MATTER

June 2020

First of all, let’s get one things straight: Black lives matter.

Someone posted about having worn a “Save the rainforest” pin as a kid in the 90s and not a single person had gotten defensive and asked “WHAT ABOUT ALL THE OTHER FORESTS???” Because we knew the rainforests were, and still are, in dire need of help, far beyond the other forests in the world. So let’s just quit feigning ignorance and put that ALL LIVES MATTER bullshit aside.

A very dear friend of mine texted me last night because I’d fallen silent on our mommy group text. She asked, “Are you ok?” And I fought back the urge to respond with a single word: No. And gave the response some thought while I sat on mute in a Zoom meeting.

I finally responded and started off how I’d initially wanted to and simply said “No.”

But then all the thoughts that’d been swirling around in my head during my meeting came flooding out, finally coming to fruition:

“I’m angry and fed up and frustrated and upset and embarrassed and ashamed and and and…

I want to march and protest and join with those who are being brutalized and marginalized and terrorized but I need to keep my family safe from violence and virus free but I am incredibly conflicted at the place of privilege that comes from…

I’m upset that some of those that are joining these protests have an ulterior motive and are convoluting the cause and basis for Black Lives Matter that is so incredibly important. I’m frustrated that these hijackers make it easier for the idiot in the White House to ignore or mislabel what is happening.

I’m terrified for my friends who are people of color. And for their families. And for their children.

I’m embarrassed that white people can be the absolute fucking worst.

So I focused on building a swingset today for my kid and hopefully his friends who will be able to enjoy it forever, in some sort of near future… and I pushed back tears of rage more than several times…

The world feels so broken. So completely and utterly fractured that to theorize about what it would take to fix it makes me want to curl up into a ball and disappear… it’s too much.”

George Floyd et al

How to respond to “riots never solve anything!”

*****

BB2

August 2020

It’s finally happening! Baby #2 is officially on it’s way! Due April 2021

Will August hate me for bringing him a sibling? He’ll be almost 3 when it arrives. Resentful? Regress?

Pregnancy – again…

*****

Goodbye, Ashland

September 2020

My parents moved into the only house I know as HOME – Ashland – before my first birthday in 1986. When I was born, they were living in an apartment near Lake Michigan in Rogers Park – which they still, to this day, admit they should have kept hold of because it’d be worth a pretty penny these days. Then they found Ashland.

They moved out of it this month.

I realize that I am so incredibly lucky to have grown up in one house – never having to experience moving until I started college. Sure, I’ve moved my share of times since college, but Ashland was ALWAYS home.

They moved out of it this month.

When I was getting ready to leave, I laid on the bed in my old room, and took in the ceiling one last time. I went room by room, and remembered what each room used to be, and how each space had evolved over the last 34 years. I remembered good and bad times in almost every single room of the house. 34 years worth –

Hair dying in the kitchen

Slumber parties in the den

Hanging out with my friends in my bedroom

Afraid of monsters in the basement

Hide and seek while the upstairs was being built

BB1’s baby shower in the living room

Dinner parties on the deck

Duplos and Barbies on the floor of the sitting room

Pinning and hemming my prom dress in the spare room

Birthday parties in the dining room

They moved out of it this month. And as I drove away, I sobbed. I know the neighborhood like the back of my hand, and perhaps I always will. But I sobbed because saying goodbye can really suck.

*****

GET OUT

January 2021

He’s leaving the White House and I’ve never been so ecstatic over a political moment in my entire life.

I am living for these Bernie memes.

*****

BÉBÉ

February 2021

Schitt’s Creek is a perfect show. If you have not indulged yet, PLEASE DO NOT DELAY. Moira Rose helped me coin the nickname for our upcoming addition: Bébé.

I want to try for what is called a VBAC – Vaginal Birth After Cesarean – but I am also utterly terrified of traumatizing myself again with an emergency situation surrounding birth. The rate of UR – Uterine Rupture – is about 1/200 for those attempting VBAC. UR happens because you already have scar tissue surrounding the previous opening into your womb and so therefore it’s considered a weak spot that has a 1/200 chance of breaking open or causing subsequent births to rupture.

Induction shows an increase in odds for UR. Naturally I’ve taken induction completely off the table for this go-round.

My ultimate goal would be to go into spontaneous labor and have a TOLAC – trial of labor after Cesarean – to see if we can bring Bébé earth-side with a VBAC. But I think I know where to draw the line and pull the plug on VBAC for safety and sanity’s sake this time.

Arrest of descent. Failure to dilate. Regression of dilation. Baby in distress. Heartrate decelerations. Spiking fevers. Meconium in the system. All phrases I refuse to risk this time.

I hope I’m doing the right thing.

Time ticks by. Bébé’s arrival draws nearer. Anxiety mounts.

*****

And so there you have it. You’re caught up. But somehow I feel as though I’ve just left you with more questions than answers. Don’t worry. It won’t be anywhere close to “more than a year” ever again.

Until next time. Soon. I promise.

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