Sunday, May 27, 2007

Like swimming in molasses

Silly topic, I know. But when I thought about what to call this post, the first thought I had was the movie "Like water for chocolate". Don't ask me why, I can't explain.

My lack of posts lately can be explained though. No use trying to find colorful words to describe the depression that pulled me under. It's there, I'm under, and the molasses isn't sweet. It's tasteless but thick, cold, sticky and black as night.

I tried getting myself out in all kinds of ways that worked in the past. It doesn't work this time and I know I'll have to go visit the GP. But as it goes with the Big D, its hard work getting up in the morning, even more difficult to pick up the phone and getting myself and appointment. I'll get there, promise. I don't really have a choice. Things are getting worse and I don't like the dead feeling that grows inside me. I'm still somewhat OK and able to act OK, but my reserves are running dangerously low. Wanting to do the hermit thing seems the easiest lately, and it's NOT good.

Maybe it's more like just floating and not swimming...

On an ironic & synic note: the page I linked to molasses in the paragraph above contains the following paragraph: "A famous incident involving molasses was the Boston Molasses Disaster on 1919, in which a large molasses storage tank burst and flooded a neighborhood of Boston, killing 21 and injuring 150."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Who am I?

So often we define ourselves through our experiences in life which mould who we are or who we want to be, the choices we made, the groups we fall into or the dreams we dream.

The journey towards finding yourself is a long and arduous one, twisting and turning in every direction. Reaching your destination is finding your personal identity – the definition of who you really are, independent of anyone else. Some people find a straight path that leads them directly to the discovery of themselves, and some people’s life path takes them on the scenic route.

We should not define ourselves by other people's views or beliefs but through the frame of how we affect the world around us.

So now that I’ve thought about how I should define myself, I decided to give you just the facts. And a little bit of what is in my heart – the way I want you to think of me. Pamela Jeanne tagged me with this meme, and here are my answers.

1. Basic facts about me: I’m a 40 year old young teacher, divorced, childless, and living in Pretoria, South Africa where I was born. Lived in 9 other towns and cities across the country during my life, but I’m happiest where I am now because I can see 11 of the 12 people in the core of my family whenever I want or need.

2. My family: The eldest of 4 children: 2 sisters (both married with 5 little boys between them) and a brother (still single and working in Abu Dhabi). Lucky enough to still have both my parents: Dad a retired banker, Mom a retired teacher. My family is my safety net – couldn’t wish for anything better!

3. My working history: I have 2 diplomas in education but have been a secretary, librarian and sales consultant too. For 3½ years I worked from home doing web design & web graphics and loved it. Still doing it part-time whenever I have a spare moment.

4. I’m an artist at heart, in my soul too. Not a follower but I don’t want to be in the lime-light as a leader either – way too much fun to do my own way-ward thing.

5. I love reading just about anything: a bookworm to the core! I prefer books that make me stop and think, as well as anything about forensic pathology. Barbara Kingsolver and James Patterson are two of my favourite authors. (Not enough space or time to list them all today!)

6. I’m dreaming of finding my soul mate: I know I can survive really well being single, but I prefer spending my life sharing its experiences with someone special. Hope is alive and well and living in my heart!

7. I’m still on the path to finding my true self, and the journey to my destination is one of mixed emotions ranging from intense sorrow to jubilation.

8. I have this secret dream of being a singer – not your average pop-star, someone different and unique like Katie Melua or Eva Cassidy. My favourite local singer is Laurika Rauch, maybe because so many of my friends and family says we look very much alike!

This is your chance; ask away if you need to know anything more. I’m tagging the following 3 people – my apologies if you have already been tagged, just consider yourself double-tagged. J

Pluto – Polkadot
Aunt Sassy – Rotten eggs
S – Worrier/Warrior

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The path to wholeness

Every now and then I stumble across an article that someone else wrote, describing something so much better than I could've hoped to do. And since I'm still practicing my English (my mother tongue is Afrikaans) it helps me organize my thoughts into more descriptive, touching "word pictures".

One such article landed in my Inbox today, and I want to share it with you:

'We think that God has blessed us if we don’t have too many troubles. In fact, religions have erroneously taught us that pain is punishment for our sins. We often ask, "What have I done wrong?" when things do not go the way we want.

Yet, to become ourselves in the truest and deepest sense, we must face our own duality, which of course includes facing our darkness. As souls we strive for wholeness, not for perfection.
At first, we really don’t know what is going on. We just find life difficult, challenging and often painful and unfair. Eventually, after much experience and reflection, we start to find meaning in it all. Eventually, we gladly accept the means whereby we can do the Soul work we have come for.

As we become conscious as Souls, we walk our journey purposefully, embracing the reality of our earthly nature along with the truth of our divine nature.

"When we are conscious of our personal uniqueness and our universal nature we express ourselves creatively. In this way we fulfill our dreams and our life purpose."
-- Andrew Schneider '

It ties in with my post of yesterday in the sense that we should revisit our darkness, our pain, and through doing so, find our purpose in life. Our pain lies in the fact that our own hopes and dreams differs from the reality of our lives. Only when we come to terms with the cards life has dealt us, we can start the healing, and become what we were destined to be.

The above email was sent to me via this website.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Climb that mountain!

Lately I've been wondering why we choose to write about the same things other people in our community do. What I mean is that we write about the same stuff over and over again, every time dressed in a different way. We all have our own unique experiences, our own way of telling it, our own view and our own solutions or level of being positive about it.

Does it help to mull it over so many times? Writing about IF, reading about IF, thinking about IF?

Of course it does.

And Richard Nelson said it so well: "There may be more to learn from climbing the same mountain a hundred times than by climbing a hundred different mountains."

Julie Andrews, change your song for us please!

Climb your mountain, search high and low
Follow every by way, every path you know
Climb your mountain, ford every stream
Follow your rainbow, till you find your dream
A dream that will need, all the love you can give
Everyday of your life, for as long as you live
Climb every mountain, ford every stream
Follow every rainbow, till you find your dream…

So get out your gear girlfriend, we're going to climb this mountain until it feels like a little bump in the road!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

3 Wild Wishes

Sometimes I allow myself the luxury of playing “What if”. Today my game granted me 3 wild wishes. A fairy godmother appearing in a burst of stars waving her wand, or a magical genie popping out of a cloud of smoke from a mysterious bottle found somewhere. I can wish anything; nothing is impossible, as wild as I can wish!

My first wish would be to have a wonderful husband who cares deeply for me, with an ever-lasting love, someone I can love as I know I’m meant to love my soul mate.

My second wish
: A girl-child with a head of black curls as way-ward and wild as my own, a smile that brightens up the world around us, and hugs that would melt the hardest heart.

My third wish
would be to be president of the world for long enough to make a declaration that can never be changed: that Mothersday would be celebrated differently in future.

On this new Mothersday women with children won’t expect and demand to be pampered and thanked: they will celebrate the incredible gift of motherhood. They will be thankful for the fact that they were fortunate enough to be able to conceive and have a child or two or more. They would never, ever take motherhood for granted.

No gift giving, nothing commercialized, just a very simple day on which they give thought to how different their lives would’ve been without children. Maybe then there would be a better understanding of Infertility and the sorrow it brings. And maybe then there would be less thoughtless, cruel remarks that shatter infertile souls even further.

If you had 3 wild wishes, what would you wish for?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

You can run & you can hide…

… but you will never get away from the day called Mothersday.

Believe me I tried. I’m still trying because it only happens tomorrow and I won’t give in to the idea of locking myself in till Monday morning when I have to get up to go to school again.

I love my mom dearly, and I wouldn’t ever want to do anything to cause her any disappointment, make her feel neglected or not valued as someone really special in my life. So for as long as she is there, I’m going to try and think of it as a day to celebrate HAVING a mom.

It’s the not being one that is hovering at the back of my mind slapping me in the face lately. You all know the feeling. I promised myself that I’m not even going to blog about it, maybe it will go by easier.

But then on Tuesday a colleague of mine, one that I valued as a dear friend that understood me better than anyone, said something that made me wish I had you all standing there as witnesses. It was a Kodak moment that would be a perfect example of how astoundingly insensitive and cruel Fertiles can be.

She called an informal meeting of the social committee and told us we’re going to have a small function at the school on Friday to celebrate Mothersday. Surprise #1. Hellooooooooooo!! Why on earth do we need to do that? Wasn’t Sunday enough? Ok so we did the same on Valentine’s Day. Let it go Karen, you’re too sensitive.

Then came Surprise #2. What she said next still astounds me. I cannot believe that she actually thought it through, discussed it with other people and STILL said it!

She told us that she asked all our male colleagues to “donate” R20 (about $3) for the catering, and that since there were only 2 teachers on staff, me and S*, who didn’t have children; we should do all the other arrangements. Her exact words were: “Since you two aren’t exactly mommies, you should buy the food and arrange for the decorations so the mommies can put their feet up on Friday and just be pampered a bit.”

I was too stunned to say anything, just looked at her and wondered who this stranger was. To get away from the conversation I said we could discuss it later. The moment I got safely into my class I burst into tears. Up until then I thought it would be plain sailing through this weekend.

I avoided the staff room for the rest of the day, went home and thought of all the perfect answers I should’ve had that morning. My evil alter ego wanted to punch her in the face saying: “THAT’s how it felt to me when you made that cruel statement!”

To make a long story short, I informed her the next day that I was way too busy with family responsibilities and that I wouldn’t be able to help with the function at all. It was held during break time on Friday and I locked myself into my classroom, pleading too much work when asked why I didn’t attend. Let them think what they want; it was my way of coping.

She still is a special person, and I won’t ever be nasty to her in future, but what she doesn’t know is that I will never let her close to my heart again. She broke the trust. She hurt me in a very cruel way when she should’ve been wise enough not to. After all, she knows my yearning for a child of my own, and the heartbreak I endure because of infertility.

I wish I had the courage to say all these things to her face, and not keep the hurt inside.

Maybe someday when I’m stronger.

*(S is 40, married for 8 years, male infertility, and desperately wanting a child. Her husband refuses to consider adoption, so she doesn’t even have the hope of going that route.)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Life Lesson #437

On Friday I came home in a really foul mood due to a few things that happened during the day.

Walking up to my front door I heard the phone ringing inside. I had a few grocery bags in my hand and struggled to get my keys out of my handbag. Once I got hold of them, I couldn’t for the life of me get the key into the lock to open the door in time to answer the ringing phone.

When it stopped ringing and I was still struggling on the outside, I just had enough of everything that went wrong the past few weeks and burst into tears, dropping the grocery bags right there. Banging on the door didn’t magically open it up, but when the worst flood of tears was over, I tried unlocking the door again. And it worked.

Walking through the door I got the answer that eluded me since the comments starting coming in on my previous post.

I don’t need a new key or lock or door to get into my house. I don’t have to look for another entrance like round the back or through the roof. Entering my house through the front door by opening the lock with the key I’ve been using the past few years WORKS. Only when I’m impatient, hurried and everything but calm it will get stuck.

It’s exactly the same with my faith. I’ve tested it extensively since I can remember, read everything I could about other faiths, but every time I returned to Christianity and my faith in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is my one and only saviour, and through Him alone I will receive life eternal.

These times when I lack enough energy to be strong in my faith, when I question the way God wants me to go, and rebel against His plan for my life doesn’t mean there is something wrong with my faith. It simply means that I’m growing in my understanding of God, I’m growing in my faith, and I’m growing towards more wisdom.

To those who commented on my previous post: Thank you for making me think, and reaffirming my faith. It’s good to ask questions, it’s good to test everything and not just accepting it as it is. God doesn’t answer YES to some of my prayers, but it doesn’t mean I have to be OK with it. He gave me the power of choice, and I chose Christianity with all its unexplained mysteries.

Comte de Buffon said: “Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius.”

Life lesson #437: Never blog about politics or religion. If you decide to go ahead and mention something about it in a post, be prepared for a little bit lot more than you expected!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I'm too scared to pray.

Just when I start thinking I’m doing OK, something really small and unrelated to IF happens and I’m flat on my bum again, trying to keep the tears away.

I envy those people who say their trouble with IF brought them closer to God. Wish I knew how they did it, because it makes me feel even more of a failure admitting I have a problem.

IF smashed my faith to bits.

I still believe in God, and that He is my saviour. On good days I can talk about how I see His hand in my life, and I can count my blessings and say thanks for them. But you see, I don’t trust God any more with the promises He made in the Bible. Maybe that is my problem, not believing. Not maybe, it is the problem.

I don’t believe that He will answer my prayers so I don’t pray any more.

Why don’t I believe that? Because for years and years I’ve been begging Him for a child; crying to Him through days and nights of my life. I tried to change my way of praying when it didn’t work. I tried to bargain with Him. I reminded Him of Hannah, even thought for a few silly moments it would help to change my name.

Then I stopped praying for a child. My prayers changed. I begged Him to give me my husband back. I was prepared to do anything, anything that was needed to save my marriage. I begged, I cried, I bargained. You know the history.

Someone with more knowledge of the Christian Faith would probably have hundreds of arguments to shoot holes as big as the moon in my story, telling me that God has a plan for my life, and that there is still something I need to do before He gives me the desires of my heart.

This post will turn into a book if I say everything I want to say on my faith, or the lack thereof. I’m already ashamed to admit I struggle with my it, no use exposing myself even more.

I’m too scared to pray because in my silly, IF-induced, pain-riddled mind, it seems that the moment I start praying about something, God will find out it’s important to me, and then He would make sure I won’t get it!

It’s stupid. I know. God isn’t small-minded. He isn’t vindictive.

Sometimes I forget about this insecurity in my heart, and start praying about something again, fervently. And then BAM! The answer comes and I don’t have the least bit of strength to pull my shoulders back and say: “Oh well, God has a reason why He said no. He is making me stronger, teaching me something.”

In my heart and mind I have all the answers to the questions surrounding my faith. I’ll listen to them tomorrow.

Right now I’m once again too scared to pray about anything important to me…