Quick Thoughts Before I Lose Them

FOREVER LOST

I have a recording of Modest Mouse performing Cowboy Dan (admittedly not one of my favorite songs of theirs) that came on shuffle just now.  It’s a live version from Mural Amphitheater in ’98. Not that that information is important, but you’re welcome. At the end, they announce that someone lost a wallet and a MedicAlert bracelet. I wonder how many people have this recording, and how many of them have heard that, and how many times. I wonder if that guy ever got his bracelet back, I wonder if he ever heard the announcement at the end of that song. I wonder if the guy that lost the wallet is the same fellow that lost the bracelet.  To me, he’s forever frozen in time, ghostly, fuzzy outlines on the memory of him and that place. To me, he’s perpetually losing his bracelet, and always on his way to get it back. Every. Time.

Standing in the tall grass,

Kim

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Where I Belong, I’m Right

My mom got into a wreck.  Nothing serious, she’s fine, all that jazz, but she has to take her car in to get the bumper fixed tomorrow morning. By which I mean, the whole thing fell right off.  I followed my step father in to Pittsburg tonight so he could park the truck (with the bumper in it) in the parking lot where my mom works, then he rode back to the house in my car.  She’s going to drop the car off in the morning and then take the bumper to them. Apparently it doesn’t fit in the car.  I remember when I was little having to ride to Parsons on the weekends to hang out with David’s family.  I didn’t have any little radio of my own, so Kenny and I were subjected to country music the whole ride.  I think I would have enjoyed silence more.  Riding back tonight, I had music on and I wondered if David liked what he heard. I wondered if somewhere in that heart of his, he heard Blue Foundation playing and thought “My God. What have I been missing out on all these years?”

My life has hit some bumpy bits, but I know that we’ll turn out okay. I have two really rad kids, have a group of incredibly amazing and supportive friends. I’ve lived in Italy, I’ve had the chance to see the Alps, I get to take some great road trips from time to time. It’s not awful.

I remember, right before Lilly was born, we were trying to buy a house. It was a lovely house, and I was excited to have something nice that I could really call my own. J was working a lot, and we only had one car. He made it clear soon after we started the buying process that it was my job to buy this house all on my own, which was insanely scary.  I had no idea what I was doing, and got no help or input. I always sort of thought buying a house would be a scary, but exciting thing a couple did together for the first time. (I also thought the same thing of having a baby, but that didn’t work that way for me either. Totally not bitter, I promise. But if I ever have another child, I hope to God it is with someone that is excited about it that will rejoice in the fact with me, rather than tell me I’m ruining their life. Twice. I would really like to experience it once as a happy event WITH someone, not scared and alone.)

He ended up quitting his job right before they drew up the title for our new house. I was due to have our second child in about 15 days. He told his parents something about not wanting to buy a house yet, but he told me that he was leaving me and going to be with a girl that he knew from high school. That he realized leaving me here to raise our kids alone while he helped her raise hers wasn’t right, but that he wasn’t a saint and that’s just how life was. He eventually changed his mind, but left me in limbo for a week or two while he told me “I haven’t decided whether I’m leaving or not yet.” There were so many times I should have done things differently, but lecturing myself with shoulds now doesn’t change anything. And I think sometimes, we need to go where we don’t belong so we can better recognize where we do.)

I realize that back then I was trying to force something that should have never happened to begin with. I was sort of hurting myself by trying to squinch down into a mold that didn’t fit.

And I know now that I can absolutely be happy doing anything, as long as I do it in the way I feel okay doing it. I’m alright with myself. I’m alright with needing the things I need when I need them. And I’m okay with being the one that gives me those things I need. I’m alright now with not asking permission to feel things or see things the way I feel and see them. Which might not make any sense at all to any of you, but I totally get it.

My whole life I’ve felt this electric undercurrent. I’ve always felt different. Seperate. Like I never belonged anywhere. Now? I’m open to the possibility of anything. I’ll continue doing things that I love with people that I love. And I hope the fire sort of helps catch a spark in others.

Painting the room in a colourful way,

Kim

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There was a point to this, but it got hit by a bus. Funeral is on Tuesday.

Life is hard, sometimes really scary, and sometimes incredibly painful. Learn to laugh, learn to see the beauty. Even if you’re laughing at yourself. Laugh at your quirks, and see the beauty in them. Even if someone else is telling you that they’re dumb. Because they’re what make you you, and you are unique and wonderful. And I guarantee you that your weirdness is beautiful. For every asshole that thinks you don’t measure up, I will show you ten lovely people that think you’re absolutely worthwhile.

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Curiosities

TWO IN THE WHEELBARROW IS WORTH ONE ON A TV STAND
Some older gent was traveling on foot through Pordenone, minding his own business, pushing a wheelbarrow with two televisions in it.
My mind wonders what circumstances would lead this gentleman to this. I can’t come up with any one answer that satisfies me. But I can come up with a few fanciful ones.
Really lame and slow robbery?
Broke and has to take them somewhere to sell?
Broken and has to take them for repair?
Did he just have the wheelbarrow laying around? Or did he have to borrow it?

NOT SO SCAREDY CAT
I was driving through the city last week and there was a fashionable young Italian dude leaning against a wall with his friends chatting and smoking and just generally looking all high fashion and Italian like. Which is not an unusual thing here, but what was different about this young man was the house cat he had on a chain. Just chillin’ and being all mellow despite the city traffic and bustle of pedestrians. Any cat I’ve ever known would be plastered to a leg and freaking out. Apparently the Italian cats are all, “Feh. I speet on your American cat ways.”

PLEASE, MADAM.
The four year old wanted some grapes. I told him they were in the kitchen in the fridge he could go grab them.
He said, “I can’t! It’s too dark.”
I told him that it was just a little dim, and that the light switch was easily accessible and he could turn the light on before he ever went into the kitchen.
“Mama, I assure you, it is too dark.”
So I helped him. Also? He is awesome.

MORE KID STUFF
We were on our way home from the store and Trent had some gummy worms. He put two on his cup, one on his head, a couple on his shoulders, one on his leg. Then said, “Ahhhh! Mom! They’re everywhere! Then he saved the day by eating them.

Bath time, Trent was playing with bubbles from his shampoo. He gave me five and then kept his hand there and said, “Oh no! Our hands are stuck together because of the bubbles! What are we going to do now?!” While he was fake pulling his hand away and failing, Lilly came to the rescue, saying “I’ll help!” and pulled our hands apart. Then she threw her tiny fists in the air and yelled “I’M AWESOME!”

I’m awesome,

Kim

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Still in Italy

About 2a.m. nothing was working, stuff kept breaking, the suitcases weren’t cooperating and who the heck has six suitcases worth of clothes when it’s just me and two little kids anyway? I need bigger suitcases.  Toward the end I was afraid that I wasn’t going to get everything to fit and that was the final straw that made me think, “I can’t do this I can’t do this I can’t do this.”

I told Chris and he got Kyle and she gave me the best emergency support ever. I owe her x’s a million.

Space Available unfortunately is what it sounds like. They only had a few available seats, I was category 5 and they stopped at category 3 because they ran out of room.  The closer the holidays get, the harder it will be to get on because more and more people are going home for the holidays. Which means every week I get to drag six bags to the car and drive to the base and drag the kids through and hope they have space. I can try again on Nov 14th, Nov 21st (my wedding anniversary….) and Dec 1st.

He’s not in the house but he’s still sending me messages (and thus breaking the restraining order)

 

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Patience

Some news: I am still waiting on the military to determine if they will send us and our things home. Instead, I found out about something called Space Available, where if there is a flight with extra seats on it, someone can hop on. I went to the terminal today to get important information they won’t give you over the phone.

I found out that I have to show up at 9am, will leave about noon, and the 1800-1900 time is the estimated time I will arrive in Baltimore on Friday.

But since it’s Space Available I could get stuck in Germany when they stop at that base and have to fly out on another flight if there are military people that need to fly before me, since they get priority. Probably won’t happen, but it’s a possibility. Also a possibility that I won’t get to fly out Friday if there are no available spots, but they told me that probably won’t happen, they had 100 open seats last week.

I also need to have a soggiorno, which is an identity document that I tried to ask if I needed ALL WEEK and was told “no, you don’t need this to leave.” Every. Single. Time. Turns out I totally need one to leave. Or at the very least a recipt that I at least applied for one. The office was closed today and tomorrow is a big important deal and they’ll be busy all day, it’s by appointment only.

I should mention that when I got the application, they told me that I should have applied for a soggiorno within 8 days of my arrival in Italy. I asked J about it when I got here and he said that I didn’t need it. I filled out paperwork for the codice fiscale but never was able to take it in, due to not having a car, and not knowing where the heck I was going. I thought it was something he was  supposed to take in, because he brought me the paperwork. I had no idea what I needed to do for these things or how to find out or where to go. I had no numbers to the base, and had to call the library to find the TMO office (moving office). The sergeants were appalled that the only number I had was for the moving office. When I asked him for the numbers to the base he told me to figure it out myself and he wouldn’t help me. There were a lot of things I didn’t know, a lot of briefings I was supposed to go to that I missed because I was unaware of them. There were a lot of things I didn’t have because he told me I didn’t need them, or they were unimportant. Things I didn’t know because he said they weren’t important. Classes I didn’t get to take because he said that I could just have him show me what I needed if I needed anything, but then never would.

To get a soggiorno, I have to have a Codice Fiscale, which is like an Italian Social Security Number. I also don’t have one of these and their office closes at noon.

So I can try to get a Codice Fiscale tomorrow, but I can’t leave the house until I get a call around 8 from the First Sergeant who will be going to the soggiorno office to try to see if he can get something worked out where they can get me one on short notice. Which means I have from about 8:30 until noonish to try to get this stuff done IF THEY WILL EVEN LET ME. Their big important soggornio office super busy deal starts at 9. Which means if they’ve got it in their hearts to help me, I can hurry and get there before nine, see if they’ll let me fill in everything, then go to the codice fiscale office, hope I get there before noon, get that, then call the soggornio office or go back there and turn it in. Technically I have to have a codice fiscale before I can even get the soggornio but some of the office people talked like it may be workable to do it the other way. I have to show up Friday at 9, so I have to get all of this done tomorrow, or I don’t get to leave.

I know worrying about it won’t change it. If I have to wait, then I have to wait. It’s not up to me, it’s up to time constraints and other people and paperwork.

I’m just so weary of this. I’m so tired of being in a foreign country and thinking, “just a little while longer…” and then that little while longer turns into, “okay, a few more weeks” and, “we don’t know, just wait.”

This whole thing isn’t easy. It would never be easy. But if I were with my family and my friends who love me? At least it would be a bit easier. And it’s so nice to talk to them online. I feel really blessed that I have that option. But it’s not the same.

I need a hug.

I don’t remember the last time I’ve been held. It’s been years.

A week isn’t that big of a difference. But it feels like I’m carrying around this really tall, really heavy stack of books. I was really hoping I’d get to come home this week because some of these books have to stay here. I can’t take them with me. And it’s like, “Just carry these around for another week and then on Friday you can sort of set them down for a minute and shake your arms out. You’ll have to pick them back up right away, but we’ll trade some of these really thick books for maybe a few more, but lighter books.” And my arms are all shaky and I’m being told, “Just a little bit longer.” And I’m thinking, “I can totally do this” and then right before I get to set them down they tell me I can’t.

There’s just this huge feeling of tiredness and just…frustration.

I hate writing about this. I know there are women that have it so much worse than I do. I don’t have bombs flying over my head. I don’t have to worry where the next meal for my children will come from. I lived through years of abuse. I had no broken bones. No trips to the hospital. I know that comparatively, I am very lucky.

I am lucky that I have parents that are still alive and capable of taking us in. I am lucky that those parents are gracious enough to tell us, “As long as you need.” I am lucky that I have a personal computer in a warm house and the internet. So that I can get on here and complain about how terrible I have it.

Still hurts.

Different kind.

Still hurts.

I have to re-learn how to trust myself. I have to re-learn that it’s okay and necessary to listen to my inner voice, my instincts, my body. I have to learn not to apologize for everything constantly. I have to learn that my thoughts and feelings are okay to think and feel. I have to re-learn that it’s okay to be me.

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I Should Really Pay More Attention To What I’m Saying

I was talking with a friend that said she wanted to try some different things, like ballroom dancing or go to the roller derby,  but didn’t want to go alone. She didn’t think any of her friends would like the things she wanted to do, she was afraid to ask because they might not want to go and she’ll feel rejected. So she feels like she ends up missing out on a lot of things.

I used to be like that too.  But when I do the thing that I really want to do regardless? It gets easier to do the next thing. And the next. And eventually, going by yourself or not having someone else’s approval for the thing? Not even an issue. There’s a point where it moves past making yourself go anyway to more of a “I’m going anyway, and I’m gonna have fun.” to where there’s no “ugh” or “going anyway” involved and you go and you don’t even think twice about it. Added bonus? You’ll meet people there that enjoy the thing also that may be in the same boat as you. And that’s a good starter for new friendships, to diversify, to experience and learn and do. And that’s pretty awesome. It can be really hard sometimes. And I’ve got to learn to let myself be okay with not going if I don’t feel up to it. I’ve gotta be more forgiving with me. That helps too.

She said she also has a hard time living up to expectations because when someone tells her “You are so amazing” she feels pressured to retain a certain level of excellence and gets stressed and is just generally too hard on herself. On the “You are awesome” bits: I totally get that once you hear that you’re doing a great job enough, you expect more out of yourself. My opinion? I don’t think they necessarily put any extra expectations on her. People tell her that she’s  amazing because she is amazing. She doesn’t  have adjust any bars, or jump through more hoops, or any of that stuff. She just has to  keep being herself and we’ll keep thinking she’s awesome. It was by being herself that made us think she was awesome in the first place.

I think people don’t say what they want to because they’re afraid. We all want to feel like we belong somewhere, and if we have a set group of friends we’re afraid they’ll think we’re weird or won’t want to hang out with us, or at the very least, we don’t want their opinion of us to change for the worse. That’s probably an important reason for going out and trying new things of interest. Of not being afraid to go to a workshop or a show or do a project that you might really want to do but don’t go to for various reasons. You already know when you show up to that thing, that there are OTHER PEOPLE there that also enjoy the thing, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. So you already have something in common.

I’ve been through enough in my life to realize that worrying about and subsequently not saying something that you like, or want to do, is stupid and a waste of time. WHO CARES if someone doesn’t like what you like? That doesn’t mean your friends will stop liking you, that doesn’t mean the world will end or they’ll think it’s stupid. And this is why I never say anything. I’ve been conditioned to feel like if I don’t agree, that I am wrong. And that is so very wrong.

Now, I think maybe they’ll think, “I don’t enjoy making jewelry out of random rocks, but there’s this girl I know that does it, and it’s pretty fantastic.” and if they don’t think it’s neat? Well, at least they know something about me that adds to the total picture of Who Kim Is in their minds. I am here, this is me, this is what I like, and it’s up to them to take that information and process it how they will. I can’t paint the picture for them, but I can give them the right colors. My colors.

And if I gave them the wrong colors just because I was worried about how the end result of the painting would be? I would be doing a great disservice to myself and to them. The painting wouldn’t look right, the colors would be all wrong.

p.s. I don’t use that as an excuse to be as obnoxious as I want to be. But it does help me when I’m too worried to show bits of myself to the people that I care about. Perspective, and all that.

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