Marriage, Madeleine Ferguson, and the State of the Mirror (Or Things Delayed)

Today I could, or rather, should do seven loads of laundry and seek intervention in the form of a pedicure. I’ve opted to read my new book and watch my dog sleep instead.

I’m ambitious like that.

Honestly, I worked six days last week, today is my one day off before it starts all over again, and I just don’t want to be productive.

Besides, I hung my own mirror this weekend.

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What more do you want from me?

The man who was supposed to do it for me is in Minnesota… perhaps permanently and I’m mad at him for as many reasons as that state has lakes.

In truth, I never really needed his help.

I was merely trying to make him feel useful when I asked him to do it for me, and if I’m being REALLY honest that was sort of a crappy move on my part, but I needed to know if he would do what he said he would, and he didn’t.

I wanted to give him a chance to show me who he was. And he did. In more ways than one. (It wasn’t just the mirror.)

As I recounted the story to my friend Mike on a recent phone call, I told him it was imperative that I could count on someone.”Yes,” he agreed, “because they can count on you.” #aww

That’s the beautiful thing about friends.

They know you. They see you.

They know who you are. They’ve walked with you through so many seasons of your life that you show yourselves to one another again and again, sometimes without even meaning to do so.

I find it hard to replicate this while dating, everyone on their best behavior at dinner, struggling to be mysterious or romantic or whatever. It just doesn’t feel like real life.

Real life, to me, involves situations like: Can we hang my faux deer head without killing each other even though we’re both covered in the gum we accidentally melted with the hairdryer? (Obviously that example is too specific to be fictional.)

My parents practically filed for divorce every time they put up wallpaper or got in a car to go anywhere that involved a map, so I’m not trying to subject any future hypothetical children to that noise.

I’m not saying I have anything against dinner (I’m actually quite fond of it), but I guess what I’m saying is: the other stuff matters more to me.

I started this post for another purpose, and now it has become this.

Oh well.

Like the laundry that should be thrown into the machine and the nails that should be filed and polished, those words and that purpose will be delayed another day.

Now I’m going to straighten the art my dog decided to rearrange last night and go back to my book.

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Apparently he has a problem with Laura Palmer, Madeleine Ferguson, and all things Twin Peaks.

I, have a problem with my couch.

I almost can’t even look at that wretched thing.

Send help.

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A Sorta Blog Break Up (Or I Say a Whole Lot and Conclude Nothing)

You know how some relationships end through attrition? Both parties just seem to fade away without explanation and you find yourself wondering years later where it all went? Wondering who stopped calling whom? I’ve had those endings.

I’ve also had other relationships erupt in an explosive end — with a fight that uncovers all the anger both parties have bottled up over years. I’ve had still others end with one fight over one small thing that illuminates the myriad ways you’ve been growing apart for years.

Endings can be sad. They can also be a relief. Some are permanent. Some aren’t. We might even think we know which category an ending is and then life surprises us. People surprise us.

I need to be honest with you. I’m not doing my part here by writing so you’re probably not doing yours by reading. We’ve probably drifted apart through mutual attrition, and it probably started when my tone shifted and my schedule became erratic — or when your life changed. I don’t really know.

I’ve been so conflicted about whether to definitively retire Dogs, Dishes, and Decor that I have done nothing. I’ve started a bunch of posts I haven’t published. I’ve also written countless others in my head on hikes that I never committed to paper because I didn’t see the point. I’ve made a million art projects and I haven’t wanted to write about any of them.

In all, I think maybe my heart has wandered away.

I’m so grateful to my readers for all of the support and love over the years since I started this blog. It was the place my soul came to reawaken. The place where my creativity came back to life. It was also the place I came to express my pain when life knocked me down.

As I find myself approaching another birthday, I look back on where I’ve been, where I am at the moment, and where I’m going. I’m filled with a sense of hope, wonder, and awe.

I don’t know if this post is goodbye forever, and I don’t want to simply walk away with so many things unsaid — with so many pictures unposted.

Goodbye forever feels so absolute. It feels so permanent and irreversible — like death. But “I might post again” is so non committal that it seems almost unfair. That feels like every relationship I had in my 20’s and early 30’s — every relationship where I only gave my heart halfway and wondered why love hurt so much. I’ve spent a lot of time wrestling with myself over the reasons why.

Did I hold back my heart because I knew in my soul it wasn’t safe to give it away? Or did I hold back because I was too afraid to find out? The answer is different in each case — and it’s not always completely clear even in the rearview mirror of so much self reflection.

Whether I never really gave my heart because I wasn’t ready or because my soul held me back for a reason is a question whose answer eludes me somewhat. I think maybe it’s possible I’m looking at it all wrong and there really is no difference between the two. I’m not entirely sure, and maybe I never have to be. Maybe it’s because it’s just what is and that’s enough.

While the answer is a blurry mess when it comes to love, I’m not sure it’s any clearer when it comes to my blog. Am I holding back my heart from these posts because my heart has moved on? Or because I know this is not what my soul wants to say?

I don’t care about the illusion of perfection anymore. I don’t really want to write a single “how-to” post ever again. I don’t want to feel my creativity fettered by the obligation to post pretty pictures of my projects with cute captions — yet sometimes I want to share the joy I feel when I make something for someone I love.

Like these things:

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So, today I can’t really say where I am with this blog. I’m not quite ready to let it go, but I’m not quite ready to commit to it either.

Since I can’t give you certainty, I’ll just leave you with this. It’s the mess of a quilt I’m making without any pattern — without any plan — without any absolutes. I’m just throwing it together as I go with some vague idea that in the end it will be something people I care about can sit on at a picnic.

If that isn’t some sort of metaphor for life I don’t know what is.

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