Fresh Eyes

Jinxed myself last time I said I was doing well with this.

I’ll be honest, this will be fairly brief, although to the point. No extra wordy-words. I think those go flying out the window the second you become somewhat convicted of a new direction.

Cool your jets- my commentary isn’t going anywhere. I know that was your primary concern. 


But things are definitely about to change. Above all, I’m so very grateful that, during the last two years and some change (one of which was more or less documented here), I’ve been given the grace and help from numerous sources to find this moment wherein I’m quietly at home with my fluffy cats, charting out which trails I’m about to embark on. For the longest time, I don’t think there was much choice. It was all uphill, nose down, and clawing for inches. I had the faith to say, It won’t always be like this. This is a season. This is temporary. And yet there’s always an amount of very human doubt that it will ever end. Truthfully, I’ve never been so medicated for anxiety in my life.

Cliches make me want to punch baby giraffes (because don’t tell me to think what other people universally think), but I will go on record and begrudgingly admit that they are cliches for a reason. There is, in fact, light at the end of the tunnel. It starts out as a glimmer of hope that you will probably dash all to pieces because you’re in grind mode, and the idea of being let down again is one more fall you’re not prepared to deal with. It grows into the light around the edges of the bathroom door that you can’t ignore when you’re trying to sleep and really have to get up to address, even though you spend some amount of time pretending it really doesn’t bother you. It becomes the lights on the front porch when you’re that kid about to play ding-dong-ditch- against your better judgment, and due, in part, to some level of peer pressure-, and you nearly shit your pants thinking the parents just caught you (man, you are so screwed).

And, finally, it’s full-on day break after the longest night, during which time you ran out of tissues and wiped your nose on your shirt, as well as tried really hard to come up with more self-pity statements to fuel the crying you feel like you should be doing after already crying a little too dramatically.


Why, Lydia, are you framing this light so negatively? Isn’t this supposed to be a good thing?

Because don’t tell me what to do.

Just kidding.

Because, if we’re really honest with ourselves, the same structure and coping mechanisms that are necessary when we first enter crisis mode are often the ones that keep us there. Those are neatly labeled boxes we’re afraid to do away with, lest everything become a mess again. It’s what we know, what we relied on to get us through an impossible time. And we got the hell through that shit, which is damned impressive, so there certainly doesn’t seem to be a reason to fix what isn’t broken.

So these ideas, these new things, these golden moments that come creeping in endanger our new normal. What if they’re false gold? I don’t know if I can live through that level of disappointment and heartache- really, any level of disappointment and heartache- again, we tell ourselves. And so we try to ignore them, shoot holes in them. The larger they loom, the more we start chanting, Oh, shit. Oh, shit. Ohhhhhhhh, shit. And when we have no other choice but to stand fully exposed in front of the obvious, we also have to accept the fact that we have arrived at this point because things were, in fact, broken, and the mechanisms that brought us to this impasse were designed to deal with brokenness.

That dramatic crying and long night? Those were the death throws of your brokenness. Ready or not, here comes life. And like the Allegory of the Cave, you can’t pretend not to see the light or attempt to un-know what you now know as a result of the darkness- and light- you have now faced. You are no longer that brokenness.


Making it to this point, for me, is a testimony of human will, the goodness inherent in men who will seek it, and God’s graces. I’m sure you’ve all had about enough of my being vaguely grateful for the help I’ve received since becoming a single mother of three, but I will tell you again- because it’s freaking true- that there are good people in this world, and they will arrive on time to help you with what you actually need help addressing. And once they have done all they can do, things will change or relationships will change, and how you continue to interact with them (or maybe they’re flushed out of your life afterwards) has much more to do with who you are, who they are, and what life newly brings about than what they can do for you. God’s plan, timing, and help are perfect. Trust that you will be prepared when it’s time to move on to the next objective.

And it’s time for me.

It really, truly is.

I have worn many hats, played many parts, and knocked on many doors in the last years of my life in order to pare down my own inherent truths. The parts of me that existed before this terrible season and still remain are truly foundations of who I am in my soul. The unchangeables. The for-better-or-for-worse parts. I am kind. Relatively patient. Resilient. Stubborn. Service-oriented. Loving. “Whiskey in a teacup.”

I am so very many things.

But I’m also not some of the things or versions of this woman that I’ve tried out or tried on. I can’t sustain some of what I thought I could, achieve some of the goals I thought were laid out for my success. I don’t believe some of the words I’ve said or lectures I’ve read that I thought would help me be one way or another.

I just am. These kids are. This home is.

We are not….going to continue this lesson in conjugation.


I guess what I’m really trying to say is let go and let be. There will come a time where all those occurrences, good and bad, that helped define you up to this very moment of your life are no longer relevant to where you are going. Gratitude for the growth is acceptable, but you are not that person, and unless you intend to re-walk that path instead of making other progress, it’s probably time to shut the gate. What I just lived through was hard and, in many case, really unpleasant and unkind.  But where I’m going-

Where I now have the luxury of choosing to go-

And with whom I am going-

It’s all for me. Who I am now. And it’s for what my life can be, which is considerably more than it has recently been.

Charlie cooks

Cooking lessons with my rapidly maturing sass-bucket.

Luc on the tracks

Making sense of boyhood with my Big Bear.

Maddie shoots

Trying to harness this one’s power for good.


Finding time for adventure at home.

Mommy, Luc, and constellations

And being present. Today.

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