Sunday, March 10, 2013


Curves, right? I love curves! I love soft, glowing, stretching! Colourful curves! My own feminine curves - sure, why not?! & I'll take Ireland - rolling and green. But my mind is more like a Picasso at his most cubist - upside down & all. Yes, I've got a flair for the dramatic - working on it - and as far as metaphors go, this one is a stretch, even for me ;) But I travel rugged terrain at times, & I get lost.

When I wrote about waiting for the next curve, for life to veer back to me, that's true. I don't mean I stop everything, get a nanny, a cook & a cleaner and find a quiet spot to suspend - I know full well that I need to be available for the curve. Whether the curve finds me, or I find the curve, it happens inside my life; not on a mountain top or in an attic room. I have suspended myself for about 10 years, so I know this. When you hide from life, Fabulous can't find you. I'm living proof - to myself if to no one else - that you can untie yourself, finally, eventually. But it's a ridiculous effort, and it costs, and I don't want to do it again.

But I do wait. While life goes on. I don't wait for wisdom, or insight - I know by now the truest stuff clatters onto your life path when it bloody well feels like it - much like Fabulous, quite unbidden. And it falls inside your life. It doesn't come haloed, with a free retreat (yes! The rolling green hills of Ireland, please!) to practise welcoming it, unwrapping your own version of picture-perfect upon returning home. No. It comes and you leave it where it fell - almost unseen because it doesn't fit quite yet - or you pick it up, take it in and try to wrap yourself around it - all while ironing an evening meal onto the cleaned table. High heels optional.

But still, I wait. While life goes on, because I've got an awesome 4-year-old who doesn't wait, for no man, nor his mamma. And I'm so, so grateful for that kid, because I can't adjourn myself. And he makes me laugh out loud of course, and he makes me angry, and he makes me feel clueless and fun and he makes me want to throw my hands up in despair, and he makes me feel alive! I'm living lives in my days, and although this isn't about the boy, and he's got no responsibility to keep me sane, he does, inadvertently. And he rocks. Because and solidly despite.

But I'm waiting, nonetheless. While I live, care, draw, do laundry and talk to fellow moms at the school gates, about nothing in particular. I wait for zest and juicy to come back. Yes. I know. Curves. I know life isn't all awesome and Flow and Fabulous. I spent enough time observing life from a lay-by to know that the fast lane kills. But somehow, and I haven't figured out the why or the how quite yet, I never dip to cruising speed; my engine splutters and I swerve! Not quite into oncoming traffic - not much, not always, anyway - but it feels like I'm going the wrong way all of a sudden. Like nothing makes sense anymore. Like an alien inside my own skin, inside my own daily, unchanged life. Like I said, my moods, my je ne sais quoi? I curve Picasso-esque! When Fabulous leaves, comfort leaves in her wake. Is that crazy? Pathology, anyone? Wait! Don't answer that ;) This is my life, wonky as it gets at times, and the skipping little girl-part of me doesn't want to know, she just wants to learn to deal!

So I wait and wear daily routine as a life vest of sorts. Holding on to what I know matters, even if I can't feel it then and there. Going through the motions. Trying to stay afloat while mild to moderate panic and despair wash over me, and nothing feels quite good enough to keep me grounded where I know I live. I can't pinpoint where it starts, or why - eventhough I think I know at times. In the end, it feels like everything. Like I lose the healthy filters between me and my world and everything washes over me. I feel defenseless - I don't know what's important anymore, so everything becomes weighty and serious. While I still deep-down know I don't need to quit or give up on anything I'm learning to embrace as solidly me and beautiful, I can't touch that knowledge and it takes most of my energy not to let go, to wash out; change my skin and start over again, being who I'm not - apologise.

This cycle is familiar. I'm just starting to recognise it, but the truth of it feels old, well-worn. Like it's always been like this. Not Fabulous, she's still quite new - she introduced herself when I emerged from where I wasn't. But how I lose my rhythm, my song, how I disappear - even now that I'm generally - really - quite comfortable inside my skin and my life? Old, old fabric, right there... From Fabulous into hiding. Never past go to collect salary or a soft pillow to land. Straight into that austere place where I can't quite grasp where or why I matter anymore. Until it passes. Because it does. An unmarked doorway, unobtrusive - corner-of-the-eye stuff, never there when you look for it? I don't know. Hindsight, looking back, I can never see how I came to that place nor how I left there. It just - unhappens. It dissolves. So yes. I wait until it does.

So I know this, about myself. I disappear. I go where I need to go, but I can't go out of my way. I've known this for a long time, and I have a grudging understanding for it - for no other reason than the fact that it comes and it hangs out, regardless. But I'm not okay with it. I can't stand shapeless things! Of course I've always poked and prodded, tried to turn it inside-out. Because it bites me where I'm trying to be soft! It feels like everything I've learned about being me, everything I'm learning to accept, to laugh about, to respect or to cuddle, suddenly becomes moot. Ridiculous, weird in a faulty, flawed way, all over again - until it isn't anymore. Until I'm back, re-hinged, oiled & in working order. Just like that. Everything that gained weight till it mattered becomes ridiculous in turn and I'm made to look like a fool in my own eyes till I smile, grin, laugh out loud and shrug.

I'm waiting my way up and out right now, and I think I see light ahead. About time, because I've been here for weeks. I'm reporting from the inside, and it's hard. I've been writing and rewriting this for days. But it's important. It feels important. To remember this when it takes flight again  - the whole thing, as it is, not the snippets in my journal; those just reflect the quality of frustration, yellowing before the ink is dry.

This is a wart. A big one. One that's been colouring my life for as long as I can remember - now that I allow myself to really look. And I have an inkling about it. The first idea that I might not have to just accept and live with this, for ever, just the way it is. Something about the why of the whole thing. Something really changes once you start looking at yourself as essentially okay. Even when you feel like you're solidly not. Stuff that I always saw as proof for not quite, suddenly becomes the raw material of who I already am. It feels like - somehow - I just need to translate this. The little girl inside has been telling me this all along, but it's taken me long to listen: I need to find out how to DEAL. 

I need to find out how to deal, because after all this time, after everything, I refuse to accept that I'm faulty, flawed, or even weird. How's that for a salty truth?! I'll go with intense. I'll give you that. Because I don't believe it's a flaw - it's a trait, and one that I'm okay with. One that I'm starting to value even! On good days, of course ;)

I'm intense, and I'm open. And I don't know how to hit the breaks. I don't think I have to change, pull up my guards - I'm learning to like myself and my honesty - but I need to learn to break - get quiet and assess. Before Picasso breaks for me and everything turns wonky. And this is new and tentative, but I think I can learn to save myself - before I fall apart. And knowing that this comes from the bottom of the barrel and I'm all naked in there, shouting anyway? As a woman in progress, I think that means there is truth in it. And hard work. Yes, that too ;) But I'm good with that - there's courage and hope in finding something to work with!

So how are you?! Do you know how to break?


  1. So many things popped into my head as I read this, too many to write in a comment. But this was the one that kept repeating: 'Normal' is just a setting on a washing machine.
    You are FABULOUSLY YOU! You shouldn't measure yourself by someone else's yardstick. (I know, easier said than done.)
    PS Love your sketches!

  2. Allereerst: wat een prachtige illustraties (ik weet het, ik begin in herhaling te vallen maar ik moet het toch ERGENS kwijt :D).
    Tijdens het lezen schoot er net zoals bij RCWDESIGN van alles door mijn hoofd. Over cycles in life, eigenheid, eerlijkheid, hoe druk het soms kan zijn in een mensenhoofd, malen en herhalen, onrust, willen, zoeken, meningen, vinden, op 2 banden (of 1 als je op de fiets zit) de hoek omsjeesen, diep ademhalen, ontwikkelen, beseffen, registreren, regisseren.

    En soms alles maar een beetje laten zijn zoals het is. De ervaring leert dat alles altijd vanzelf weer anders wordt, zelfs als je er even niets aan doet ;-) Bochtje komt eraan!

  3. Intense, that's for sure. 'Essentially okay' - well yes that might be a bit modest, but you gotta start somewhere don't you ;) I love it how you are digging into the feelings you encounter, and the way you describe them and share them. You show so much courage!
    The writer in you sure knows to pin point everything and find the right words. Wonderfully written blogpost! And the drawings... wow! Talking about growth and development!

  4. Dear Yvonne, how are you? Are you feeling better? I understand everything you write here, I am feeling often, very often, the same. But I don´t have the capacity to express everything so clear with words as you do. It´s amazing. Often I don´t know how to hit the breaks when I am coming down. I just have to accept it and let it happen. Yet I´ve learned to come out faster embracing it, but it scares the crap out of me every time rough times show up. I know this feeling of "it has always been this way, it will never stop". And meanwhile I am getting older, too, and more intense.
    Your illustrations are wonderful!!!!! with love, Barbara


Thanks for letting me in on your thoughts!