Day 2, 3, & 4 on the Westhighland Way #westhighlandway

I don’t even know where to begin. Ok yes I do. Add 19+21+25+20 kms and that’s how far we have walked since we started in Milngavie 4 days ago.

I’m not sure I can process the last 4 days yet. It’s been challenging to say the least. I am not as fit as Kevin and I am slow. I think at one point I said to Kevin that I was always the kid who was way behind who everyone had to wait for, and then by the time I got there, they were rested and we all took off. (When do I get to rest?!). That’s unfair… I rest lots. Mostly to pee. I have peed on everything between Milngavie and Tyndrum …including my hiking boots.

There is nothing that’s off limits when you are doing such a walk you know. Today after lunch I asked Kevin to walk ahead, he said no, I said, “walk ahead Kevin,” he said no again. So I finally turned around and told him to walk ahead…he did. Later I explained how badly I needed to fart, and I was just trying to be kind. Next time I’ll just let er rip. Peeing, pooing, farting … all fair game.

Today we reached the half way mark of the Westhighland Way. I think I yelled, “I never thought I’d make it this far!” In romantic ville I saw me making it to the end. The pragmatic me basically surrendered to the fact being 43 and having an often uncooperative body I would have been out by now. But hey mom, I’m still here and have thought of you lots.

There have been blackberries galore, ferns and more ferns, mist across my face, moments where I thought I was walking a stream bed instead of a path and today our path was often lined with the end of summers heather blooms. There have been rays of sunlight through forest that highlight mossy stone walls and tiny red mushrooms littered across our path to Crianlarich today. I wish I could bring you all here to show you… WordPress on the best of days doesn’t load pictures well.

I need a shower…and to stretch my muscles… I heard wine helps with that.

Slàinte

©️Entirety 2018

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Just a moment… #loss

Artwork found on Pinterest – unsourced


8 months ago we admitted my mom to palliative care, not realizing how fast her breath would be stolen. Not realizing we would only have days to hear her say our names, days to listen to her quirky stories or days to hear her laboured breathing.

It catches you off guard, this thing called loss. It was just a song, and then a domino effect of all the things both good and bad that I have not gotten to share with her these past months.

There was pain I think she would have not known what to do with, but she would have listened, and offered me advice even if not asked for.

There was joy she would have celebrated with me as well, telling me that it can’t be all bad, all the time. She was mostly right.

Some days it sneaks up on you, that life is a temporary state. Life is precious, and living is why we’re here and why we need to be present. Present to our families, present to our friends, to our lovers, and present to our selves. To be wide awake to it all.

©️Entirety 2018

Who Are You – Not just another #ADateintheLife

I sat on the edge of the stair, perched on his deck, afraid to get comfortable, anxious for all I was feeling.

“I don’t want to like you.” I said boldly. “I thought that the whole way on my drive here.”

He sat next to me, close enough to create intimacy, but not intruding my space. I lowered my head down, cupped my head in my forearms, and groaned a bit of resignation. It was too late.

I’ll not forget that night of conversation. He was careful, but not too careful to not make me think he wasn’t in deep already as well.

Most of you know my life is messy, if you’re reading this you probably know of my countless attempts at dating over the past several years. Some empowering moments, some written about and many not, some valuable experiences and other regretful risks. But 100% these were years processing what it was I wanted and didn’t want in a relationship.

If it came right down to it, besides the obvious, attraction and chemistry I wanted one thing above all else.

Presence.

I had met and dated enough men to know presence was not in everyone’s repertoire. There’s little staying power in a world where you can swipe, chat, delete all within the same day on a dating app. You’ll recall me saying earlier in this series everyone dates for their own reasons, and I am the last to judge – whether a night, a week or a lifetime, everyone comes to the dating table with their own needs. But sometimes those needs evolve.

And my needs had changed, or at least came to the surface even if they were there all along.

I sat down on the edge of that step, knowing I had nothing to lose, that this man who I had already begun to enjoy and connect with needed to hear it again. Yes, again.

“I’m looking for life and love.” I said.

“What does that mean to you?” He asked, occasionally reaching out to touch my hair or my neck with his hands.

“I want someone to be there when I wake in the middle of the night. I want someone to be there when my son punches a hole in the wall, and I want someone to bring to my family’s at Christmas time.”

“You can have those things.”

I looked at him sideways, believing him when he said it, and mad at myself for believing him because I felt like after all these dating experiences I should be more distrusting. But he was different. And it was scary, and sometimes it still is.

You see he is every bit as real, sincere, honest, charming and funny as a woman like me could want. Actually he’s really goofy, and he makes me laugh, and sometimes he makes me cry. But the crying is more to do with the fact sometimes I look at him and say “who are you?” in my head. The crying is about the distrust of time because to be this deep, this invested, without years under our relationship belt, how can we justify wanting to be all in.

I’ve perched on a few more stairs and steps in the last months. Usually those conversations on those steps involved all the reasons he should run. I have a messy enough life that I should give any good human being the chance to escape the drama that has seemed to follow me around. But he hasn’t run. And now I occasionally let myself sit in a rocking chair on his deck, or on his uncomfortable leather sofa, or even in his big soaker tub. Instead of perching on things to avoid getting too comfortable.

All of life’s lessons aren’t always helpful, but my girlfriend said maybe I had to meet all those other men, and date to see what was(n’t) really needed in my life when it came to a man.

I think she nailed it. I needed a man that had staying power, who didn’t scare easily and was able to be present in my life the way my life looked today, not how it may or may not tidy up later.

That night we sat on his deck and we did the download as he calls it. Where you meet someone and spend the first while of your relationship “downloading” information. We talked about kids, jobs, education, up bringing and traditions. One of our extended family traditions I told him about is that we always sing this hymn when we eat together. I come from a Mennonite background and some of our traditions still include things we did while my grandma (Oma), the matriarch, was still alive, and this hymn persisted. I told him how every Christmas we sing it, and although we were a pretty open, liberal family, the hymn stuck and I think we are rather happy to have it as part of our tradition, and traditions are important.

So months later, perched on the edge of his deck, I am thinking about many things, about how we are 44 days away until he and I leave for Scotland for an epic walk that may possibly cripple us both physically at our ripe “young” age.

I’m also remembering that first night I perched on his step, wondering if I should trust this man who said I could have love and life. I was preparing to leave his home to head off to a night shift at the hospital. I can’t remember if he sent me off with a lunch that day, but he has done so many times after. I can’t remember if my hair was up or down, if he waved goodbye in the window as I left. I can’t remember if the dryer was running or even if the lights were on. But I can remember this.

He leaned in and kissed me goodbye, then pulled me in for a hug, putting his lips near my ear.

It was that feeling of a free fall, knowing you can’t stop the fall, a bit worried about the landing but wrapped up in the exhilaration. He squeezed me tight, aware of my fears, distrust and hopes and whispered in my ear.

“I want to be the one to take you to your family’s Christmas, I just don’t want to sing the song.”

And with that, he sent me out the door.

©️Entirety 2018

With a whole heart

Love is risky. It is far off from the sidelines of life, in fact it is right smack dab in the middle of the game where the action is live, rough and raw. It surfaces fear, insecurities, but adrenaline and endorphins as well. The very primitive of life.

It makes me think of my oldest who plays football. Standing at the line, head to head waiting on the whistle and the thrill of taking off, doing what he’s meant to do, meeting exhilaration and anticipation while risking himself to (bodily) harm. At least in the case of football, bodily and in love, yes there’s risk of being hurt there too.

A few years back a co-worker talked to me about imposter syndrome. She said I had it. To put it loosely, it’s being afraid people think too much of you and that maybe the longer they stick around, they’ll figure out that you aren’t so shiny and not so deserving of their affection/praise/advancement. Insert new beginnings here. My love and I talk about NRE (new relationship energy) a lot, ok we tease about it and the word shiny comes up a lot, or has until I admitted my desire for him to stop using it to describe himself. It carried this connotation that once he or I became “unshiny” our fraudulence would be discovered. And I have been utterly myself, admission of faults, insecurities and the raw facts of my life laid out early to give him a chance to run. And guess what? He’s still here, and sometimes it makes me weep.

I’ll be honest, he is shiny. I mean he’s living life, he is proud of his hard work, his kids, his relationships and who he is. He is unapologetic yet kind. He is an all in kind of guy, so this all in kind of girl was a bit taken aback to discover there really was someone out there for me despite my 43 year old collection of well, lots of unpleasant experiences he may or may not want to be connected to. And… (cue Entirety’s ability to overthink EVERYTHING) it is all a risk… it is all a god damn risk to believe in this thing called love, but even further to believe that it is meant for you at this time with this person. Because tomorrow…because who knows what tomorrow holds.

You probably have heard me talk about Brené Brown. She’s the author of Daring Greatly and Braving the Wilderness (And others). There’s this line from Daring Greatly that goes round and round my head and I am nearly sure I have mentioned it before. She talks about how there are no reassurances in life, I mean seriously, we are not even reassured our next breath!! And we are not reassured tomorrow or that even the person we love today, will love us tomorrow. And instead of using it as an excuse to stay out of the game and to avoid pain, it has motivated me to do what she implores in her book. To live all in today, to live wholeheartedly and true to my values, to my goals (which mostly consists of keeping me and 4 hoodlums alive), so that I can experience the joy of really living.

So I’m risking. Risking my heart and mind, by saying I am all in, me, just like this. Risking advancing into a new stage of life at the chance of failure, heartache and loss, but risking for the returns as well, to experience joy, wonder, beauty, pleasure and a full heart. If I’m not willing to put my heart out there, look at all I could miss out on. And there’s no god damn way I want to miss out on a single thing with this man.

©️Entirety 2018

The secrets of living I need to know

My neighbour is dying of cancer and you should see her smile. She’s making me think, she’s making me think about big things. You see I’m dying from living and smiling is sometimes hard. Though, to be honest, it depends who I’m with. But yesterday I felt I needed to tell her and her husband thank you, and I watched her light up. She doesn’t wear her pain as a crown of thorns. But I do. I’ll give her age and wisdom on her side, I still feel young and dumb save for the saggy boobs but still carry this sense of entitlement that life owes me a better hand for all the shit I feel I’ve been through, so I wear a frown.

I watched her, bald from chemo therapy, holding her granddaughters hand outside in the sun. And there she was smiling again. And it confuses my immature heart. Part of the problem is that it also induces shame, and that in itself is unhealthy because I should be more grateful right?

I could carry on about all the reasons why everything is so hard, and my friends remind me, that a year ago this time started one of the hardest years of my life. …And I keep waiting for it to get better. To feel better. For me to feel settled, for me to feel less insecure about existing. I’ve begun to think there are boogeymen behind every corner and a part of me worries that my fear is what actually conjures these boogeymen into existence.

You know that saying? About how life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it? It’s my only explanation for why this woman next door can still smile. I bet she cries too, I’m glad she has a supportive husband and kids and grandkids to fill her bucket. Because the bags under her eyes say her bucket is quite empty, but the light in her eyes says it is quite full. Unlike her, I imagine my eyes and the bags under them tell the same story that life is draining the life right out of me.

I think I’ll go and visit her today. To see her smile, maybe to try and look her in the eyes and ask her how she does it. To share with me her secret, about how she lives while she’s dying. It’s a secret I need to know, before I dig my own hole too deep.

©️Entirety 2018

Photo| Pinterest

500 Followers!!!! #wordpress

A huge thank you to the 500 followers who follow along despite me not being a shiny finished product.

Your support is noticed and I am extremely grateful for having you along side my journey as I process life through poetry, fiction and non-fiction stories.

Blessings you all. 💜

Excerpt from #ADateintheLife “Like A Dry Aloholic”

~

So what does one do when you can’t get a fix? You mourn, lament, tear your clothes, eat ashes and write. So here I am, evaluating the last two years of dating.
A few weeks ago I came across a guy on Tinder who was feeling me out a bit. (Not feeling me up.)  
He asked me how long I had been on Tinder for. I said I had been on for a few years, but was still single. So he got real Frank, or Tim, or Tweedlefucktarded on me and said “So you’re picky then.”
I thought about my response, for like a whole millisecond. And this is how I responded:
“I AM NOT PICKY ITS JUST THAT THE MAJORITY OF THESE MEN HAVE ONLY WANTED SEX!”  
…wait for it….
…Then he says, “I’m only in town for a few weeks, there’s nothing wrong with just having fun you know!?” 
Case. In. Point.  
I knew what he meant. And although every stage has its proclivities I don’t really feel like this is my stage any more. I seem to have graduated to picky amidst acknowledging my destructive gravitational pull towards unavailable men who actually want nothing more but a night o’flings.  
The dissonance here between body and mind can be a bit frustrating. But the mind has been honing in on the damage of allowing myself to just be used as a breathing fuck doll. As opposed to the non-breathing kind marketed in Japan for a trillion dollars.  *considers holding my breath for a trillion dollars*
In the last two months 4, yes 4 men from the last two years have resurfaced, all looking for one thing. Yup, you guessed it.
If you have read Pandora’s Box part 1-5 we can thank fucktard there for showing up a year later to ignorantly step into my present day. I invited it partially, but it didn’t take long after a few odd conversations that I didn’t want to do fuck doll all over again. I didn’t want to walk away in the dark (literally) tripping over clothes, randomly placed furniture and left out vacuums while trying to remember if we even finished the episode of Game of Thrones before other more pressing needs took over. But if I was very honest, I didn’t want to walk away wondering if I ever meant anything.  
You see, I spend most of my time writing and contemplating meaning, and it guts me a bit, looking over some of the men I let into the private places of me and how I still don’t know if I meant anything besides being a good…. well never mind that.
I have a few good people in my life. Patient people. Loving people. People who remind me, I am worth more than some of these encounters have made me feel. (And some days I even believe them.)
I have stories that I can’t wait to tell my children, stories of military police deployment and asthmatic attacks. I have stories I cry over and stories I cry laughing over. I have stories I could not tell for months after because I was unsure how to process it all.  And I have stories I have rawly told to you here in this Wattpad book.  
And why did I do that do you ask?
I like pleasure, maybe even a little pain, but what I love is meaning and process.  Discovery of self, discovery of personal truths.  But unlike inventions that come with a lot of trial and error, and tossing out the dysfunctional inventions, discovery for me carries the dysfunctional moments with me; not to shame me, or to beat me down, but because in each one of these stories I find me.  The vulnerable, strong, fragile, persevering, funny, perverted, broken human being I call me.  And I don’t want to let go of me, not any part, I want to embrace all of me.
©Entirety 2017

*For other facetious (and sometimes illuminating) pokes at dating midlife check out my A Date in the Life on Wattpad…just be careful if you have anything in your mouth at the time…lest you ruin your electronics.*
A Date in the Life

https://my.w.tt/UiNb/zoyFrHwVsH

The Rain Fall #poetryinspiredbymusic #walkofftheearth


Through the valleys‬
‪I fostered a spirit‬
‪To release me‬
‪From the demons‬
‪Of being without you‬
‪My hand empty‬
‪Open and cupped‬
‪Eyes drifting‬
‪To a pewter sky‬
‪Knowing the rain fall‬
‪Would have to fill the vessel‬
‪And my soul’s requiem of longing
‪Making my peace‬
‪With being separated‬
‪From the out pouring of your love‬

©Entirety 2017

How Was I To Know #poetry

If I had known my bones

Would need carrying 

I would have never built

A home inside your heart

A burden unlike the one

I carried in your tears

An ocean of stories

I couldn’t let go of

And now the weight of yesteryear

Anchors us to one another

As we both beg the other

To cut the rope

©Entirety 2017

 

 

 

It’s Nearly Here! Cover Reveal!!! #DearPoet #poetry  — Entirety in Bits and Pieces

Much thanks Midwest 💜

Midwest Fantasy Writes

This is my dear friend and fellow poetry writer whom I’ve never met but love dearly.  When this comes out it will be a must read!!!

Only a few days left until Dear Poet can be out in your hands!! A tireless and dedicated friend has been working on the technical end of things and I have been squeezing my brain for just the ability to follow along this road of self publishing!! But it is nearly out!! A huge thanks […]

via It’s Nearly Here! Cover Reveal!!! #DearPoet #poetry  — Entirety in Bits and Pieces

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