A Question and A Response

Last night I got an email from a lovely lady that I follow on Instagr.am. who had written to me regarding this blog post I had written a couple of months ago. As I replied to her, I realized I was finally getting out what I had been ruminating on for a few weeks. I asked her if she minded if I shared our exchange and she wrote back to say that she didn't mind at all. So here it is: I was just reading your blog and listening to "Twine". When I started reading your post about Kicking the Fat Girl, I was utterly overwhelmed.  Even now as I write this, I'm fighting.  About a third of the way into it I thought, she's inside my head, she's writing about me.


All my life I've been the strong one, the supporter, the shoulder, the cheerleader, the one that stands up for everyone else.  Sometimes I feel like one of those people in the sport of curling, like I'm one of those people brushing the ice and frantically skating sideways so that someone else can achieve a goal. My parents divorced when I was 8 and my dad all but disappeared while my mom decided to live her own life with my brother and I as appendages. I had to stand up at that point and take care of my little brother and myself.  I'm going through some pretty intense personal struggles right now and I found myself ruining my keyboard while I sobbed over it.  

 Thank you.  Thank you for showing me that other mothers and wives feel the way that I do, that it doesn't diminish the strength of who I am to feel lost and shadowed.  That it's ok to take time for myself.







Thank you for writing. It means the world to me that you would take the time to do so.


Personal struggles? LAWD. I get it.


Your metaphor of the sport of curling is well said.


I have found that there are other women out there who don't necessarily think that being a mother is all they should long for, but it's like a secret that they feel they can't share or something. I've said it before, I'll say it again--I've just grown weary of shutting myself down to make other people comfortable. Hell, I need to know that I'm not alone in feeling this way, too. I love being a mom. Love it. However, I am an artist, too. I don't think those two things should be mutually exclusive but for some reason, they mix like oil and water. There always seems to be too much of one and not enough of the other. It requires a constant shaking to make it work and, frankly, it gets exhausting.


I am deplorable at taking time for myself. I tend to stuff and stuff and stuff and stuff and then--Zack can attest to this--I blow up and everything is way worse than it should be had I allowed myself the ability to care for myself in smaller increments. Does that make sense?


The other night--Monday night--I was literally so mad at Zack (and really, poor guy, he had nothing to do truly with why I was angry. He merely unwittingly lit the fuse…) I called him an asshole and stormed out of the house right after dinner. Ended up in a movie theatre parking lot where I sat -- fuming. Decided I'd see The Great Gatsby. BY MYSELF. BECAUSE NO ONE WOULD WANT TO SEE IT WITH ME ANYWAY. BECAUSE HELL! I'M THE ONLY ONE IN MY FAMILY WHO HAS READ THE FUCKING BOOK. ( And it probably won't be any good!* ) I watched that movie and ate six fun size Baby Ruth's before the previews had even finished.


I left the theatre and returned home three hours after I initially left feeling spent and sheepish.


"I left myself alone for too long."


You see, after the "Kicking The Fat Girl While She's Down" blog post, when Zack finally came home from his travels to Dubai and Istanbul where he was doing cool shit and meeting cool people and just generally being awesome, I crawled into bed and didn't leave for a week. There may or may not have been a bottle of Vanilla Smirnoff on the floor by my side of the bed. I was a mess. I was so tired. It took some time but, after that week, and going to my Dr. and getting on an anti-depressant, I'm doing much much better. I realized that a lot of it could've been avoided had I slowed myself down. The expectations I have for myself are so fucking high I think that, if I ever did attain them, I'd end up in the same fate as Icarus. I need to go easier on myself.


Which brings me back to the other night.


"I left myself alone for too long."


I realized that it had been a year since I had been in the studio. A year since I recorded what would become the two EP's, The Cracks & The Crevices and The Loss & The Love. Realized that I needed to get back into the studio again to pour out everything that has been building up in me. The pouring out is a pouring in of sorts. I have to spend time pouring into myself or I will become a bitter, cynical, shrew of a woman and I know that is not who or what I am. I have to tell myself, everyday, that my circumstances and surroundings do not define who I am. They do not. This does not always work. Some days I tell myself that and I might as well have told myself that I can fly if I just believe hard enough. Some days I tell myself that and end up eating my feelings in the form of Chicken Tikka Masala and a Coke and twenty-seven BBQ chips and a brownie (gluten free at least, I mean c'mon--I have standards) and oooooh! Are those Skittles? Good for me. I only had four of them. Packs. The small kind.


I marvel at Zack's ability to care for himself so well. It's not a selfish thing; it's not a self centered thing, it really isn't. It's not that he doesn't stress about stuff -- he does. However, he can just turn things off; simply, and without the wrestling around that I go through to get there. I honestly don't know how he does it. When his head hits the pillow every night he…get this…goes to sleep. I can't do that. I surmise that when my head hits the pillow my brain associates that with, "Time to think about everything ever -- in DOUBLE WARP SPEED. Time to make a list of all the lists you have to make! Aaaaaaanddd GO!"



I ended the email by telling her to keep an eye out for a thing I've been working on; a thing that, maybe, in time, I will share more about here. I signed it,

"Much love, in buckets, your way."

I sat there for a bit staring at my monitor while Hawke and Joshua and Caleb and Phoenix laughed and fought and bickered and played around me. While I watched Zack in our bedroom packing for a big job he has in Arizona this weekend. While I stared down the never-ending laundry (whoaaaa...whoaaaa...whoaaaaa...) in front of me on the dining room table. It dawned on me that I hadn't really given J an answer. Not really. Nothing definitive. All I did was share where I am and probably too much of my icky bits and that didn't feel like enough. Then I thought that--in situations like the ones we moms' are in--sometimes that's all we need. That in the times where the lines of where we end and our children begin starts to blur; in the times where we feel reduced to being mere drill sergeants; the times where we feel victorious getting to take a dump in peace; the times where our teenagers look at us like we're something the dog threw up; sometimes all we need to know is that we're not the only ones who struggle to remember who we are when we aren't caring for other people. And that it's okay to feel a little lost sometimes and like everybody else is a better mom than we are. That maybe you don't agree with Nancy Turner when she says, “The best thing a girl can be is a good wife and mother. It is a girl's highest calling...” That maybe you don't think it's the best thing a girl can be; maybe it's one of the best things a girl can be. It's okay. It doesn't make you a bad person or a bad mom. It does not. And if, at the end of the day, you have no one else in your life telling you this then I swear, you have me. Little ol' Meg, over here in my southeast corner of North America, waving my hands and saying, "I GET YOU!"

So, I thought all of this. And then?

I hit send.


“The great motherhood friendships are the ones in which two women can admit [how difficult mothering is] quietly to each other, over cups of tea** at a table sticky with spilled apple juice and littered with markers without tops.” ― Anna Quindlen


*It actually wasn't too terribly bad despite the fact that the movie portrayed Daisy as being far more interesting than Fitzgerald ever intended her to be.

**That would be red wine at my house.