Sunday, June 28, 2009

Puberty, Bum Kidneys, and The Man in the Mirror

How can a person just be alive and then in the next second be gone? This is what bothers me so much about death. Here one day gone the next. So horribly strange and permanent. Michael Jackson died Friday. I did not cry. I was not saddened by his death. I know Michael Jackson's body of work. I did not know him. I was shaken, though. I was shaken because he was such a big part of my brother's life. 6 months ago his real best friend died, now his imaginary best friend died.

When my brother was 6 he was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome. Its a kidney disease that causes kidneys not to filter proteins properly. He was hospitalized for it when he was first diagnosed and continues to go through the cycle of being in remission (no visible symptoms of the illness) and out of remission (body fully compromised by the illness). My brother is a huge Michael Jackson fan. He is more than a fan. During his illness, Michael Jackson's music was his escape. After my brother got out of the hospital, he performed for his elementary school talent show. He sang "Man in the Mirror". While he was singing, my whole family was in tears. This is a kid who was just in the hospital and now was brave enough to sing in front of everyone. Despite his changed appearance his illness caused, he was fearless enough to sing. And he sung Michael Jackson. To this day his old teachers and school friends remember that performance.

So Michael Jackson is only important to me because he is important to my brother. I am grateful for the escape that Michael's music provided to him. My own connection to Michael Jackson's music is limited to the Michael Jackson's poster my sister and I had on our wall. The one with him dressed in white with the yellow cardigan. He was so cute. I loved staring at that poster. I will spare the details, but suffice it to say he catapulted me into puberty. However, in the Michael Jackson v. Prince debate, I was a Prince gal. Did I mention I was going through puberty? It was an easy choice.

My brother has every piece of music, every concert tape, video, magazine article, book, program that Michael Jackson has ever created, posed, or participated in. Yesterday we watched some of those recordings. We watched Motown 25, his anniversary concert, Oprah's 1993 interview with him, and Moonwalker. We also watched a couple of scenes from The Wiz. The depth of his talent is staggering. Watching all of that made me realize how we will probably never experience a talent so complete as Michael Jackson's. Also, the Gray Sibling Michael Jackson memorial day was another opportunity for us to get together and laugh and reminisce and be Holly, Michele and Derek: Lewis and Brenda's kids. Finding laughter in tragedy, beauty in ugliness, and bravery in the face of the fear of illness.

It is ironic that 22 years ago my brother with swollen face and puffy eyes sang in tribute to Michael Jackson, and yesterday my brother again out of remission with swollen face and puffy throat celebrated Michael Jackson's life after experiencing his death. It was very odd that it happened the way it did again linking Michael Jackson with my brother's health. But I was again grateful to Michael Jackson for providing our escape and a space and place for us to gather again in tribute.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The truth and nothing but the truth

129 lbs
no drinks
still eating with some sense
completely off the lexapro

I have a confession to make: I lie
I lie mainly to myself. If I lie to someone else its to protect me from the lies I've told myself. If I lie to you it means I don't plan on being in your space very long. The lies I tell myself are pernicious. They are harmful lies that eat me from the inside out. Part of this blog is to help me be more honest with myself. I am discovering that the truth of what is is not as scary as what I imagined.

The old adage about weaving a wicked web is very true. Lies are complicated, especially the ones we tell ourselves. They don't start out complicated but they get that way. Most of the poor choices I've made is from one main lie I told myself, "I am not good enough". I'm a good liar. I believed that lie with my whole being. It led to the fear that others would find out that I am not good enough. That was the biggest secret of all. I had to make sure that no one would find out that I am not good enough.
My belief in that lie led to many decisions I have made.

Because of that lie, I got married. Because of that lie, I don't let people get to know me. Because of that lie, I quit a job. Because of that lie, I once got fired. Because of that lie, I took jobs because of the title. Because of that lie, I don't let people get to know me, and keep them at a distance. Because of that lie, at one point I quit acting, playing the violin, and writing. Because of that lie, I was sad if a man didn't love me right away.

So yes I lie. But mainly I tell that one lie over and over again. "I am not good enough". It leads to more lies. Once I stop telling this one lie the others disappear. There would be no reason to lie anymore.

As I am learning to disbelieve this lie it is restoring my faith in marriage, it is restoring my faith in other people, but mainly it is restoring my faith in me. And that's the truth.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Transformers and Chocolate Milk

As I lay here in the spot where you were, now left cold, I inhale the smell of of you. Your hair though untwisted, smells of somone's care. I feel like I've lived a lifetime more than you, yet I've never experienced a touch in the small of my back, fingertips in my roots, nor glimpses of me in someone else's eyes.

I want you to come back and maybe next time I'll show more of time.

But for now, I will inhale you in the spot you left, now gone cold.

Friday, June 12, 2009

You just ran across my mind

129 lbs
no drinks
no pills
and eating with some sense

Just watched that video by Jill Scott. "Cross My Mind" and then you did, cross my mind that is. wondered what you were doing, how you were. Thought of texting but thought better of it. talking with you, hangin with you although infrequent, was so much fun...I used to picture us together. I haven't pictured me with anyone since. But I know thats not what you want or wanted, so I burned the bridge so I wouldn't hope anymore.

but you crossed my mind, and I hope that sometimes I cross yours.

My period is coming anyday, so I know this will pass. Its probably just hormones . . .

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

When Someone Shows You Who They Are . . .

When someone shows you who they are, believe them. I'm getting better at that as I get older.

I went out with this guy. We planned to meet up at the IHOP just to shoot the breeze. He ordered food, then stuck me with the bill. He apologized and said he would pay me back by the weekend. That never happened. Later he borrowed ten dollars and I haven't gotten that back yet either. So its funny that he's always talking about how people should be more giving. Now I kn0w its just so he can take more. Yes, I know who he is. I believe him. I could use that money right about now.

But of course he has good points. He has the cutest dimples, he is a musician, and has ridiculously awesome head game. But I know who he really is because he showed me.

The next one is dishonest. Not maliciously dishonest mind you. Just youth driven dishonest for no reason. Silly little things like broken dates, no phone call when he says he will call. Dumb stuff, but it tells me something. Once we made plans to go out. He called after being 2 hours late saying he wasn't coming. Clearly he doesn't get that a mother of two has to make serious arrangements for a night out. So now I know never pay a sitter to go out with him, he's not reliable. Another time he was going out of town. I asked if this meant we wouldn't be able to go out friday. He said he would be back by friday. But I knew that he wouldn't be back in time. I didn't even plan on hearing from him and I wasn't disappointed. He gave me a call Saturday saying he'd call Sunday for us to hook up. I didn't even let him know that I would have the kids on Sunday, because I knew he wouldn't call. And he didn't.

But when we did hang out that time, he was so funny and I felt so comfortable with him. And he touched my hair and feet, which drove me half crazy. But I am not going to bet the farm on anything he says because he showed me who he is and I believe him.

So the things I need in a mate
  • a friend, like a homey that is cool enough to kick it with my peeps and me to kick it with his
  • someone who loves me for me, who lets me show who I am and loves me because of and in spite of what is seen
  • someone who is creative
  • someone who is honest and tells me what I need to know despite the consequences.
My parents have been married for 41 years, they have showed each other who they are and chose to stay and build a life together. After 41 years they are there for each other. A couple of weeks ago, my mom came down the stairs with hickeys on her neck. (hee hee) Her leaning into me and saying, "uh-huh girl, he's back!" When people say marriage doesn't work or is unnatural for people to live their lives together, I reject that. Marriage doesn't work because when people show them who they are, they don't believe them.

In general people lack the bravery to show their real selves and say accept me as I am or don't. And others see what they want to see instead of what is . . .

Love shouldn't be blind. Love can only exist with 20/20 vision.