A Single Step

Time, schedules, parental obligations, life can often get in the way of being with those we hold dear.  I am not perfect.  I often don’t realize how much time has slipped by me until I recognize the changing of the seasons.  I am also overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed with life and the many directions it can take.  Although I cherish my friends and loved ones, is it selfish of me to wish to start fresh in a new town in a new state?  Sometimes it’s daunting being in a place where everyone knows your name.  I would love to be a wombat and curl up into a ball.  To be a child that places her hands over her eyes and believes that no one can see her.  To drown out the noise and chaos.  To be a writer in my own little world and watch reality disappear in a torrent of emotions as my fingers skim across the keys of my Dell.  There is a delight in knowing that there is no one to impress but oneself when silence is your best friend.  I am a social creature, but being a hermit has its appeal.  I am constantly surrounded by people.  I often stay up late at night just to enjoy the absence of voices, the hum of the refrigerator, the sound of my children breathing deep as they dream.  The scent of sandalwood incense fills the air, the candles are lit, a cup of tea is sitting on the table and I am one with myself.

I find that I don’t mind my own company.  One must understand themselves if they are to understand others.   “But the tigers come at night, with their voices soft as thunder, as they tear your hope apart and they turn your dreams to shame”.  Although these lyrics were not written in the context in which I’m writing them, I can’t help but feel connected to them regardless.  I feel a bit of shame in my desire to close myself off from everyone.  I may dream of it so strongly at times that I ache with the need to get away.  I can hear the tigers screaming at me to wake up and face the world.  They remind me of my love for the people in my life and I would never be able to handle a hermits life.  So, for now I will continue to stay up late at night and enjoy the sounds of my house and the people in it.  I will peak into the rooms of my children before heading up to bed to curl up next to the warm man that I’m married too and hope that the tigers decide to let me dream of clouds and waterfalls instead of the dark thunder of their voices.  I will take deep breaths and smile more.  I will try to concern myself less with what others think and more of what I think of myself.  I realize that this is easier said than done, but I’m optimistic.  I am sensitive to others and their opinions of me.  I can’t seem to help it, it’s who I am, but I know that their opinion is only a small portion of the big picture and I need to start thinking more of myself, for I’m a pretty fucking fantastic person.  I’m loving, sassy and kind.  I give outstanding hugs and damn it, I’m a good listener regardless of how much I talk.  I am unsure of myself, but am courageous despite that flaw and I hunger for what is next for ” a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.



The thoughts in my head never seem to slow down.  I can feel the panic coming on in the same way that some people can sense a coming storm hours before it hits.  There are moments of gentle calm, but they are few and far between.  I question and analyze everything.  “Did I insult someone today?” “Did I say anything stupid that will be remembered long after it was said by anyone other than myself?”  “Did my outfit make me look like a fat cow?”  “Did I tell my kids that I love them today?” “Did my husband think of me and smile or is he getting tired of me? Does he still think I’m pretty?”  “Am I going to get fired for finally telling a customer to go fuck themselves?”  These are just a few of the things that wreak havoc on my brain late at night when I should be sleeping.  The Holidays make things worse.  On Christmas day it’ll be 19 years since my mom passed away.  I try not to let it bother me, but the sadness always seems to find its way in without asking my permission.  I have a tendency to brush a lot of my thoughts off as being small-minded in the face of a darker reality.  I feel I’m being selfish considering what others go through. I have two fantastic kids, an outstanding husband, a home that I love, and fabulous friends and family.  What do I have to be so stressed about?

I don’t think that I am the only woman who does this to herself.  I don’t for one moment think that I am alone.  But when my mind becomes so congested with my thoughts I want to cry like a child.  A child that still has her innocence.  I want my tears to wash away my thoughts like an Etch A Sketch.  I want to crawl up into my mother’s lap and smell her neck and have her tell me that everything is going to be alright.  I want to throw a temper tantrum until I’m so exhausted that my daddy has to pick me up and put me to bed.  I want to hop on my Huffy 10 Speed and race over to my BFF Dee’s house so we can belt out The Beastie Boys and dance like fools.  I want to mix a cup of sugar with a packet of Kool-Aide in a baggy and have to explain why my teeth and tongue are bright red.  I want to play baseball in Bri’s backyard and watch Top Gun with Holly.  I want to sit on my dad’s foot stool and have him brush my hair for me while we watch the Wonderful World of Disney on a Sunday night.  I want my mom to help me prop my bike up against the maple tree so I can get my hands around the first branch and I want to have a carpet picnic.  But alas, my mind can not be like an Etch A Sketch.  I will never be 10 years old again.

I am a woman trying to control the voices in her head and I feel that I am failing miserably.  I am fearful of the unknown.  I am taking baby steps and have a desire to leap with both feet into the unknown and feel no remorse for it.  Rain.  Rain washes away the dirt and the dust from the pavement.  Maybe I should dance in the rain and throw my hands up like I did when I was 10 and all of these hurts will become a dull ache instead of a sharp pain.  Maybe I could scream at the unknown entities in the sky and throw myself down onto the pavement in submission.  And maybe, just maybe when I’m exhausted and dirty, I’ll hear a voice say, “Take a deep breath Stephie, everything is going to be alright.”