2.37. In All Honesty

Spring is near…hell it’s Kansas so Spring may show up in August for all we know, but the overall symbolism of the season has set into full blast…kinda. Actually, it should be the opposite…the beginning of Winter. When life is ending, things die, everything is cold, quiet, and gloomy.

People say divorce is comparable to a death. And it is. The death of something you thought would last forever. Now, don’t have me mistaken with someone else; I chose to go through with my divorce…I asked for it. But I imagined it would be a rebirth. An opportunity for two miserable people to find their happiness again. What has manifested is a full blown war…a spiteful display of tyranny and a chaotic concert with nothing but hate blasting through the speakers.

 

I recently attended a class called FOCIS. Focus On Children In Separation. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case in the demise of my union. It has been an icy exchange. Something embedded with vengeance. Something VERY hard to deal with.

Before I go any further, let me make it very clear that I have no clue what I’m doing. That I’m making tons of mistakes. I am emotionally screwed right now. I have no idea how to have friendships, family ties, interactions with the adult species. The epitome of my understanding is with that of a three year old (my son) and even then…I get lost sometimes and just wish he would understand that I want to cry, to hide, to fade and not deal with the agony of breathing. But he will not understand my pain. He shouldn’t have to. He didn’t choose this. He sure as shit didn’t choose me.

During that FOCIS class, the instructor went over the 5 stages of grief, first really introduced by Elsabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying.”

  1. Denial and Isolation
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression/Guilt
  5. Acceptance

According to the instructor, the journey through these stages…on average…can be between 18 months and 4 years. 4 YEARS!!!! I slip into each one of these stages, depending on the day.

I have isolated myself despite playing the open book. I have walked away from friendships without so much as a tear. Because these people will leave sooner or later. It always happens. It always will happen. So fuck it. There is no use in holding on to people who will throw me away like garbage.

I become so angry, it’s sickening. I hate people who are happy. I hate people who complain about petty shit. I hate people who have it all figured out. I hate people who have no emotional understanding. I hate people who assume I should just deal. I hate people who pass judgement on my every fucking move. I hate people who think, for one second, they could deal with this pain. I hate people who have never been single a day in their adult life telling me to not feel completely lost. I hate people who have no courage to be alone telling me to stay strong…ALONE. I hate people who use that bullshit line, “you think you’re the only one in the world who…” No shit I’m not the only one going through shit. But I’m living my life. Is a rape victim supposed to think, “well, someone else went through this and worse so I should just get over it.” UM, NO! I hate the bullshit optimism and then the continuous “whatever” mentality when everything doesn’t go as fucking wonderfully as you’ve tried to convince me it would. You were wrong. Accept it. Admit that being a part of my life was a mistake and walk away. I’m giving you the option. Because I hate, more than anything, anyone who will stay in my life and is miserable because of that connection. Just walk.

I have bargained. I will do anything. I will die if it means peace for my son. For people around me. I will shut up and take it. I will forget. I will forgive. I will pretend to be happy when I’m not. I will do whatever…if only…

I have fallen into depression. I feel guilt every fucking day for existing. For just being alive. Wouldn’t people be so much better off if I were gone? Wouldn’t they all just be happier if I never existed? I have cried myself to sleep and screamed to a God I don’t believe in. I have begged for mercy. I have prayed on the phone. I have called hotlines. I have puked out the remnants of an empty bottle. I have lost myself in the pure feeling of being a mistake. I have been ashamed of my feelings because I have a child and I should never think of my own end. What kind of mother am I if I don’t want to jump out of bed every day to look at my beautiful boy? I feel guilt that he got such a pathetic ass excuse of a mother as me. I feel guilt that I am not better. That I don’t even know how to be better.

Acceptance is supposed to be that one when things make sense and there is a sense of peace and clarity. But in my acceptance, I have come to an understanding that none of this pain will EVER go away. My life is meant to be shit. And it will never change. It will always be this hard. It will always be this dark. It will always hurt this much.

Feel free to have a rolling of the eyes session, a “this bitch swears” moment…I seriously don’t fucking care. These are my emotions. These are my thoughts. This is my life. It is not and does not have to be a part of yours.

In all honesty, there is only ONE thing I am certain about…just one…but it is the most important thing for me to know – I love my son. I love my baby boy with every ounce of my being. I do not care if not one single person on this planet cares about me as long as my son knows I love him and I live ONLY for him.

In all honesty, my son is the ONLY thing I’ve done right in my life. The ONLY thing I am proud to be a part of. The ONLY reason I have the tiniest glimmer of hope in my heart that this life can be beautiful. As hard as the days get, I know this life has possibility…for happiness, for love, for laughter, for growth, for beauty…ONLY because he is in it.

I am a flawed human being. I am struggling to find peace in this battle. I am lost, scared, uncertain, feeling broken…

BUT I am willing to continue my journey, no matter what, because my son will always know I kept going…despite it all…FOR HIM. Here’s to healing, to growing, to figuring me out. To fixing me. One stage at a time.

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2.29. The Stars Shine

This post gives me great joy to write. But it also has a deep rooted past. And so, we travel back to the first year I moved to Kansas.

Working for an in-home mental health care facility, I spent hours upon hours with a new set of people while our clients slept soundlessly in their beds. Between bed rotations, medicine distribution, and breathing checks…the staff would hang out in the living room and chit chat or play hours of card games. 

J and I sat in the living room for our first overnight shift together. We had eight hours to burn before our clients had to be woken for their daily activities…all we had was time to burn. He told me he’d had one girlfriend but that was it. And without skipping a beat, he divulged everything about his deepest secrets. He was gay. But his family had raised him Baptist and his father was a preacher; a man respected in the community for his devotion to God. J had tried being with a girl to “fix” himself. But it hadn’t worked. 

“So, have you come out to your family?”

J looked puzzled. “Why would I do that?”

He explained that he knew his feelings were wrong. There was no reason in coming out because he would never live that sinful life. He would never betray his God or his family. He would not burn in hell for the lust of the body. 

“So, you’re just going to be alone forever?”

He laughed at my “ignorance,” and explained that he wasn’t alone because he had Gods love. 

“But wouldn’t your God want you to be happy?”

He said he was but his eyes said otherwise. 

Fast forward more than a decade.

An attractive, Jesus loving hipster enters my world. I immediately lean on him for all of my Godly questions. But the world that we live in can’t understand why someone like him and someone like me would ever really talk. So the rumors started. I was trying to tempt him. I wanted to bring him over to the dark side. We were probably having secret kissing sessions when no one was looking.

And it pissed me off. Because no one knew the conversations we’d had. No one knew that we stood in a parking lot at 4am talking about his love for God. No one knew that he’d revealed, he too, had felt things for the same sex but couldn’t act upon them because of his love for his Lord. No one knew that I cried for this boy and told him the story of J. That my heart broke to see someone so amazing trapped by their own love…only to be left deprived of love.

A distance built between us and I will admit that I grew to dislike him immensely. I felt betrayed. How could he open his world to me in such a way and yet distance himself from me as if I were a fucking leper? I hadn’t judged him or told him what he felt was wrong. I had embraced him and he’d turned the other cheek.

I had a moment when I thought he wanted me to shun him for his revelations. When he wanted me to be like everyone else. That would have been easier. But I hadn’t and instead…I’d been thrown away like garbage. What a friendship, I thought.

The boy moved away. And I shouldn’t care.

But I am beyond happy for this boy. I have learned that in his move…the star found his puzzle piece, has grown even closer to his God in his new love, and has learned to be honest with himself and the world he aspired to change. I watch from a distance and I am elated to see pictures and posts of pure, genuine love. My tears were not in vain. Everything turned out the way it should have and someone who is truly a gift to this world now knows it’s possible. To love with your whole heart AND to be loved wholeheartedly.

When he became a star

2.25. Like A Stone

“They always leave. Everyone always leaves.”

Not one of my finest moments. Not one of my happiest. But definitely a moment that has replayed in my mind over the last couple of days.

I’ll be turning 29 in just a few weeks. No, I’m not one of those people that feels gross because I’m getting “old.” I’m okay with my age. I accept that nine times out of ten, people can’t even guess my age appropriately. When I’m 40, I’m sure I’ll appreciate that even more so. But I do feel…something.

As a kid, I was awkward. Physically, mentally, emotionally awkward. I was the girl that had crushes on the neighborhood boys and wrote poems so they could give to their girlfriends. I was the girl, in high school, who stayed up all night pep talking the guy I had the biggest crush on ever so he could go to school the next day and say just the right things to his crush.

“Hey, how you doin? No, not you, your friend.”

I couldn’t dance. I couldn’t dress. I couldn’t talk to the opposite sex in a way that compelled them to want to know me. I was the secret friend who gave advice (why anyone took advice from me…I still don’t get it). The only thing they begged me for was to know what I wrote about them in my journals. The pages filled with wishes and hopes and dreams. Pages filled with what-ifs. Wondering what it all would have been like if my life was…not mine.

And that was who I was. That girl that read books on the fire escape. That girl who tried so hard to impress and failed time and again. I tried different identities to appease new faces. Still failed.

And now, I’m going to be 29 and still have no clue who I am. Who I want to be. It’s sad, I know.

After being married, I was informed that the only reason it happened was because “it was the next step.” (And I was told this during the good times). Not out of desire but out of obligation to fulfill the timeline of life. You meet someone, you can deal with them, you marry them. I now know, that situation was not love. And I’m okay with that.

Looking back, I know the greatest love I ever had. In such a pure, untouchable sort of way. And that person died. It wasn’t by choice and I understand that. But the part of me that has always wanted that unconditional is still broken from it.

I tell myself to not be vulnerable. To not show anyone my soft side. To remain a “I don’t give a fuck,” type of entity. But, at that, I have failed, which only makes me feel worse. Weak.

I don’t really know where I was going with this one. Who cares. No one reads these things anyway.

My life has always been the fear of people leaving me. But I have to accept that. Everyone IS going to leave. No one is meant to stay forever. No matter how much my heart wants it. Wants to believe that it’s possible for me. Because maybe it just isn’t.

Do I allow these realizations to harden me? To turn my heart colder than it already is? I want to say no but I already feel like a stone.

2.10. Shooting Arrows

“Do you like to tear people down?”

Do I like it? No. Do I do it often? With ease. Call it self-sabotage, call it being socially awkward, call it rude, call it being a bitch. The point is – you can call it whatever the hell you want but it’s going to happen, regardless of its name.

I’ve written pretty openly about my predator-prey complex. I’ve told myself that in order to avoid being the prey anymore…I have to be the predator. In turn, I have probably scared off many people and subsequently been the prey of my own actions. Have I missed out? Probably. I’ll admit that.

I am an extremely flawed human being. My flaws may keep me in a position in which I am without companionship. It’s not something I’m excited to face but it may just be the reality of this girls life.

2.8. Quotes

Some are mine and some are borrowed. All are true.

It is of wasted body and breath to want to fix the world. It is with great respect I look to those who walk off the beaten path because it is never easy.

I am here not to validate or condemn a soul. The life I’ve chosen for my time here is mine alone and the only one that is my business. You take care of yours and I’ll take care of mine.

It is the human condition to love and want to be loved, it is the human curse to hurt others and to be hurt. We judge one another relentlessly yet wish not to be judged, a never ending cycle that shall bring us to our end.

Please don’t ask me about someone elses feelings, opinions, judgements, actions, etc etc as I am only one person and therefore I can only answer fully and without bias, for myself.

On that note, don’t ask me why I do what I do. If I thought it important enough to discuss, I would have by now. I do EVERYTHING for a reason, I just don’t feel the need to consult with ANYONE.
That is all.

“We must see all scars as beauty…take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.” – Excerpt from Little Bee by Chris Cleave.

If my mind doesn’t intimidate you, my mouth probably will, not for the faint of heart.

“Like uncharted territory, I must seem greatly intriguing…you’re not allowed, you’re uninvited.”

“I only care about the words that flutter from your mind. They are the only thing you truly own. The only thing I will remember you by. I will not fall in love with your bones and skin. I will not fall in love with the places you’ve been. I will not fall in love with anything but the words that flutter from your extraordinary mind.” – Andre Jordan

You must never shout at the concrete
You must always shout at the stars
Concrete cant hear you.

“Words need not endorse the obvious.”
AE2

I love life and the strange people in it. No two alike, eccentric and chaotic, mellow and mysterious, everyone is a story waiting to be read and Im the avid reader. I am continuously enthralled by the wonders these people show me, teach me, allow me to see, blessed to learn more about our universe everyday from the living stars amongst us. Don’t be afraid to know these people, to care about these people, to love these people. It is the divine gift we have been given which makes us human. Enjoy.

“To enter the mystery of timelessness is to enter the sanctuary of the here, where we are given a chance at every moment to begin our lives again. Not one of us is perfect, and sorrows press upon us all. But, the universe is a merciful one, in which unlimited opportunities for new beginnings are built into the very essence of things.”

Let us take our head out of the clouds and into the light. Dwelling on fears of loneliness only creates loneliness, rage begets rage, and chasing a dream only makes it run faster away.
“I know my destination, I’m just not there…”
YET

I always say something wrong
I always speak right when the thought hits me
I always offend at least one person in the room
I always talk too loud, too long, too fast
I always make people >.< o.O or =O
I always second guess the last 5 things I just did
I always do them anyway
I always share how I’m feeling, even if its ugly
I always fuck up
I always say I’m sorry
I always mean it
I always fall
I always get back up
I always want to win
I always lose
I always dream the impossible dreams
I always come back to reality
I always live in the past
I always want to be in the future
I always forget the present is the gift
I always care…even when I don’t.

It’s not what you say but what you mean
It’s not what you give but what you hold back
It’s not who you were but who you are
It’s not who you are but who you’ll be
It’s not what you do but why you do it
It’s not why you care but when you show it
It’s not what you know but what you don’t.

1%
That’s exactly how much of me you know. Judge that 1% Label that 1% Hate that 1% because not even blood knows the 99. It’s all in my head, all in my heart, all in my soul and you aren’t welcome there. These are the places you can never molest, never dictate, never contaminate. This belongs to me. *Locks the door and throws away the key*

You are full of fatuity…and so I forsake you.

“The writings easy, it’s the living that is sometimes difficult.” – Charles Bukowski

Dont play dead before you have to.” – Wally Lamb – The Hour I First Believed –

Sometimes, we sacrifice who we are for who we think we should be, who others will accept us as. In seeing friends/family/strangers battle this, in seeing myself battle this, I know nothing is greater then having self. Flawed; work on it…but don’t lose you. I wont. This is my face in my mirror, and I’m alright with seeing me.

“We’re always looking in the wrong direction. We ponder the stars while burning the earth, the bullet we’re running from is almost never the one that hits us.”

1.190 – Quality vs. Quantity

“If you can’t handle me at my worst…

…You don’t deserve me at my best”

The clouds have rolled in and the storm is set to begin. The forecast is calling for guaranteed thunder, lightening, tornadoes, tsunami’s, and typhoons. The damage will probably be irreparable and the casualties of family bonds and friendships will be countless.

Fair-Weather Friend: A friend who is only a friend when circumstances are pleasant or profitable.

Fair-Weather Family: Someone who is family or acts like family when it’s easy for them to be, them change on you when it’s through thick and thin.

I could cry over what I feel my son and I have lost. Instead, I want to really focus on the people who HAVE been invested in the calm before the storm, the upcoming mayhem, and the potential rebuild that awaits.

 I want to say thank you to the friends and family who don’t depend on Facebook to be real friends and real family. The people who call to ask how Hunter is doing. The people who have set aside time in their busy lives to reach out and stay in touch. The people who have reached out more so when the clouds have set in INSTEAD of playing the vanishing act. The people who don’t just say “I love you,” “I care about you,” “I hope to see you soon,” but actually show that as fact.

I want to say thank you to the people who believe in me as a person. The people who don’t focus on my past and every mistake that I’ve ever made in my entire life. The people who appreciate me for the person I am striving to be. The people who have taken the genuine time to see beyond the hype. The people who have supported me as a dreamer and have motivated me to be a doer.

I want to say thank you to the people who have shown my son UNCONDITIONAL love. The people who have PROVEN that they love my son. The people who do not allow trivial adult nonsense to prevent them from reaching out and engaging with my son. The people who have opened their hearts, homes, and ears to my son. The people who have put forth effort to include my son in the happiness of their own lives.

I want to thank the people who have not shunned my son for the simple fact that he came out of my vagina. The people who do not put my son so far out of sight that he will inevitably end up out of mind.

In April 2012, my son and I enjoyed an amazing trip to Disney. It was the most wonderful trip of my life. Watching my son show such excitement to see all of his favorite characters, to play with his cousins, to laugh hysterically…it was magic. But the moment that stuck with me the most was seeing my sixteen year old nephew sit on the balcony and watch his brother and my son play. My nephew reached out to me and gave me a hug. He refused to let go. He cried. He held me tight and let the tears flow. He cannot speak. He has Cerebral Palsy and has never been able to say “I love you, titi.” But he told me. In that moment. Just as clearly as my son tells his tia that he loves her every time she calls.

These children are beating the adults. They are the real inspiration. The real conveyors of what it means to love unconditionally.

Thank you to those who have given me strength and hope. We’ve done the good. We’ve done the bad. The ugly is on its way. We may not have the masses supporting us but what we’ve got is real and will be there long after the storm passes.

1.169 – NaNo Day 1 Continued

Technically, still on day one of CampNaNoWriMo. Yes, I’m going to actually fill this blog with a whole useless series of my NaNo journey. At some point, if I have the courage, I will share some excerpts and research that I’ve come across through the process. But for right now – I’ve come to a few conclusions.

  1. Staying up all night before an expected ten hour shift is a BAD idea.
  2. I should learn to read slower.
  3. Never tell another writer your candid idea – what they will do is give their two cents on what you should do despite the fact that they themselves admit that they can’t handle writing 1700 words a day. They will also walk around and tell anyone and everyone who will listen about your idea and how their suggestion is fucking awesome.
  4. Never expect your friends to act like they care at all about your work. The fake smiles and half-hearted questions don’t show interest when they come off as obligation.
  5. Don’t assume everyone you talk to is your friend, even if they swear up and down that they want to be.
  6. Ordering pizza is awesome.
  7. Pepsi doesn’t taste as good as it used to.
  8. I’m scared that I’m spending my “prime” trying to get out of a shitty ordeal and by the time I get away from all of this baggage…no one will like anything about me. Not that anyone does now.
  9. I have really low self esteem.
  10. I’m tired of hoping.
  11. MY MAIN CHARACTER STILL DOESN’T HAVE A NAME!
  12. People will agree to anything you say on a topic they know nothing about because they would rather have your opinion than their own.
  13. People don’t care about art anymore. I am beginning to think they never did. 
  14. God hates me and the feeling is still mutual. I just happen to be writing a book about him.

End of day 1 word count – 4429

Follow me on twitter for more useless updates – @CerebralOMG

1.165 – My Bookstore…My Time Capsule

Today is a bittersweet day.

Two weeks ago, I was thrilled to put in my notice as the Cafe Lead of my local bookstore. I have the opportunity to work for another company that can financially help me in my current situation. It’s a smart financial move.

I was happy to say goodbye to a lot of things. To try to bring some level of a clean slate to my life.

But…something happened.

I walked through the parking lot…my final walk…and cried. Just as I am crying now. Why? Yes, I’m going to miss people. Yes, I’m scared a lot of my “friendships” will end because I don’t work there anymore. Yes, I’m going to miss my customers. Yes, I’m going to miss being the girl that pretty much knows how to do everything. Yes, I’m nervous these newbies will screw up the amazing bonds I have built with my favorite and loyal customers…and I won’t be able to answer a question or fix a problem or find that damned book that no one else can find. Yes, I have the opportunity to pick up a couple of shifts if I’d like to make extra money…so I’m not even fully gone.

But that’s not why this change makes me cry so much.

In that building, I have faced the struggles of not being able to get pregnant. In that building, I shared the excitement of finding out I was going to have a baby. In that building, I have faced the struggles of a failing marriage and upcoming divorce. In that building, I learned that my best friend died. In that building, I learned that my father died.

I can’t count the number of times someone in that store has sat with me and comforted me through tears. No, my four years weren’t perfect and I’ve had plenty of moments when I’ve wanted to bludgeon people with sticks. But these people have seen my life change in ways I was never prepared for.

This building holds the moments that replay in my mind, break my heart, elate me, and ground me. This place is a capsule in time of my greatest gift and my greatest losses.

My daddy introduced me to that bookstore…not that particular one but the chain itself. It’s sentimental for me. It always will be. I lost him in that bookstore.

And this shit is rocking my world way more than I thought it ever would. Bringing up feelings I didn’t think were connected.

I cry. Because apart of me feels like I’m leaving that place behind…like I’m leaving that moment there. I’m leaving him there.

And I relive the pain.

1.160 – Stelle (Stars)

If you don’t know Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” you’ve been living under a rock.  Needless to say, it’s one of my all time favorite paintings; it’s one of the first I can recall that really stayed with me. For whatever reason, it was the image I always went back to when I thought of what was beautiful.

At some point in my life, I started counting the stars (eleven and one moon). Those stars meant something to me. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure exactly what. Over the years, the meaning of those stars has shown it’s enchanting face.

In this life, we are lucky if we meet just one person that truly changes our world. We’re lucky if we meet a couple, a handful…eleven. I’m not going to pretend I’ve met my eleven stars. Up until this point, I’ve met a few. I’m not going to divulge who those people are or how many I’ve met. What I can and will divulge is that my son is not a star. He is the moon that brightens the sky beyond compare. (My son is my moon…kinda funny). Apples and oranges. Nonetheless, this is more of a tessellation of cosmic influence. Although they could never compare, the stars are important to the darkened town below. The placement of each intricate piece is fundamental to the growth and happiness of the town. That town is me and each star is a light in my life; someone who has changed me, influenced me, inspired me, encouraged me…to be greater than I was yesterday…in unison with the moon and the beams of light it effortlessly projects.

I have a new star. Someone who is my polar opposite. Someone who really can’t fathom how influential they are. Someone who compels me to soul-search. Someone who inspires me to look beyond what I normally focus on. A person who feeds a part of me that hasn’t been fed since my best friend left this life. A person who reminds me of my best friend in so many ways and in one that I have yet to reveal. Maybe someday I will.

It’s actually a lot harder to explain than I thought. But my stars mean something to me. My stars give me something that cannot be explained. My stars are not flawless. They are not diamonds in the sky. They are so much greater than that BECAUSE they are all flawed. When I told by best friend that he was a star, he laughed. “Me?” Yes you, dork. “Why,” he asked. Because I said so.

To the average individual, to care about a star in such a way would inevitably lead to a desire to reach into the heavens and pluck such purity from it’s place and get lost in possibility. Surprisingly enough, this star does not compel me to yearn for something which is not mine to be had. This star does not induce such feelings that would have previously haunted me in dreams. Don’t get me wrong, this star is absolutely alluring. Without a doubt, there is an enticing and pure aura that would drop any right-minded person to their knees…that was not a sexual innuendo, by the way. Simply a visual of what such light can do to one with weak bones and common sense. To best explain how I can be in the presence of such an appealing entity without temptation, I’ll ask you this: have you ever seen something so beautiful you stand back in admiration because you don’t want to get too close and possibly fuck it up? Such is the case with this star.

There is nothing to say that a star will shine forever. Sometimes, you are blessed with such entities and sometimes…as I have experienced…those stars fade and lose their glimmer. The sky is absent of their presence but their essence lives on. The spirit of their very being lingers throughout the universe and the world and all of its inhabitants are epically altered. Even by influencing just one.

I don’t know how long this light will shine. Nothing is guaranteed. Yes, the pessimist in me says this star will fade out much quicker than the others. However, there is no part of me that allows such a thought to hesitate in naming this individual a star in my sky. Perhaps, it will not be there tomorrow. Or some tomorrow. But for today,this light, along with the others, has shone me a path I would have otherwise missed in the darkness of my existence. For that alone, the memory of those moments will forever change who I am as a person. A true work-in-progress…this girls walks along the trail of tears with secure footing…in knowing I have not traveled through this life alone. I cannot reach out and hold those that have given…so much. But I will always care. No matter how far apart we are.

“Man awaits jewels in a crown. I admire the glittering light set forth from the unforgettable. The untouchable. The unmistakable. These precious gems in the sky. The stars are a gift from God. Love letters sent to remind us of what remains to be seen.” ~Euphoric Damnation

1.144 – Heavenly Earth

Sitting on my lunch break, I read an article by Jon Meacham entitled Heaven Can’t Wait – Why rethinking the hereafter could make the world a better place and it got me thinking. So much so that I had to reread it. And then I had to read it again, only this time, with a highlighter in hand. And then I had to give a copy of it to someone I know…because I had to share this…whatever this was.

Meacham starts his article with a synopsis of Heaven Is For Real by Lynn Vincent…a book I’ve never read. He quotes John Blanchard, founder of Planet Rock Youth Ministries…a ministry I know nothing about. He talks about N.T. Wright,  Billy Graham, and Stephen Hawking…people I know nothing about. Realistically, this article…in a magazine I’ve never read…should be of no significance or interest to my silly little mind. However, this article…in a magazine that I’ve never read yells at me. Forces me to think.

“Heaven isn’t just a place you go-heaven is how you live your life.”

“…people who are motivated by heaven are also people motivated to make a positive difference in the world.”

“”Seeing heaven as the world beyond this one can offer powerful comfort, particularly in life’s most dire circumstances.”

“Gods love…should inspire the religious to open their arms more often than they point fingers. Heaven thus becomes, for now, the reality one creates in the service of the poor, the sick, the enslaved, the oppressed.”

“Our entrance into heaven has nothing to do with how good we are; what matters is how good Jesus is, and what He did for us.”

I’m just a girl. A girl from the Bronx. A girl who’s gone through her struggles and in turn…sits in front of this keyboard with one million questions and zero answers. I’m just a girl who hopes to be better and doesn’t know how. I’m just a lost soul dreaming of something beautiful…hoping it’s attainable for someone like me.

After reading this article, I asked myself…what is heaven? Where is heaven? I will not consider what the world tells me. I will not consider the images painted upon walls and on the pages of old books. What is heaven? Where is heaven?

Heaven is seeing that glimmer in my sons eyes. Heaven is laughter. Heaven is a warm hug. Heaven is feeling loved. Heaven is feeling understood. Heaven is music, art, spoken word. Heaven is understanding. Heaven is giving. Heaven is the unconditional. It is what we search for every single day…in everything that we do…in every encounter we have.

I want heaven. For myself. For my son. For my best friend. For my father. I want heaven for people I don’t even know. But how do you reach something that defies all sense of logic? Religion makes no sense to me. There was a phone call between God and I at some point in my life but the call got disconnected.

He may…in some way…be trying to call me back. But I don’t know if I’m willing to answer that call.

I don’t know if God exists. Without a shadow of a doubt…no, I can’t say that I know. But do I know heaven exists? Yes, I do. It’s not a crown of jewels and a palace made of gold. It’s in our works. How we nurture our fellow man. How we inspire our kin. This is heaven. This is where I want to be.