My Drug of Choice.

If you’ve read my “Living Alone on Empath Island,” consider this as somewhat of a continuation…

  
Because being an empath means you’ve been blessed with a lifetime supply of the worlds most sought-after and powerful drug.

Pure and clean, crystal-clear in its side-effects, this drug seems to be dealt, over and over, to people who need it the most, but who choose to ignore its powers in search of something else.. What that is, I don’t know – but consider me a dealer of this drug.

I became a dealer at a very young age, when my mom, and the circumstances of my unfortunate childhood taught me that this drug can handle even the most challenging and complicated of issues.  I knew that if I continued to dole out this magical medicine, I could change the world and all the bad things that happened to me, or so I thought.

My drug of choice? Kindness.

I have recently found myself in a situation where my drug seems to have stopped working.  I have been trying to force an overdose on someone who seems highly annoyed by the side effect, the cheerful, happiness that I dole it out with seems to have backfired.  Why do I always find it necessary to continue to share kindness when it’s clearly not welcome?

This has made me question whether I’ve been doing something wrong all along.  Could I have been a fool all these years, thinking that my kindness could solve any problem, turn any negative situation into a positive one and keep me feeling great, even in the worst of times?

Well, like with any drug, once you’re deep in the throes of addiction, shit gets complicated.

Things don’t always work as planned.

And then you realize – just because you’re doing what you feel to the be the right thing, the kind thing, doesn’t mean that it will necessarily work.  Some people just don’t have their brain receptors turned on to the magical powers of the kindness side effects, and that’s ok.

For a short period of time, I’ve wondered whether I should shut down my drug business and stop assuming it could fix any situation I’ve found myself in… Especially this one I’m in now.

But you know what? No.  My drug makes me who I am.  My addiction to KINDNESS has led me down some of the most magical paths and into a world I had only dreamed about.  My reliance and need for kindness has given me a reputation worth more than all the money in the world: a good friend, a trusted woman on all levels, a loving and generous person.

There is no stopping the work of a kindness dealer, because at the end of the day, when you think your kindness has failed you, you are still the one who can go to bed at night with a full heart, because while your kindness may not have gotten you what you needed, you have only done right, and “right” always prevails.

My sweet child will learn that this is the one drug she is allowed to experiment with, share with others, and if need be – overdose on.

In this crazy, cold, twisted world outside our doorsteps, we should always remember, kindness doesn’t cost a damn thing.  It’s the cheapest, yet most valuable drug on the block.

Her First Word

I spent my whole pregnancy fantasizing about the little girl inside of me. What she would look like, how she would feel in my arms….
I would imagine kissing her cheeks and how complete her smile would make me feel.
Needless to say, all of this surpassed my expectations, like, a trillion times.
Since she’s joined us earth-side, I haven’t stopped fantasizing. She’s my daydream, my lost-in-thought smile, my “were you even listening” slap back down to earth.
I think about who she’ll be. If she’ll inherit the kindness and thoughtfulness that make my husband and I who we are. 
I think about which side of her brain will dominate her strengths, the left or the right. Will she be creative? Will she be interested in fixing things, people, the world? 
I think about what will make her happy. Will she follow daddy’s lead and play sports? Will she fill my heart with butterflies and eagerly slip on ballet slippers? Will she love to read and write like her parents or will she surprise us all and break the chain of bad mathematicians in this house?
All of this fills my mind constantly, as I know it does for any mother. After being amazed by her on a daily, rather, moment-to-moment basis, it’s only natural to wonder who and what your little creation will grow to be.
Bella started babbling about 6 weeks ago, the la-la-la’s and high-pitched squealing posing a question I couldn’t believe my brain had left out.
Holy shit, her first words! Why haven’t I obsessed about this yet?
So for a few weeks now, I’ve braced myself for the inevitable. Everyone warned me, so I had to get ready. They all said it’d be “dada”.
This wouldn’t have surprised me, as she loves her Daddy in a way that makes me melt, and makes me proud to have made a baby with him.
Of course, though, every mother would love to hear their beloved baby calling out their name instead…
I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I’ve been bracing for the “dada” and expecting it any day now.
Until yesterday. When I put Bella down in her playpen for a few minutes to start dinner before “Dada” got home.
The playpen she apparently didn’t want to be in…
Because when I ignored her first whine, she did the only thing left to make me stop in my tracks and pick her back up into my arms.
She said her first words.   
  “Mama”

Thanks, Football. An Ode to Football-Watching Daddies

  
The return of football season…
I’ve dreaded September the way children dread going back to school. The way my bank account dreads the 1st of the month. The way most people dread root canals.
Ok, maybe that last one was a little dramatic. But really, the start of football season means one thing and one thing only in my house – as long as there are men in tights on the TV screen, life outside the home ceases to exist.
Mamas, if your husband is one of these men… I can already feel you sympathizing.
It is a beautiful day in South Florida today. The kind with no humidity, where you feel grateful for the tiny drop in air temperature that happens this time of year. While out and about with the baby completing all our errands before 10am (yes you read that right), I bumped into my favorite neighbor, also a new mama, and also, the wife of a guy who lives for football season. The exhausted look she gave me told me all I needed to know… She’s on her own this weekend to take care of the home, their daughter, their errands… I mean, obviously her husband needed extra sleep after attending a Miami game last night. 
It is beyond ironic that I ended up falling in love with a football loving southern dude. A college-football-loving southern dude, no less. They take their college football games more seriously than some of us take our jobs, and this is no exaggeration.
I had been schooled early on, on the importance of these games and why he needs to watch them. Why we must schedule date-nights, play dates, family events around the Georgia Bulldogs football calendar. My husband literally sent me the schedule of games for the whole season one year, just so I can “plan accordingly”. Sigh.
I know to wear my Bulldogs gear on Saturdays. The baby even has her own cheerleading costume to wear on weekends. There is a giant red, black and white “G” hanging in my living room. I even did a photoshoot in Georgia gear for my husbands wedding present. I’m a good wifey, right?
But, I’m a girl on the go. Sitting around watching a sport I have no interest in is NOT for me I love being out of the house all day, in fact this ass never even sees the couch on a beautiful weekend day if it doesn’t have to. My daughter seems to have the same personality as me… So… This leaves us in kind of a lurch when it comes to family time.
Again mamas, if your husband is this guy, I can totally hear you agreeing with me.
But as much as I hated football and all the time it took away from what I love doing most… Let me tell ya why I’ve learned to appreciate it, and why my husband is a better man for having this obsession. (This sick, all-consuming obsession)
Yesterday, just before the start of the Georgia game, my husband called his grandfather, who even in his old age, watches HIS favorite team religiously. And like clockwork, my husband gets on the phone before each game, to make jokes about his team, make sure his grandpa knows that we are watching too, and to just “check in” with his grandparents up in the North Carolina mountains. My eyes teared up as he was ending the call- my husband is a man of deep-rooted traditions you see, and this makes him a much better, more reliable man.
This morning, when returning exhausted from errands in the early morning hours, I knew my husband would be, where else? On the couch, ready for Sunday games, and more than willing to hang with his little cheerleader child while I laid down for a few moments. My husband is a loyal fan, you see, which proves even more how loyal he is in all other aspects of his life. 
The predictability of finding my husband on the couch, game after game, with that glazed over look of “I couldn’t possibly tear myself away from this TV if I tried,” used to annoy me beyond words. But this predictability has become comfort to me. His tradition, his loyalty to the game, means he’s home with us, trying his hardest to get us to watch with him and share in his excitement. He’s not out and about, nowhere to be found, he’s teaching our 8 month old daughter a family tradition I knew nothing about. My husband loves family time, you see, and even though it’s not the kind of family togetherness I’d choose, it’s perfect for this stage in our lives.
So it’s Sunday, and the shades are drawn in our living room so that not a single ray of sunlight shines on the almighty TV. My husband has been in there all day, surrounded by the playpen, a Baby Einstein jumper, and a dizzying amount of toys and snacks….
And I’m at the hair salon getting my color done. And all of a sudden I can’t wait to get home.
Thanks football. 

All A Girl Really Needs

  

  For about a month now, I’ve gotten the feeling, on multiple occasions, that Bella doesn’t really “need” me the way she used to.

Outgoing and independent to her core, Bella hasn’t been needy for me since the newborn days, and that was only because I was the only one who could supply milk for her.
Now, she’s on the go… Squirming out of my hold to crawl, jump, play, and go after her favorite thing in the whole world, our dog. 
Don’t mind me Bella, I’ll just be right behind you in case you crawl into my closet and start tearing clothes off their hangers again.
She lights up at the sight of new friendly faces and can easily be passed around a room smiling and giggling – without even looking back at me.
Don’t mind my child, she just loves new people and likes pulling hair and will love you even more if you let her do so.
When my husband walks through the door at night, she nearly goes flying out of my arms at the sight of him- and these two Besties can’t be separated until bedtime. I hear her laughing for him in a way that she reserves just for his kisses, and my heart aches a little, but hey, daddies and their daughters, right?
Don’t mind me guys… I’ll just be here washing bottles and folding laundry. 
So, now what? What’s my job again? 
Sometimes I feel like a maid. Sometimes I’m just the cheap entertainment until daddy gets home, and sometimes I’m just the driver in-between Grandma’s house and mommy and me. 
But then, this morning, when Bella woke up with a cough that hurt my heart each time she gasped for a breath, I remembered my role in this whole mommy thing. 
For the first time in a while, when I held her, she laid still, with her sweet little head buried in my chest. For the first time in a while, she cried when I put her down.
At her doctor visit, when not even my mom could calm her discomfort, she did something I haven’t really ever seen her do…
She reached out her little chubby arms for me, in tears. I held her as tightly as I could, danced with her, cheek to cheek, and sang our favorite song softly until her tears became sniffles, and her sniffles became calmness. 
“Ooh baby, baby it’s a wild world… And I’ll always remember you, as a child, girl”
In that moment, for the first time in a while, I remembered the magic of motherhood, the power we hold and the bond that will always keep this precious creation of mine tied tightly to my soul.
I am her mother, and she is my daughter. Like billions before us and billions more to come- there is a power in our bond that can’t be described and no matter how fast she may be growing and changing, sometimes all a girl really needs,
Is her mama.

An Open Letter to Miley Cyrus

  
Dear Miley,

I have so much to say, I don’t even know where to begin. To put it simply, you terrify me.
 I found out that I was pregnant with a girl not too long after your infamous VMA performance with Robin Thicke.

 You know, the one where you felt the need to simulate sex with a giant foam hand while sticking your insanely-long tongue out all over the place and ruining Robin Thicke’s street cred. I spent that day thinking of how fucking hard it is to be a girl in this world, and how hard it would be to raise a good one – and I literally couldn’t get you, that foam hand, or your damn tongue out of my head.

I am one of the millions of Americans that watched you grow up on the Disney Channel. By the time you were 15, you were photographed for a magazine wearing nothing but a sheet – you were so naturally beautiful, in such a sweet way… But I think we all knew what was coming when we saw you in that sheet. 
In the 7 years since the sheet, I’ve watched you unveil this “character” of sorts. The shorter your hair got, the more outlandish you became. The shorter your hair got, the more revealing your outfits became… Good thing you can’t cut your hair any shorter, your last public appearance was the one with those pasties, remember? 
You terrify me Miley, for the same reason any mother would be terrified. You are vulgar, extreme, and defiant to the core. You are oversexed, outspoken about it, and show up in public smoking pot to prove a point. In your Elle interview you were asked if your managers have pushed you to become this “character,” and you admitted they try to tone you down, with your response being “I just do the opposite of what they tell me.” No one, and I mean NO ONE, hopes and prays for a daughter who does the opposite of what their parents or “managers” think is best.
I’m not that much older than you Miley, and I’ve done much of what you brag about – only I never took it upon myself to parade it around the way you do. 
Can I ask you one favor? Can you tone it the fuck down? Just a little bit? Great, thanks…
Now that THATS settled, let me tell what I’d definitely like for you to continue doing for my little girl, and women everywhere. Yes, I know that by the time my daughter is old enough to know what’s what, you’ll probably have retired or married a billionaire… But let me tell you, you’re not all bad, little lady.
Can you continue to let my daughter know that if she chooses to love a man, a woman, both, whatever, that it’s totally ok to do so. (Just please stick your tongue back in your mouth – I don’t want her picking up that habit).
Can you continue to brag about the fact that you have small breasts and that you refuse to get implants to fit society’s ideal of “sexy”? I actually like that about you. (Just please stop showing up at events wearing pasties, I definitely don’t want my daughter doing that).
Can you continue to shed light on the fact that many young women suffer from depression, way before they can even understand what it means? In your Elle interview, you said that you are “anti-medication,” which I guess explains all the Pot… That makes sense, and I totally agree with your means of medicating. (Just please stop galavanting around town smoking weed, I don’t need my daughter getting arrested for something that’s still illegal in a lot of places. You can definitely still advocate for it though).
Lastly, can you lose your “fuck the world” attitude? Or maybe realize that the world, as messed up and hypocritical as it is, isn’t out to get you, Miley. It’s not a personal attack, and your FTW attitude sadly won’t change much in the bigger picture. 
There’s a fine line between advocating for all that you believe in, and just coming off like a crazed lunatic. 

You’ve crossed the line girl, take a few steps back, and we’ll all still listen to what you’ve got brewing in that brain of yours.
The bottom line Miley, we know you’re “just being Miley” and that’s cool… Just please try and do it with a little less tongue.
With Love,
The Trusted Mama 

 

To Love Like a Child

  
Has any one image made you aware of how f^cked up adults are about love?

This photo from Burning Man shook me to my core. I have never been one to be moved by art, but as a grown woman in love, constantly confronted by my inner child- I was left thinking about this image for hours. 
Imagine- if we could learn to love like children.
I’ll be the first to admit it. All too often I let pride stand in the way of what could be so simple. I hide my vulnerability behind a wall of mistrust, taking myself so far away from the simple reality of what is – I am a woman in love.
We battle to have the last word, the point that proves, the “my way or the highway” attitude. When this doesn’t happen (because it never does), we question love. We push it away, we think too much, we over analyze.
What would it be to love like a child? 
It would be simple, pure, honest. Not jaded by pride, or circumstance or outside influences/opinions/ideals.
It would be vulnerable- leaving you open to every possibility.
It wouldn’t matter who was right or who was wrong. It wouldn’t matter, because children love regardless of “right”.
Children love regardless of the mistake you made. 
Children love regardless of the attitude you carry home from your stressful day.
Children love regardless of what you look like, don’t look like, do or don’t do.
Children, don’t know about ego.
Children just love. 
I want to love like a child. I want to love like my child, whose heart is warmed by anyone with a smile. But sometimes I can’t, I’ve seen too much pain, I know too much. I can’t unlearn what I’ve learned the hard way.
But then I see a photo like this, and I’m reminded that love is simple, pure, and kind – much like a child. 
There is so much we can learn from the heart of a child. 
Children do not question love.
They do not doubt.

They do not pull away.

They do not push.

They just love.

I want to just love. Without question, with doubt. Without the battle.
Until meeting my husband, I refused to “just love”. I carefully guarded my heart and my emotions, remembering the pain of childhood and constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was always the adult from this picture, always, from a very young age.

But then I met the one. And all of who I thought I was, was challenged. And he loved in the silliest of ways. And forced me to be vulnerable. And I fought it, every step of the way.
Until our child was born. And I saw how she loved.
This child has taught me so much about love, it seems as if I knew nothing about the concept until she arrived.
Through her innocent and loving presence, I find myself desperate to love like a child – the ones in the photo, the one laying next to me right now.
I am infinitely filled with certainty, that if we just loved like children, in the purest and most innocent of ways, life would be so much more fulfilling. 
Let’s love like children. 

Living Alone on Empath Island

Confessions of an empath… 
You know, sometimes I’m not sure if caring so deeply, all the time, has really been all it’s cracked up to be.
You see, I am an empath. Sensitive to my core and deeply invested in anyone and everyone’s emotions. I am a true, hardcore empath.
I did not choose to be this way. I did not wake up one day and just decide I am going to care way too much about everyone I know, their feelings, their desires and their losses infiltrating my brain at full force, at all times. 
Do you think it’s fun to be able to share and understand everyone’s deepest feelings at all times? I mean, sure, it’s why people consider me a great friend, but…
It’s rather inconvenient, really. 
It’s inconvenient in the sense that all the love, empathy and care that I put out in to the world around me will never come back to me the way I want it to. Not even close.
It’s inconvenient because I will lose sleep over the student whose mother is ill and can’t afford new shoes for her son. I will stay up all night feeling sad for this mom, her family, her son and his feet. And in the morning, no one will be sad for my lack of sleep. 
It’s inconvenient because I am let down – a lot.
In my 31 years of over-empathizing with everyone, I have yet to accept that just because I go above and beyond for everyone in my life, the Favor won’t be returned. Not because I don’t deserve it, but because most people cannot identify with an empath and cannot fathom living up to the expectations of one.

Tis better to give than receive they say, and it’s true to a certain extent. I always smile and say good morning to even the grumpiest of faces I encounter. I always reach out first to the friend I haven’t heard from in months. I always check in on friends with ailing family members, kids with colds or husbands looking for new jobs.
I always offer my help to people because I genuinely care and want to help. I genuinely want to be the reason someone feels better or smiles. It’s what makes me, well, me. 
BUT…
All of this caring that I do for everyone, cannot compare to the concern and desire to please my husband and child. And since becoming a mother, I’ve slowly but surely moved toward thinking twice before sprinkling my empath fairy dust all over the damn place. 
Sad to say but I have a handful of friends who have never once, in the 7 months that I’ve been a mother, reached out to ask “how’s it going?,” or, “what’s Bella up to these days?” … And a lot of these friends are mothers, mind you.
Sad to say that when I went back to work and struggled for weeks with Bella starting day care, very few friends reached out to ask how we’re doing or just call to chat. And these are mothers, mind you. 
Sad to say that when my child isn’t feeling well, or my husband is starting his new job, or my brother buys his first house – and no one is calling to check in on us, I’ll still be the one to remember it’s your husbands birthday, congratulate your child on her lost tooth, or visit you and your newborn baby. 
Happy to say, though, that no matter how much it stinks to live all alone in empath-land, I am not packing up and moving just yet. I am proud to be the person to always stick my neck out for someone else, and shit, I hope this makes my daughter a kinder, more thoughtful person as she grows up in this cold, cold world.
But I will, however, issue a warning to all mommies reading this, especially the ones who have unknowingly let me down- we are a village, and we need to care for EACH OTHER, and we need to stop expecting everyone to just do for us now that we’re moms. 

It’s a give and take, girls… Start sharing the love. ✌🏽️