Youre-only-given-a

There are times of mass mourning when a public figure dies. Inevitably, this leads to people becoming grim at the celebrity culture in general. In most part, I couldn’t agree more. But the cynic in some people leads them to chime in that the masses are fools for mourning the loss of a soul. I can’t abide by that logic. I refuse to believe that you have to have physically touched someone for them to have touched your soul. Our lives are too complex for that to be true.

I was sitting in the couch, kids running crazy after a long day of driving and travel, when I saw the news that Robin Williams had passed, likely at his own choosing. It always hits me when someone commits this ultimate last act. In large part, it is due to my own battles with depression, anxiety and mood disorders. But it also stuns me in the details. Someone has left this plane of existence at their own choice–good, bad, right, wrong, whatever.  I’m not necessarily passing judgement, I’m just in a bit of shock.

I remember the first time seeing Dead Poets Society. I remembered how it felt to see Mr. Williams in such a serious yet fun role. I knew teachers that inspired me and the amazingness of the written word. I was hooked. In all of his performances, Robin Williams was on fire. It was those serious ones, though–the ones that showed the depth he was more than capable of in his acting–that always spoke to me. When I saw Good Will Hunting, I felt as if my soul needed that scene where he finally breaks through to Will…it’s not your fault, it’s not your fault…it’s not your fault.

To someone who has struggled with depression, to someone who has battled demons, hearing someone seemingly tell you that it isn’t your fault is about as powerful as it gets.

I always seemed to sense the sad in his work. Even the funny work seemed to be the genius of a man struggling to find acceptance in a world that had already accepted him. It’s the kind of struggle you can only fully appreciate from the inside…the desperate work of someone who doesn’t see the world for what it is, but only for what we think we fail to provide in it.

So as I heard the news, I sat stunned and deeply sad…unable to move at first for fear of breaking. See, when someone you feel that connection to succombs to the connection itself, you feel an unbearable sense of unsteadiness, as if you might be more unstable than you had come to believe. That is the sound of a heart breaking over someone you’ve never met…the feeling of falling when you never knew you were being propped up by something.

This night has been a whirlwind. Our area has been flooded with five inches of rain in the past 12 hours. In the midst of this, we arrived home from out of town to no food. The Mister decided to go get a pizza. He left his phone at home on accident. He drove five minutes away only to strand the van in a flooded street, have to push it to the side, eat his pizza and carry the rest home in the rain for two and a half miles in sandals. He walked in, soaked to the bone, holding a floppy cardboard box.

“Here’s your pizza,” he said as he set it down on the counter. He then promptly turned on his heels and walked into the bathroom to take a shower.

We both laughed. We giggled. We chuckled. We laughed. Once I was relieved that he was home, I damn near cried from laughing.

…and on the night Robin Williams left this world, isn’t it only fitting to end it with some laughter?

It may not be a friend. He may not be family. Everyone has those deaths that hit them hard when they weren’t expecting it like a sucker punch to the gut that throws everything into question. But the last thing I’ll question is the laughter.  The rest is stuff I’ve been dealing with for two decades now. I have time to sort it all out.

If you’re reading this and you need to know there’s a kindred spirit out there that has made the other choice, know that this blog is written by such a soul. You can choose to continue searching for the answers with me. The journey is not over yet if you so choose.

Rest in peace, Robin Williams. And to the rest of you who need it tonight, laugh when you can and know that when you cannot…it’s not your fault.

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Your Move, Freud

by kim on July 24, 2014 · 0 comments

in emotions and such

achievement

It is an elementary primal emotion for humans that when we feel scarcity approaching, we horde. The conveniences of modern life have lessened this, but we all have our triggers. Hell, our bodies do it with food (which is one reason why dieting is so bad for you).

It’s a way to adapt and survive.

But when your point of scarcity is money, this society is not a forgiving one. I didn’t grow up poor, but we had a great many economic struggles. For some reason, I internalized these and my relationship with money is flawed because of it. Saving, it seems, is a luxury for the wealthy…which is probably why people who are wealthy stay wealthy. I do not have that scarcity issue now in the same extreme as I did as a young child or as a college or law student, but there are times with two toddlers, a dog and two cats to take care of that things get tight. And it seems no matter how hard we try, the minute we get ahead something breaks down. (See: the great sewage debacle of July 2014.)  So I’ve been feeling that scarcity thing lately.

And it leads me to feel compelled to buy ALL THE THINGS.

I save in my own ways. I’m a clearance GODDESS. I coupon at times. I wait for sales. And this week I even planned out our groceries to maximize savings to the tune of 30+%.  But I still felt that scarcity in my bones.

sutmym

That’s when I remembered that I had to go to the dollar store. We were out of hand soap in seemingly every place we keep it in the house. (Why this all happens at once is beyond me, but it always does.) The dollar store is a perfect place for that kind of thing. So as I felt the scarcity-hoarding response build within me, I tried something new.

I gave myself the freedom to spend $20 on whatever the hell I wanted at the dollar store. 

A small thing, right? But the entire store was my oyster and nothing was off limits, other than the $2 dedicated to hand soap purchasing. That meant I could buy 18 of anything I wanted.

18 fake floral bouquets

18 under the bed shoe organizers

18 bottles of off brand Windex

18 Precious Moments picture frames

18 odd sized bags of M&Ms

18 Mylar balloons

I COULD DO ANYTHING.

maniacal laugh

I went in and spent 30 minutes in my local Dollar Tree. I went up and down every aisle. I picked up things. Thought about projects. Looked at the aisles that I normally would not look at. Took in their seasonal displays. I did it all. And then, when I was ready to leave, I made my purchases.

I spent seven dollars plus tax. Two bottles of hand soap. Three 2-packs of small Sesame Street board books for the girls. One plastic tote. One bottle of water.

gonewithwind

I felt like I just won gold in all of the Olympic events.  I was able to focus on my work afterward. I even didn’t feel the need to look at every clearance rack in Target later that afternoon on my whirlwind grocery-saving adventure. I didn’t feel the scarcity as deep and it allowed me breathing room to live. All because I told myself that scarcity is relative and allowed myself to be rich in the ways I can.

I will never be able to walk into Neiman Marcus and do the same thing, but I feel this is how rich people might let off some steam. And maybe there’s something to be said about that. It doesn’t work forever. I’m sure I’ll have to find new ways to work around it. But it worked. And that afternoon when I told my therapist about it, she spent five minutes explaining how I basically hacked an age old psychological problem in a very unique and awesome way.

So I’m smarter (and less misogynistic) than Sigmund Freud.

Twenty years of therapy doesn’t get you a degree, but I guess it does build some sort of repertoire for self-help. In the meantime, at least I know that there’s a way to handle scarcity for me in this way.

There’s also the reassurance that no matter how much I save, the Universe will always try to throw me shade. After buying all of the groceries AND cooking dinner, the power went out. The power never goes out when the fridge is empty. It was a test.  Thankfully everything was salvaged…but it was a warning shot across the bow. I got clever and the Universe wanted to keep me on my toes. Well played.

This is why the rich have generators and servants…

next time

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Let’s All Go to the Movies

July 14, 2014

When I was younger–high school and college-aged–I used to go to the movies like it was my job. In fact, it was kind of a dream job to be a movie critic. But that dream faded much like my dreams of being a rock star, actress and veterinarian. Mr. CVD and I had our lunch […]

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The Well Runs Dry

July 9, 2014

Let me tell you a little story about The Shack. These things will come in bits and pieces but it will all make sense in the end. It’s like a Seinfeld episode that takes place over a great many years. Scene 1: The first time The Mister took me to The Shack he had been […]

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My Life Lately…A Tale of GIFs, Part 9

June 19, 2014

  When the semester was over and I thought I would have all kinds of time to get stuff done…   When I realized that I agreed to take on three independent study students to supplement income…   When I saw how little that income actually was…   When I couldn’t focus on anything I […]

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It Was Bound to Happen

June 11, 2014

We had our first ER trip yesterday. It took almost 17 months for a full-fledged emergency but it has happened. And, unsurprisingly, it was with Emma…the mini-me.  I was hoping she’d forego the part of me that is clumsy and cursed and injury prone, but it seems that’s part of the package deal. No substitutions, […]

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For the Love of Showers

June 1, 2014

I can’t ever recall being a bath girl. A lot of gals like baths. They light candles and relax. Maybe they read. Maybe they listen to music. There are a lot of bubbles. They leave the situation feeling relaxed. Perhaps it’s because I’m a larger lady and bathtubs normally make me feel trapped, but I […]

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What of it?

May 27, 2014

The Mister shared a memed story with me tonight that he said was definitely written about me. The story goes like this… A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mamal, its […]

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The Presence of Time

May 21, 2014

I have had at least seventy hundred gazillion post ideas run through my head since the last time I laid the virtual pen to paper here. And a total of zero of them have even made it to the draft stage.  Those aren’t good numbers. It’s like I’m crossing a threshold for some sort of […]

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The Other Side of Spring

April 22, 2014

It is only the irony of life that keeps me laughing sometimes. This week has brought new life into our home…well, our garage to be exact. On Sunday night, our neighbor came over to inform us that there were kittens “pouring” out of our garage. Two were spotted by him, only one of which I […]

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