Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An ode to my Baby Spice

After *much* contemplation and many discussions with Emma's padre (because putting pictures of my little love on the interwebs is a bit scary to me), I've decided that I'd like to introduce you to my lovely, wonderful, sugary sweet Baby Spice: Emma!

This just in: I took the pictures down because I just felt WEIRD about it. I mean, Emma had no real say in me putting them up, so I didn't feel comfortable keeping them there without her knowing. I know that sounds dumb, but it's just true.

 She just turned five yesterday (who let that happen??) and I'm in complete denial. I think she may be the most amazing person in the entire world and I'm lucky to call her mine. I mean, she's much cooler than me AND she's fantastic at accessorizing. I have her pick out my necklaces and earrings every day because she's just better at it.

To put it simply, she's incredible and I adore her and I just wanted to be able to share a tiny piece of her light with you.

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I never sleep alone.

Don't get too excited, new friends: this title is incredibly misleading if it's scandal and sexy times you seek. However, it's incredibly accurate and entirely indicative of how I spend my twilight (the time of day, not the shiny-ass vampire) hours. 

See, I'm a single lady (Beyonce) and I don't share my bed with any members of the opposite sex. Sure, I'll have the occasional visit from Baby Spice Emma or Ferb the cat, but there are no gentleman callers to speak of in the Estrogen Festival that is my house. And guess what?


Obviously there was a period of transition post-divorce where I was devastated by the sheets I felt bundled up next to me at night instead of the warmth of my best friend. Obviously it took me months to sleep soundly after spending the majority of my grown-up girl life sleeping next to someone else. Obviously I wallowed in tear-soaked sheets for longer than I care to mention. Obviously.
But there came a point in time when I really started to sit down and think--and I mean really THINK--about what being alone meant to me as an individual. What exactly did I think that being alone meant? What did I think it should mean? How should I react to solitude? How did I feel when I sat alone with my thoughts?

And my Truth was startling to me because I honestly never felt truly, desperately, Sylvia Plath-opening-the-oven alone. I just didn't. I think this speaks more to my sense of community more than anything else, (that's for you to judge) BUT I never really felt alone because of all the people who I knew cared about me and wished me well. I never felt alone because I never let myself feel alone. I knew that I had amazing friends and a pretty awesome family and co-workers who would do anything for me. I knew that my daughter is the coolest kid around and that her being in the world was a testament to the fact that I'll never *really* disappear from the Earth--gotcha, Universe! You're stuck with me! I never let myself feel truly alone because it was never true. 

When I talk to a friend or co-worker or family member, I feel like I take the best possible piece of that exchange and the best possible piece of their personality and put it in a sparkly, glitter-fied fanny pack that is perpetually glued to my waistline. I make a choice to hold on to little moments and big ones alike and carry them with me throughout my days AND nights. That's what they're there for, right? To keep me warm, to remind me what I'm doing here, to remind me that life is genuinely an awesome experience that I'm lucky to have, to make sure that I don't put my sweaters in the dryer because they'll shrink (thanks, Mom). It's a choice, sure, but it's never been a conscious one for me, nor has it been one that I've resented making. 
I've always considered myself just a walking, talking, windblown hair-wearing amalgamation of all the people I'm lucky enough to come in contact with every day and I think that has been my greatest attribute since Kindergarten. Who I am has very little to do with me as a solitary woman, but more about the company I keep and the memories/experiences/exchanges, good, bad and ugly, that I put in my fanny pack. 

Part of the reason I titled my blog "What I Like About Me" is to remind myself why I've genuinely enjoyed becoming who I am at this very moment. It's been a total pain in my ass some days and it's been so beautiful and amazing that it's brought me to tears on others, but what do you expect from growth?

Part of my point, or my point entirely, is that I've never really slept alone. I'd be willing to bet that you haven't, either. Think about it & get back to me.

Also, have an amazing & restful Sunday night!

Love, hugs & fanny packs,

Karen B.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A little ol' introduction!

I honestly don't think I can tell y'all (whoever you are--I hope we get to know each other soon!) how excited I am to start blogging.

I feel like I have such a story to tell and I haven't been keeping the company of anyone over the age of four lately, so I've had to keep it all to my lonesome self. But now it's the dawn of a new era! Ok, maybe it's not that serious, but here's this lovely thing called BLOGGER, just waiting in the wings for me to find it and all of these other amazing women and all of their A-mazing stories. It is because of Blogger that I believe in Fate. I mean...maybe.

Anyhoot, here's a little introduction to me:

I work for a non-profit as an HIV/AIDS educator/counselor and I think it's the most heartbreaking and rewarding job in the world. I see people at their best, worst, weakest and strongest points and I am absolutely certain I know what beauty is (to me, at least).

I am a single (as in, no longer married) momma and I have THE most scrumptious little girl named Emma. Sometimes I sing her name to the tune of "Umbrella" by Rhianna. Sometimes she laughs at me, other times not. She's very sophisticated, this girl.

I hate the title "single mom" because it carries this connotation that the father has either died or failed at life. In my case, Emma's father is spectacular and incredibly involved in her day-to-day life. He's a wonderful man--truly--and we have worked our hind parts off to make sure that we both respect each other as parents and individuals so that Emma understands (one day) that love and respect are the cornerstones of a truly solid relationship.

Yes, I'm divorced. No, I'm not sad about it anymore. My ex and I were very, very young when Emma was conceived and we grew up into different people with different priorities and desires. The beginning of the end for us was when we both realized that the only priority we shared was Emma. We talked about it, cried, shook our heads, hugged like the old friends that we were, and decided that we weren't disappointed in ourselves or one another. We were just sad. We let ourselves feel sad for a time, and I'm glad that we were in that place together. Then we decided to split up our lives, but honor our commitment to Emma and her happiness and health...so we live two miles from one another to keep our promises. We're friends and parents and I'm proud of our decisions.

Emma's father has just recently started to date. I have yet to make that move yet and I'm absolutely PETRIFIED. How am I going to explain this situation to someone??? Better yet, how the hell am I going to find someone? Online?
In a related note, please please PLEASE leave me a comment or message me and let me know if you've used a site and if it's worked. I think I want to try!

I have recently discovered how much I like learning new things about myself. I need to correct myself there: I'm enjoying remembering how awesome I can be when I stop getting in my own way all the time! I don't think enough women or mothers say that--I. am. AWESOME. I think this blog will be dedicated to celebrating who I've forgotten and becoming who I've always wanted to be.

So here's the deal: I want you all (again, WHOEVER you are) to ask me questions and let's start a conversation about our lives, our kids, our loves and moving forward.