Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Shit is Lost.


In turning over a new, more honest leaf on my blog, I find myself paralyzed by fear at night. Seriously, hot, sweating fear that tastes salty on my lips and bitter in my throat. It leaves me cold and hot and hurts my insides from my heart to my stomach. I can shudder imagining indifference. I let it hamper me.

I know judgement and shame and pure f-ugly -which is worse than just plain ugly in my book.-but I'll take those any day over indifference. Over a lack of caring. Over not giving a shit.

I am so scared that will eek into this place and I'll hate my choice to do this, this putting words out for others to read, absorb, love and even hate. I let those fears of nothingness stop me dead in my type. I will write hundreds of words then my fingers will twitch with judgement-fearing anger and BOOM, delete, gone, never to return.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid" screams through my mind, red, hot and mean. The little girl named Confidence curls up in the darkest recesses of my mind and prays for quiet like an abused child cowering behind a couch for safety.

Too much credit is being given, not many come and read. But those who do. What if they don't like it? Can't stand the questions, the feelings, the death, the life? What if I'm doing this all in vain?

The problem is that I care way too much about people who don't give a shit. Not just about me, but about God, about life, about themselves, about us.

I give a shit. About me, about God, about life, about you, about us. That's where the fear begins. Because I give a shit. And this can't be in vain or my shit is lost on us.

Any feeling -in the positive or the negative- is the purpose of thise. Stirring something in you, anything. It's the indifference, the not giving a shit, that terrifies me for your sake and for mine.

Monday, October 15, 2012

If We're Being Honest, That's What We're Doing Right?

As you've noticed, if you've stuck around for any time or mosied through past posts, things are changing around here. I've spent four years blogging -intensely and not-so-much- in search of what makes me proud to post, what pours from the depths of my heart and soul, and what sneaks out into the universe and makes one person a little bit better. It seems, of late, that I'm onto something.

People, most of who see me regularly and are my Facebook friends, are reading. And responding. Maybe only responding to me and not applying it to their own lives. But isn't that where it begins? By just a little movement in a single direction... Then the movement gains momentum and next thing you know you're all over the place and messing yourself up -in a good way. A good, messed up, multi-directional way.

Then, as I stumbled around the interwebs like a drunken frat boy, I fell upon this from Frugal Mama. I'm not so much frugal, or a mama, but she's right. Aptly titled Don't Read This if You Want Your Life to Stay The Same, I am changed. Emboldened, if you will.

I long for my words to resonate in the hearts of many and to change the way people do life. But how?

I want you to learn to laugh and cry at the way life is a good, messed up, multi-directional thing that, sometimes, leaves you lying on the floor in a heap of ughhhhhh wishing you knew that just one day was going to go as you planned it.  But how?

That said, I'm writing a book. About what? I don't know just yet. But I've been keeping it a secret. To be honest -because that's what we're doing right- I'm sort of embarrassed... Or maybe more like gunshy about it. What if you think it's dumb? Or already know that you aren't going to read anything that is authored by Amber Thomas?

Once again with the honest theme.
I just barely told Jason that I'm serious. You know, sometimes I joke to test his take on it, but the other night while we lay in the darkness of mid-night, I said,
"Jason."
Praying he was sleeping too hard to hear me...
And he -now why is he awake too? -replied, "Yes, what now?"
(To be honest, this isn't our first mid-night serious talk)
"I'm going to write a book."
I know his face though it's dark. Large blue eyes rolling wildly about in their sockets wondering why the hell 2:00 am is the perfect time to talk like this.
Silence.
"But really, I am." -my cheeks are burning out of sheer nerves. Suddenly, the 40 degree night feels sweltering.
(Yep, we're married, we've been together almost 4 years and I can work myself up into a blushing panic awaiting his support)
"That's great. If you don't mind, about what?"
Damn it. He wasn't supposed to ask that part yet.
"I don't rightly know. I just need to. A need, you know, like breathing, or talking, or kissing, it's a need."
"I think you'll do a good job."
Whew. Blood reroutes to my brain and the flush in my cheeks fades.
"That's it. You can sleep, or lay awake silently, or whatever you were doing before this."

You see, just barely told him. And, strategically at night, so then if he asks if it's a dream, I can say, "Yes, you looney toon, I didn't want to have a 'here's-a-new-goal-I-have" talk at 2:00 am. In fact, I was sleeping so soundly at that point even an anvil dropped from the sky couldn't have woken me."

But, it wasn't a dream. It's reality. I need to write. And I've started. It'll be a book. And I'll want you to read it. Or, at least, buy it and let it gather dust on one of your shelves so I can feel good about myself.

And while you anxiously await more of me in novel form (or at least you do, mom) encourage me, call me out, check in and make sure I'm making things happen. Why? Because I know you're reading and you've got big dreams of your own... And we both know a little encouragement goes a long way.

So here are my goals in plain English, because I'm being honest and so they're written out for reference later, by you or me:

1. Write a book.
2. Write a book that changes someone's life that will in turn change someone else's life... So on and so forth.
3. In a little way, change the world for the better.

That said, I've been contemplating a new name for this space, something more... literary, more me, more fitting. Although it'll always be Mr. Thomas and Me, I want it to be more about doing life out of love and in love too.

Finally, you've got to have dreams too. And, remember, we're being honest here, so share. Email me, comment, text, whatever you've got to do and share your dreams. I want to encourage you like you do me. (I'm counting on you already, folks.)

Dream on my dear dreamers. Dream on.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Girl Meets Shame. [Part 1]

As long as I can remember my cup runneth over. Not with God's goodness and grace. Not with love, mercy, joy. Instead with immense shame and guilt. 

Fifth grade marked the start of my sensitive battle with shame. I moved to a new school. There were the cool girls who everyone wanted to know -boys, girls, teachers, students, parents, everyone. And I was the new girl. One of the girls befriended me. We grew close and she brought me into the group. I was ecstatic

For her birthday the coolest of the cool had a sleepover. Seventeen girls in all. We piled our bags in one room while we enjoyed the festivities of the night swimming, cake, ice cream, gifts - you know, the elementary school birthday routine. 

Then night fell. 

This was my first sleepover, but I let no one know. They'd been sleeping over for years. And here I stood, the naive virgin -little did I know this would be my role for another decade of life. The horror stories of what would happen to the first one asleep started... Panties frozen in the freezer, hands dipped in warm water resulting in a wet bed "accident", shaving cream on the pillow. I didn't sleep a wink. I laid awake for hours enduring waves of shivering panic and unrequited fear

As the sun rose, I began to relax. Breakfast, goodbyes, and my mom at the door. I lied and said it was fun, I loved the girls, I couldn't wait for school on Monday. My heart ached for home. For a locked front door. For anywhere far, far away from those girls. 

Monday comes. School is as always. Then it's time for lunch. A couple of things were forgotten from the sleepover. A stack of red beaded bracelets. A pink Limited, Too hoodie. A pair of small purple Itsy Bitsy-brand polka-dot panties. Phew, I forgot nothing. 

"Amber, aren't those yours?" As she holds up the small pair of underwear. My heart drops. Denial, though true, looks like lies. Acceptance, though false, insures teasing. I'm damned. 

Denial. She insists. I deny. Giggling starts. It's no longer one, but three, four, five. A chorus of "They're yours." My virgin heart breaks in my little chest for the first time. Shame shatters my hope of being a "cool" girl - later I realized that's not really what's cool, but at eleven it feels like the sky is falling

To this day, the words itsy and bitsy drip with shame. They reduce me to an eleven year old girl who rode home from school in tears the Monday after the AlphaGirl's birthday sleepover. I find my heart bitter, pained, shamed because I wanted to be one of them. And they brought me in, only to feed on my unencumbered trust. 

I met shame in fifth grade. But I've maintained a deep-seeded relationship with shame for many years.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dementia don't care, but more importantly, I'm Good.

(This photo has nothing to do with this post... But I liked it -the book in a boat and the picture- so I'm sharing it with you)

I've had this weird phenomenon going on in my life. This funny thing I promised I'd never do, yet I'm doing, but not doing - all at once.

You see, I promised I'd never be one of those church people that says, "Oh things are good." when people ask how I'm doing when really things are in shambles behind the scenes. Nope, I would never be a faker and hide my emotions.

But then, this weird thing happened. 

You see my dad is dying. Dementia doesn't care about his five kids, his doting wife and their almost 26 years of marriage. Dementia doesn't care that we still have things we want to do or that it'll hurt like hell to put my dad in a care facility when things get too burdensome. No, the crazy, nastyass dementia badger don't care, it don't give a shit. (Please tell me you get this and Jason and I aren't the only one's laughing at this ridiculous video**)

Back to the point, my dad is dying as a result of sick and twisted dementia. And I'm good. Things are good. Genuinely. Honestly. Good. 

Would I give my left arm and right leg to have him better? You bet your sweet booty toots. But, his brain isn't sticking around. In fact, he's losing his mind slowly, but detectably. And things are good. Because he is happy in spirit and body and mind. And because He is happy with the way our family is clinging so, so desperately to the everlasting joy and unfathomable peace that He is so gracious to bestow upon us.

I'm good. I mean it. I am loving my father in a way I never imagined possible. And I'm doing so in the big and little moments as I never would have without this death sentence.

Do I make sense here? I'm saying I'm good when I know more words are expected. But really, I am good. We are good. And I'll share lots of words with you, but it's also a lot of heaviness and that can feel burdensome. I've never been about burdens. I guess that's why I'm good. God's shouldered the burden and I'm basking in His goodness. Join me? 

P.S. A little bit of business, I'm still cooking and crafting... And I'm keeping the recipes in a book, I just have sort of changed directions here a bit. Give me some time to decide how this little place will be heading... 

**Tiny side note: the more I listen to the voice over of that video I realize I could write the same script about dementia and it would take over parts of the brain... Maybe I will be the next YouTube sensation! 

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