Thursday, May 30, 2013

Between The Rain

After an incredibly long, cold winter, we are now having a long, cold, rainy spring. Everyone complains about the weather. In truth, though, the only thing you can do is rush outside the moment the rain stops, bundled up in your autumn attire, and enjoy every bit of sunshine and fresh air you can get. Rafael digs in the dirt, sifts through stones, blows bubbles, and kicks his soccor ball around the wet lawn until his sneakers are soaked through. I bring him hot chocolate and sip mugs of tea while he watches the children scurry and shout in the playground beside our yard. It's actually his favorite thing to do at the moment: watch other children play. It keeps him occupied for long stretches of time. 

My life, full of good fortune, but also, lately, hardship. Maybe that's why I don't write here often. It's a strange tightrope bloggers walk. Sharing of themselves, but not too much. Keeping some intimate things private. At least, that's how I feel about it. 

In some way, I wish I could write about it all, because writing has always helped me clarify my own thoughts and feelings. Also because I know that many of you would be able to relate, and then we might feel a little less alone in our struggles. We could hold hands and exchange words of comfort and support.

But, everything published here is so permanent. I remember going through a storage box and finding my journals from highschool, and rolling my eyes while reading them, thinking what a silly girl I was back then. I wouldn't want my highschool journals published, and I don't think I want the gritty details of my life now published here, either.

I can however tell you that, through a series of recent events, I have realized I am a person filled with fear of so many, many things. Fear of making irreparable mistakes. Fear of small spaces. Fear of ending up a struggling single mother. Fear of driving. Fear of making a fool of myself. Fear of betrayal. Fear of failing to be the mother my son needs and deserves. Fear of finding out that everything I believe is a lie. Fear of not living up to my potential. Of spending my old age filled with regret.

All of these fears are deeply-rooted and most of the time they dwell unseen in the dark, and manifest themselves in bouts of defensiveness and nervousness. These fears effect my daily life, and my relationships. 

It's easy to make big statements and promises to yourself about not letting fear rule your life. But a lot of the time, you only realize you were acting out of fear after the situation has passed. 

Something else I want to tell you is that, taking yourself (and what you know about yourself) seriously is important. Recently someone laughed off my in-flight panic attack, and it made me think quite a while about how different we all are, with our strengths and weaknesses...with our baggage. Yes, there are other people who can do many things without an ounce of fear that would have me paralyzed with fear. Some things which feel impossible to me come easily to others. I have a unique history, the story of my life with all of it's pain and beauty is embedded within, and it has formed who I am today. I can accept some things, want to change others, and discover even more about myself along the way. But what I know I will do from now on is honor who I am, including all of my faults and weaknesses, and try not to compare myself to others. 


Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Farm in Odenwald

Rafael and I took a journey to the lovely countryside in the neighboring country Germany. We stayed with my father and his family in an area called Odenwald, where they have renovated a small farmhouse. Raffi spent the days there wandering between tractors, horses, kittens and cows. The air was so clear, and the forests and grasses lush and green. I was surprised by how dark and quiet the nights are in the countryside. It was very cold for the time of year, and rained almost every day. But the landscape was beautiful, and it was good to spend time with family. 

Traveling alone with a toddler was difficult for me, even though he was very well behaved and patient. I had a panic attack on the flight there, and broke out into cold sweats dealing with luggage, car seat, baby, schedule, crowds, long airport halls....

I don't want to frighten anyone who is planning on traveling with their child alone. But many people told me it would be easy, and I want to be honest and tell you it wasn't, not for me. Rafael handled it all very well, only screaming and crying a little bit on the plane, but for me it was incredibly exhausting and overwhelming. I suppose I won't be doing it again until he is older. I am still glad I tried it, though. Because now I know, and I can say with confidence that it is not something I want to repeat. 

Having a home you love and miss is so fortunate. It seems that every time I take a trip, I lie awake at night seeing my home and my life from the outside, thinking of all the things I love, and realizing all the things I want to change. I decided that I want to hang up more photos and art in our home; that I want to build on to our terrace and turn it into a little walled garden; and that I want to start buying bouquets for our rooms again. You see, I've been fantasizing about buying a house lately, and now I decided I need to stop that, and begin putting more energy into the wonderful home we already have. 

When we got back, I spent the first few hours milling happily around, cleaning, unpacking, watering plants, putting this here and that there, settling back into HOME. The next day I bought two large bouquets at the farmer's market, and burned a candle at dinner time. I also bought two tins of luxurious Kusmi Tea, which not only tastes delicious, but fill your kitchen with it's sweet, warm fragrance while it seeps. I felt so cozy and content that I took a photo of our living room, adoring all the little details that make it mine.

The world is so big and beautiful; if you are lucky you can enjoy all of it's splendor and adventure. And if you are even more lucky, you have a safe, warm, comfortable home that you love and adore to come back to afterwards.



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