It’s 1 am. I had every intention of being in bed asleep by 10 pm, but gosh-darn it, creativity struck! We have had the Christmas tree for a week, but I was struggling finding any kinda of inspiration for decorating it. Twice this week I took the ornaments down and tried again. I KNEW I wanted to stick with the glitter deer theme, but just couldn’t find anything other than those to anchor the tree. I tried garland, I tried ribbon, I tried bulbs. I finally gave up, and resigned myself to an “ok” tree rather than one I love.
That is….until Jeffrey arrived home this morning. You see, Jeffrey is my biggest fan, my biggest supporter, and my most honest “different-option-suggester.” The minute he saw the tree, I could tell it wasn’t blowing his skirt up.
“You don’t like it do you?”
“You don’t like it!”
“Well……I like it when you do all white trees, and well, this just isn’t showing what you really can do. It doesn’t show your full potential.”
I love how he always tries to pad his “criticisms” with a reminder of how amazingly talented and incredibly creative I am. Acting huffy, I walked away – but the reality is that I knew he was right. I didn’t like the tree either, and the red ribbon I had used seemed flimsy (the word I had used yesterday with my mother when we were discussing what was missing to make the tree pop). I think the ribbon would have been great on a smaller tree, but it just got lost in such a great, big tree! A short while later, I went back to Jeffrey and asked about my glass icicles.
“OHHHH! Yes! I love those!”
For years now, I have collected glass icicles. I love them. They’re amazingly beautiful, delicate, and simple. I bought my first set nearly ten years ago at Big Lots in Venice, CA. To date, they’re my favorites – and I’ve yet to find any that match their quality, believe it or not!.
As soon as Ellie Graye was nestled into bed, out came the glass icicles, off came the flimsy red ribbon, and things seemed to be coming togehter! I couldn’t quite put my finger on what the finishing touch was, so I shifted gears and started tackling gift wrapping. As I went through the piles of ribbon spools, I happened upon the PERFECT ribbon for the tree. And voila! Everything is just right! Phew.
Honestly, I needed a little pick-me-up. I’ve been struggling emotionally the last few days. My “issues” from my past seem to pop up at the oddest times and for no apparent reason. As I went through this week, I kept hearing that old voice of “you’re worthless” (to explain, the people in my past always always followed this comment with “without God” – for me, all that has ever mattered was the first part of the sentence). There are times when I fall into deep dark pits of feeling like an incredibly selfish, worthless person whose only purpose is to serve others. I convince myself that the only reason why people care about me is because I provide something for them. I can’t see it any other way – no one could possibly love me without my proving that I’m worthy. Proving that I’m worthy is impossible when I don’t believe it myself, since all I see is a short-tempered, demanding, over-emotional bitch.
Some of you may think that I’m saying too much, but to me, this is how I breathe. This is how I survive. This is how I conquer. When I keep it to myself because I’m afraid of what people will think, my depression and heavy heart gets the best of me. Putting it out on the table gives it an identity, which then gives me something to deal with.
This week I’ve been angry. I’m annoyed with people who don’t appreciate what they have and who have an attitude of entitlement. I’m mad that I’m not strong enough to resist the self-hatred that can be all-encompassing. And, on top of that, I feel like a crappy, horrible mom – the worst and most devastating emotion of all.
One thing that this whole blogging thing has taught me is that while there are many people who will try to offer advice (usually they have NO IDEA what my history is, and therefore have no idea what “good advice” would be), most people are struggling just like I am. Many times, the ones who haven’t felt what I’m feeling, appreciate knowing more about these emotions first hand. Everyone knows someone who has struggled like this at some point. Who knows, maybe someone will find hope in the fact that they’re not alone!
I do have grandiose dreams of changing the world, of touching the lives of thousands, of putting a smile on the faces of other women who need creative inspiration as well as the inspiration to keep fighting the urge to submit to the traumas they have experienced in their lives. I won’t give up on those dreams, and in it all I WILL keep asking myself hard questions, keep growing, keep enriching my spirit.
For now, I’m going to sit and bask in the glory of my three-times-decorated Christmas tree, and enjoy the knowledge that I have a husband who loves me, supports me, and stands by me through times when I ain’t so fun to be around. And on top of that, I’ve got a little girl who’s smart and loving (even if she’s more “spirited” than any other child I’ve dealt with other than Lourdes Leon-Ciccone).
I’ll get through this, right?