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One afternoon Kristin was telling me about this video because she knew it would make me mad. This is what friends do sometimes (at least female ones) and it’s not because we’re actually trying to piss each other off, it’s just because we know what each other care about and sometimes it comes out, “Ohhhhhh man I saw this thing that would drive you crazy!”

It’s ok.

 

Of course I wanted to see the video after she mentioned it and of course she was right– my eye rolling began as soon as this “popular YouTube star and mother of two” started talking.

After it was over and I was just as annoyed as Kristin promised I’d be my thoughts went like this”

Don’t do it, Katie. Don’t take the bait. Click the ‘I don’t want to see this’ link in your mind. 

At first it worked, I misplaced it in my mind and forgot all about it, but then it was everywhere. A million and two links on Facebook, blog posts, videos, and articles all defending mom-hood against the unenlightened minds of the childless who have (apparently) collectively decided that all of our now parent friends have entered the age of douch-i-ness.

And they’re all getting it wrong. 

Put down your pitch forks and fire sticks, ladies. We don’t believe motherhood has made you an asshole anymore than being single and childless makes us idiots!

We know kids change everything and they suck up your time and energy, there’s really no need to explain or offer excuses for that, we get it. There may be a few of us who’ve never had a lot of experience with kids and maybe that few doesn’t know all of the details, but being logical human beings we all can reason that giving birth to and raising a child is not easy.

Maybe you could consider for one moment that just because we share our time with different things than you do now, doesn’t mean that we don’t share our time and that we’re obviously completely self-consumed. We still have worries and responsibilities and single person incomes. And yeah, WE KNOW that those things aren’t the same as having a child, but please don’t do us the injustice of acting like they are less important than motherhood because that really does make you look like an ass. The grass is always greener, right? We could compare notes all day.

Perhaps instead of feeling pressured by our text messages, emails, and invitations out, you might see them instead as us offering an olive branch– a way for us to remind you that you aren’t forgotten, you’re still important to us. Because for all of those same reasons your baby makes it hard for you to go out with us that you mentioned, it also makes it hard for us to go out with you and your baby. We aren’t trying to be demanding of your precious time, we just don’t want you to think that we have abandoned you since our lives have started going in different directions. It’s ok for you to take your time getting back to us and to decline invitations when you need to. We get it.

But really, here’s the thing: All that time you’re spending making YouTube videos or writing exhaustive lists of excuses for why we’re too much trouble for you in the midst of all of your heavy mom-responsibilities that you believe us to be totally clueless of, you could be sending us a three word text message that says the only thing we really want to hear from our friend whom we miss.

Motherhood, becoming a wife, work schedules, social events, being single– none of it is a good excuse to be a bad friend, and that’s the bottom line.

 

 

 

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I’m learning that heart brokenness is something you experience in phases. There’s the initial phase where you feel pain that is, as best as I can describe it, like the pain you feel when you hold something cold for too long. It burns and is cold and throbbing at the same time and it’s everywhere. In that state you can’t really reason, you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, and you don’t want to try to work out where exactly things hurt or why. It’s washing all over you and the best thing you can do for yourself in that moment is just to let it.

One of the things that caused me to fall in love with Deborah Harkness’ Discovery of Witches was a single part where the heroine, a witch, experiences such a deep feeling of grief that she produces what the author calls “witch water”. The rise of such powerful emotions causes water to seep and the pour from the witches body. What begin as tears soon turn into giant drops and then there is water seeping from her finger tips and toes.

That’s it exactly.

That’s how it feels… except I don’t get the physical reality of water pouring from my body and flooding my surroundings. There’s a little part of me that wishes I did. Ok, more than a little part of me. It just seems like it would feel gratifying to have that side effect so that people could actually see the depth of what you were feeling.

Anyway, the next phase I’ve come to understand is the one in which most days are fine. Most of the time I feel ok. Not limping, not holding my heart up on crutches, I’m going on with my life. The trouble with this phase is that when the hurt bubbles up, it comes on fast and unexpectedly. There are no warning signs, it’s just smacking me in the face and sending me reeling backwards before I have a chance to know what hit me.  It happens most when I’m alone and things are quiet. And that’s the worst part because I have always treasured time to be alone and to have things quiet. But now I find myself trying to be alone as little as possible and looking for reasons to be busy, to the point of exhausting myself.

It’s not fair. Nothing is ever fair. There is no fair.

People get relationship after relationship, marriage after marriage, chance after chance. And here I am.  I spend years invest, years trying to understand, years of trying to be what I think is right for that moment and in the end I’m still by myself. And there are times when it’s ok because I know a lot of those people who have gotten all those chances would rather not have to have been through much, and I can count myself blessed. I can understand that comparing myself to others doesn’t make any sense. That my story, my life, is different and I shouldn’t want someone else’s, but right now is not one of those times.

The good news is that these times don’t last very long, and in the middle of it all I have people around me who care,  I have things to write about, even if sometimes they almost feel like they are digging the knife in a little deeper. I have the fact that I am nothing if not determined and I know myself well enough to know that I can muscle through almost anything. I have young people to set example for,  children to make me laugh and to give me hugs, and babies to watch smile in their sleep.

So tomorrow starts a busy week and when I say busy, I mean VERY busy week. I have work, conference, bachelorette party and lock-in to be present for. I don’t know at this point when in there I will find time to eat and sleep, but we can all hope those things get done and when they are supposed to.

Last night I meant to post about the Dad and Daughter who sat at the bar in Starbucks. There was just something really… beautiful about it, as simple as it was. She was sipping cocoa and doing homework. He was drinking something, no doubt, stronger than cocoa and helping. She couldn’t have been more than 9 and they both smiled and laughed as they got through her work together.

This afternoon I saw the sun on everything. It was lighting people’s faces as they drove across from me on the road, so much so they shielded their eyes. It was making weeds and brush look like fields of gold growing out of the ground that swayed in the breeze on my walk this evening.

I saw a tiny newborn smiling in her sleep and looking completely and utterly content and I tried to remember what that must feel like.

I saw blue sky.

I saw my dog get burs in his hair from being too curious.

I saw my nephew dressed as Mario and practicing his best Mario voice.

I saw a lot of people rushing around.

Right now what I want to see is the inside of my eye lids because I am sore from head to toe. My arms are done for from baby holding and my legs are worn out from walking. My mind just wants a break from all of the things it has found to worry over the past few days, and I just want a break from missing someone who I’m not sure if I’m supposed to miss anymore.

The last thing of note I saw tonight was the stars.

There was no moon where I was, just a million twinkling little stars… it made me think.  It’s nice to see the moon, it’s makes the night less scary when everything is bathed in moonlight, and the darkness has a glow about it.  The thing is that the moon is just one big, bright, shiny thing and it might be comforting to have it there making everything less dark and confusing, but when it’s gone you get to see what else is out there and how many possibilities there are, even if they are small and far off.

Good night, guys. Rest well, and I hope you get to see lots of stars in the days to come.

robot20alone“I’m a phoenix in the water
A fish that’s learnt to fly
And I’ve always been a daughter
But feathers are meant for the sky
So I’m wishing, wishing further
For the excitement to arrive
It’s just I’d rather be causing the chaos
Than laying at the sharp end of this knife”

There are things I have to carry now and some days that’s easier than others.  Today’s one of the harder days and it feels like all of the things that used comfort me feel far away. I’m lucky because these hard days are far out number by the good days.

What I need now is a good book, a long sleep, and some quiet dreams.

Speaking of dreams, I had a really weird one last night that involved being married to a prince, which, alone, sounds like something I would really enjoy. I didn’t, though. He was kind of a mean prince, and apparently I had been forced to marry him. Ick. Crossing fingers for better dreams tonight.

Today was my friend Jenny’s bridal shower. I was one of the hostess, although the Maid of Honor (also a very good friend) did all of the work and she did a beautiful job of it. It was lovely and I am unspeakably happy for my friend.

We are all so grown up now.

I remember being children with these girls and realize that that doesn’t happen much anymore. People don’t keep friends for as long, or really I guess most people can’t keep them as long. They move away, they lose track of people I guess. I am fortunate to still be close to many of the people I grew up with.

All the wedding stuff makes me want to sit on Pinterest and pin wedding things even though I am not close to getting married myself.  I can’t even manage, at least yet, go on a date that amounts to anything much, which is kind of frustrating. I keep wanting to ask people where all of the men are actually hiding, because I have no idea where to find them. I’m doing all that I know to do and still. Here we are.

I can’t believe that Saturday is almost over.

Time to shop for glasses since mine got eaten.

I’ve been away for a couple of days being with family and working on a new project.

I have vaguely alluded (at least I feel it has been vague) to having some fairly significant changes take place in my life recently, and while I’m not going to use this post to un-vague them (yes, I just made that word up) I am going to redirect your attention to what I’m doing with myself in the wake of those changes.

I’m single… … I know you probably needed a few beats to recover from the shock, but anyway, yes, single.  Without having to dig up a lot of stuff I’d rather not shovel right now, I’ll just say that I don’t want to be single anymore. I’ve reached a place where I want to think about life, as in the rest of mine, with someone else, hopefully for the rest of theirs, and kids, and yards and the things that go with marriage.

In an effort to make the most of my free time, which I have very little of these days, I have made the horrifyingly brave decision to try dating websites. If you know me at all you will understand how extremely difficult even typing those words are for me.  However, I’ve decided that dating websites don’t have to be the official stamp of desperation, and that for a person like myself who is working/volunteering/involved in church and ministry/and has good relationships with close friends and family they should and can be a valuable tool for meeting new people with similar goals and interests.

In order for this process not to be completely mortifying, I’ve decided to turn it into an on-going writing project about all of my dating experiences. This new endeavor will include, but certainly not be limited to what I find on the dating websites. I will cover dating mishaps and high points from the past and hope that they are fun, funny, and keep bitterness at bay.

That said, this is my official launch post for Dating Katie Brown. I hope you’ll all stop by, I’m only two posts in, but I have an ever growing pile of material that will go up with a quickness.  Enjoy and let me know what you think.

The older I get the more satisfied with not understanding them I get.

Dating is an adventure that I don’t understand. At all.  I don’t think I’ve ever understood it, but I feel better about it now than I did when I was 20-something. I mean, let’s be clear, by better I kind of me, “omg am I actually doing this?” but that IS better than feeling sick about it, which is how I felt in my 20’s.

Of course that could have a lot to do with the way I went about it in my 20’s too. I felt I needed to know a minute and a half into a date if this was a person that I would be willing to spend years with. There was no now, there was only what could be, if there was potential, what future could I see. Unsurprisingly, because I am not a medium or fortune-teller, I could never see ANY future with any of the guys I dated, which resulted in a lot of awkward first dates that never evolved into anything more.

Armed with just a little more wisdom now than I could carry in my 20’s I realize that I made a mistake in not factoring in time to get to know any of the guys I went on first dates with. I was so busy in the future that I didn’t enjoy the process of discovery that comes with new relationships.  If I’m being 100% honest, I didn’t anticipate enjoying it in my 30’s either, but because I have at least learned to go slower, it’s something I am realizing and am pleasantly surprised by.  Discovery is great… great like a gold mine. Sometimes funny, curious, intriguing and fun.  I also realize that I don’t want someone to think they can know enough about me in less than an hour to make any firm decision about what kind of friends we can be, and I shouldn’t do that to other people either.

tumblr_static_broken-heart“I was blind and heart broken and didn’t want to do anything and Gus burst into my room and shouted, “I have wonderful news!” And I was like, “I don’t really want to hear wonderful news right now,” and Gus said, “This is wonderful news you want to hear,” and I asked him, “Fine, what is it?” and he said, “You are going to live a good and long life filled with great and terrible moments that you cannot even imagine yet!”
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

 

Relationships cost a lot.

We know this.

Deep in our beings we all come to a point where we decide they are worth the cost and we pay, sometimes we pay dearly, and our hearts crack in ways we could not have imagined.

I’ve faced a lot of different kinds of pain in my life but nothing has ever hurt like the cracks my heart has suffered in the last several months. I don’t say that to gain your pity, sympathy or reassuring comments.  Relationships cost a lot and I know this.

 

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu

photo (15)I’m using my comfort mug and I am in my comfort pajamas.

Yes. I have a specific mug for comfort and it’s reserved for sleepy time tea or hot cocoa only. Right now it has sleepy time tea in it. I like it best because it’s small, first of all, and usually when I find myself needing it it’s at night, like right now. It holds what I think is an appropriate amount of liquid for right before bed.

And as for my comfort pajamas, I wish I could say that I was one of those girls whose comfort pajamas are kind of in that “I don’t know I’m sexy” sort of style. You know what I’m talking about, they feature them in movies all of the time when a girl is supposed to be looking her crubbiest and still by some astounding miracle manages to be  adorable. Yeah. Mine aren’t like that. They’re really, really not. As you can see pictured to the right my comfort pajamas are an oversized night shirt that has a print that is supposed to mimic needle work and grey leggings. What you cannot see in that picture is that the leggings have holes all in them, officially putting the seal of unsexiness on the entire get-up.

[Warning before you proceed– This post may be filled will inappropriate comparisons. Not that kind of inappropriate, just maybe not what you’d expect, I don’t know. ]

You’re probably wondering why the need for all of the comfort by now. Well, today I had a conversation about love that took a lot of courage for me, maybe all I had right then which might explain why I feel so drained right now. It’s not bad that I feel drained, it’s good. The things said were important, right, and necessary, but, at least for me, after being drained that way (because in the wake I also cry a good bit) I need to be gentle with myself for a little while. It doesn’t help that I’m also physically exhausted because I pushed myself really hard this week. Slipping and falling in the mud this morning was a sign. Not really. But kind of.

This is going to be that inappropriate bit I was warning you of… So in Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches, you’ve got Diana, who is a witch, who for various reasons has not even embraced her powers but then suddenly finds that she cannot run from the magic, that it’s just going to bubble out of her. Anyway, at one point she experiences sorrow over something and starts to cry and ends up producing what the book calls “witch water”. What are at first only tears, swell to become huge amounts of water coming out of her until she’s flooding the rooftop she’s standing on. Later on she produces “witch fire”, a response to anger and the need to protect those she cares about, she conjures fire in the form of a bow and arrow that she can shoot at things. Hello. Why didn’t God make me a witch? I mean, clearly it’s for the best, else the world around me would be constantly either burning down or flooding, but still. It seems like it would feel so gratifying to be able to produce physical side effects of those emotions. I know. This is ridiculous.

I found myself talking about romances at one point today and saying how I wished that rather than teaching girls to hope to be swept off their feet, we taught them to know how to stand through a storm.

Relationships worth having are stormy. And the sleepy tea just kicked in. =)

Be careful where you invest your heart and your emotions, because some things you can’t take back, some things you can’t erase and sometimes those things will feel like they will follow you around for the rest of your life.

It’s better to have a broken heart than one that’s trapped.

I know I can’t take one more step towards you
‘Cause all that’s waiting is regret
And don’t you know I’m not your ghost anymore?
You lost the love I loved the most

And I learned to live, half-alive
And now you want me one more time

And who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart

You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Who do you think you are?

I hear you’re asking all around
If I am anywhere to be found
But I have grown too strong
To ever fall back in your arms

And I learned to live, half-alive
And now you want me one more time

And who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart

You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me

Who do you think you are?

Dear, it took so long just to feel alright
Remember how to put back the light in my eyes
I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed
Cause you broke all your promises

And now you’re back
You don’t get to get me back

And who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart

You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Don’t come back at all

-Christina Perri

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