Oh, shut up, alla you. I haven’t been blogging. I’ve barely been facebooking. Various people are starting to call me out on my lack of snark-slinging in all of its various formats.
They say professional poker players have “tells” — little tics or nervous habits that pop up when they have a particularly good or bad hand. If blogging were a poker game, silence would be my “tell.”
I hit a rough patch recently. No, I can’t really go into it for various reasons — mostly because the stories aren’t mine alone. Go ahead, speculate. Have a good time with it, too. I encourage you to get as colorful as you like. Smut it up, even. Imagine: Me in a dramatic, month-long, alcohol-induced, sobbing standoff with my married lover (who, no doubt, has the much-coveted man cleavage and slightly hairy shoulders). I’d flounce around the Single Momma Townhouse, clad in only runny eyeliner and a lavender slip (Blanche DuBois-style) while slurring and crying into the phone. I’d pause in my histrionics only to cue up another episode of SpongeBob Squarepants to keep my children sedated for another 23 minute segment, as the pile of empty drinkboxes and Fruit Roll-Up (TM) wrappers grows ever larger in the living room.
A girl can dream …
Anyway, your positive-thanking hippie-momma blogging lady found herself purty down in the dumps. As in: episodes of spontaneous public crying and mentally lying on the couch under Grandma’s afghan and watching endless episodes of The Real Housewives [I say “mentally” because that’s what I wanted to — in actuality, the Single Momma Lifestyle (TM) doesn’t lend itself to that sorta self indulgence — after all, someone has to cook the fishstix.]
I gave into it. I wallowed. I’m not a big fan of wallowing, but I just decided to go with it for a bit. I’ve done a lot of rallying in the past few years. It’s sort of losing its entertainment value for me.
I’m me. So even as I was wallowing, I was also sort of trying to see the gifts in the crappy circumstances that were showing up — and there were some to be found. New strength. New faith in myself. New belief that I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in the mother-effing pan, bitch.
And now I’m on the other side (I think) and I have a little story to share with all y’all. It’s kind of like a parable, except that parables are supposed to be short. Since I’m writing this, I think we can all agree there’s very little chance of that happening.
The Tale of Two Mountains
(^ Check it out. A title.)
I live near two mountains: Mt. Misery and Mt. Joy. (No lie.) Mt. Misery and Mt. Joy are neighbors, separated by a creek and a semi-well traveled road. Now practically whenever I’m kid-free on a weekend, I build in a little hiking, biking and/or exploration time over in the park where these mountains make their home. Mt. Misery, in particular, has some great trails.
Mt. Joy has always looked pretty inaccessible. It’s steep. It drops right into the road. There’s a buncha parkland on the other side of it, but all those trails are paved and fulla tourists and perfectly nice, but I’m more of a tromping-through-the-woods sorta chick.
The other week I was out hiking Mt. Misery with a friend, having a miserable old time (kidding …) and we ended up following a creek under a road to get to a part of the park I hadn’t been to before. When we came back up to street level, I looked across the street at what is sort of a major intersection for that area and there … behind the street light … tucked away … in plain sight! … was a trail entrance.
Let me tell you this: I have probably driven by that exact spot dozens of times. I never noticed the trail entrance before. Not once. And that day, all of a sudden, things got all Matrix-y and there it was — like a tear in the universe. And people were going in and out of this trail entrance. How had I never noticed any of that before?
We didn’t have time to hit that trail that day, but I went back as soon as I could. And I felt all giggly and silly about it. What kind of creatures inhabited this world that had been sitting here, hiding in plain sight all this time? Who else had discovered this secret land? I was half-expecting to run into Mr. Tumnus (or at least James McAvoy — the sexiest cloven-hoofed creature ever). And as I started hoofing it up the steep trail, I spotted a sign: Mount Joy.
Mount Joy. Sitting there. Taunting me all these years with its seeming impenetratablility. (Thatta word?) Meanwhile, I’ve been allllll over Mt. Misery. I could draw you a map of Mt. Misery. All that time, Mt. Joy was totally accessible, totally ready for me at any moment, yet I didn’t see it.
Let’s take that a little further. Mt Misery is full of people. It has a parking lot, fer cryin’ out loud. It’s an interesting place, for sure. It’s well-marked. There are maps of it. It’s an easy place to visit so a lot of people do. But Mt. Joy requires a little more effort — you have to be willing to indulge your curiousity, your sense of “hmmm… where will I wind up if I take that trail?” Yet once you know were to look — there it is. And it’s not hard at all. It’s just a matter of choice and effort.
So then I scampered down a steepish hillside and sat there in the cold sunshine on Mt. Joy — with no people anywhere near me — and I thought my hippie thoughts all about how JOY had been right under my nose all that time but I was too busy exploring Misery to notice.
I went back the next day. More like the next evening. Ever notice that it gets dark fast this time of year? Anyway, I couldn’t help myself. So there I was, chugging along when I spotted this gorgeously rusted-out, forgotten sign that said “Observatory” next to a trail that went …. up. So, yeah. Of course. Up I go like an intrepid mountain goat. I wasn’t sure what I’d find at the top but I guess I was picturing some of those viewfinder things like they have at the beach. But nope. Up, up, up and then … nothing. A clearing. Then I realized that this observatory wasn’t for looking down at the valley, but instead it was for looking up. I was thinking about how I definitely need to come back and do some trespassing on this federal land sometime on a clear, warm, summer night, when I realized that the sun was sinking fast on this not-so-warm, definitely-not-summer night.
Now where was that trail again?
I tried to find it. But Mt. Joy is one crafty little bitch sometimes. So I laughed at myself that I was lost on Mt. Joy. I mean, if you hafta to be lost somehwere … But it was getting dark. What kind of creatures would be waiting to feast on my tender, lost loins? Rabid squirrel? Angry deer? The Mount Joy Yeti? But wait. This was Mount Joy after all. Perhaps some friendly bunnies and chipmunks would come along and show me to a bed of soft forest greenery, where I could slumber until the sun kissed my rosy skin in the morn ….
Before I could get too Into Thin Air about the whole thing, I found … a road. I was kind of disappointed, to be honest. And since it was one of those windy, switch-backy sorta roads, I wasn’t sure which direction was going to take me back to the side of the mountain I needed to be on. But I started down and then I spotted the trail I wanted to be on just far enough below me that I thought it would’ve been really, really stupid to off-road it to get down there. Finally, I hit a point where the road and the trail got close enough that I could manage to scamper down without indulging in fantasies of broken limbs and being licked to death by a herd of deer looking for a salt fix.
I have many strongly held beliefs in life and one of those is to act like a buffoon when no one is watching. So I won’t say that I laughed and galloped like a little show pony for a few minutes after I found the trail again, but I won’t say that I didn’t, either. (I also won’t say that I severely bruised my tailbone a few years ago in a freak spinning-in-my-kitchen accident.) (Reclaim spinning, people. No one has to know. And I dare you to not laugh while doing it!)
Lots more to say, hopefully soon-ish, my little blogmuffins. Momma has missed you.
Go forth. Spin when no one is looking. Get lost in JOY. Kisses from me.
I woke up on the morning of my 39th birthday to find an email from ... Read more