Sunday, May 27, 2012

You Will Never Look Like Her

Actually, "Then Meredith Said..." would be appropriate for the title of this blog (and maybe a few more).

I was 15, she was 17 (or something like that), and there I sat, staring down the pages of a Seventeen magazine.  I wanted to be Krissy Taylor.  Or rather, look like her.  In bounces my sister, who uncharacteristically plops herself down right next to me.

You will never look like her, she said.
You will never LOOK LIKE her.

And off she went.

I have told this story many times to many people over the years, because it is an important scene in my story of being at peace in my own skin.  And almost always, the reaction of these ladies in my life is something like, "Oh.  I'm sorry. Yuck.  That's mean...," with sympathy in their eyes.

Its interesting, because, even then and there, in my teenage brain/body/soul, although feeling somewhat caught, somehow I felt a little more free.

What She WAS NOT Saying:  You will never feel good about your body.  You will never be beautiful.

What She WAS Saying:  You will always have your body.  You will always be your brand of beauty.

And somehow, whether she intended it or not, I was freed up.  Gone with comparison, on with collecting.  Gone with competing, on with connecting.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Sister, MBA

My sister graduated with her MBA from The Darden School of Business at UVA (University of Virginia) last week.  She is pretty amazing. 

But that fact is only the tip of the iceberg as far as amazingness goes.  I have not yet mentioned that she is "Momma" to a spicy 10 year old and spunky 8 year old...who go to school, cheerleading, gymnastics, and have slumber parties.  And that she works full time.  And she has a husband.  And she went to China and South Africa for two weeks at a time in the last year.  Is your head spinning?  Mine was when I stayed with my beloved nieces for a week in March.  Living her life as a mom with out all the other parts almost did me in. 

I like her, love her, and respect her immensely.  It wasn't always so.   Her spontaneity (impulsivity?) and fire scared me.  I am guessing my planning (control?) and sugar ticked her off.  Not ever enemies, but hardly even civil at points, we made it through as each others most common playmate and ended up as trusted friends.  Ah, sisterhood.

Congratulations, Mersi.  Looking forward to celebrating with you at the beach in less than a week!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Your Soul Has Nerve Endings

My friend Angie throws out wise truths all the time; she breaths them.  And so when we were talking about our friends adopted children revisiting their birthland for the first time, she says, "If you imagine our souls have nerve endings, just imagine what will be awakened in them as they go into that place: the sights, the smells, the feel"

"Just  imagine how confusing that can be.  That your soul and body are saying something loud and clear that your mind does not understand.  And might not have any way of understanding fully at that time."

And then we talked about the ambivalence that naturally comes from that.  And the nurturing and love that is needed to walk through that without stomping out the soul. 

Naturally my mind also went back to the place of realizing, "Yes - nerves that are healing and hurting can have the same feel." When nerves/souls feel pain, as confusing as it can be, it can be the sensation of healing as much as it hurts.

Healing and Hurting Have a Similar Feel

I had a bad morning last week.  You know how it goes: you woke up late, so then are running late, only to realize you forgot something, and all along are in a terrible mood.

Oh, and the other added layer of life I deal with here and there: weird nervous system stuff going bizzaro-bezerk.  Its like a combination of icy-hot directly on your muscles, heaviness turned lightness turned numbness every half second,  mini-pains with pleasantly tingling nerve bundles as random as a wackado Christmas light display.  Electric, dizzying, off-kilter.  Silent on the outside, fireworks gone bad on the inside.  Freaky.

These symptoms naturally trigger shear terror and then a multitude of coping mechanisms.  As I have healed through the years, though, I have begun to believe a soothing truth in these unpredictable episodes.  And that is this: nerves that are healing feel the same as nerves that are hurting.

Its true.  My symptoms confirm it, my MRIs prove it, my neurologist affirms it.  And it is just like my momma said, "There is a lot going on in your body right now and maybe that is what nerves rebuilding feels like." 

These sensations  that were a part of my every moment 7 years ago, are periodic freaky spells now.   Sometimes the sneak attacks are all the more triggering because of their infrequency.  But I have this belief that marches against it with light: healing and hurting can have a similar feel.