The Hokey Pokey

​Here I am once again standing on the edge of madness. One foot is on solid ground and I wave one foot over the open abyss. Memories of the hokey pokey flash through my brain… ‘put your left foot in, put your left foot out, you do the hokey pokey and you shake it all about…’ That’s me shaking my foot over the abyss; trying to see if I am brave enough to hokey pokey for the last time.

The ground underneath my right foot is sturdy but I feel like at any moment it could crumble with a single thought.

And there it is… a single thought.

I’m falling into the dark abyss. I grasp in the darkness. I think to myself, ‘is this what I want?’ I try to grasp to something, anything but there is nothing there. The only thing as I fall is the cold wind brush the sides of my face. It’s gets colder and darker the deeper I go.

More thoughts and more darkness and then, rock bottom. It’s hard and it’s full of jagged edges. I shatter on impact. Pieces of me broken and scattered. Who will find me here? Who will put me back together? The answer is clear and it hits me as hard as the rock bottom- nobody.

I lay there for awhile hoping someone will see my brokenness but people can’t see this abyss because it is found only deep within my heart. You can’t see this kind of hole. Not through my chest and not even in the doctor’s office. The abyss lies deep inside of me and no one even knows that I had that one thought and fell of the ledge.

I am alone. I am always alone. Deep in my thoughts and deep within myself. People say they can help but I would never let anyone hokey pokey with me at the risk of them seeing my darkness. No one can see that because it’s too dark. No amount of light will shine in this empty space. I’m empty.

In this emptiness and in this hard, cold place, I take off my many masks. Here I can be vulnerable and myself. Uncovering my face is frightening because I can’t stand what is behind those masks; sometimes I wear so many that I forget what I even look like. I’m a wife, mom, teacher, photographer and I’m Allison. No one can see Allison because I am too raw; like a piece of meat that hasn’t been cooked long enough. That’s me. I haven’t been cooked long enough. My feelings and emotions are still that of a child. A child that is stuck in an adult body.

I can’t let you see what’s below the mask. I can only take it off when I am alone because no one understands and everyone keeps telling me life will get better. But ‘when?’, I say, because just like a child, I am impatient. I want to get rid of this child. I want to climb from rock bottom. I want to be the one that gives myself a rope to climb out of the abyss. I need to be strong enough to pull myself out without the help of others. 

I dream about this day. I daydream about this day. I can feel my shoulders burning from the pull. My hands are raw from rope burn. The climb out of the darkness is almost like the climb of a man who has lost his sight. You have to go with your gut about the next step and the next move. 

Each step up the side of this hole is wet and muddy. I slip, I fall, I try again. I slip, I fall, I try again. Trust is the only instinct that I have. That is something I am learning. Trust. I wasn’t born with it; I am learning, like a small child, to find it within myself before I put it towards others.

Life is about slipping and falling. Life is about light and darkness. Life is about choices. Life is about taking that trust fall or fighting against it. Life is about doing the hokey pokey and understanding the consequences.

Until next time,

Allison

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It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets a Black Eye.

It’s all fun and games until somebody gets a black eye. 

Last night, my brother decided that he would wrestle all his nephews and nieces in one giant WrestleMania setting because honestly, it’s the kids favorite thing to do with my brother.

However, while in Wrestlemania, my nephew got kneed in the eye and ended up with a giant shiner. Naturally I felt bad for him but now he is going to be the the tough looking kid at daycare. 

After WrestleMania, I took my daughter to the bathroom. And that’s when things went downhill because Emily asked me why her cousin had a black eye and when I tried to explain to her that he got kneed in the eye, she then turned to me and asked me why I had two black eyes? Ugh. Kids.

Maybe it’s probably because I haven’t slept in 8 years…

Until next time, 

I’m going to knee you in the eye if you keep pointing out my giant bags…

Our Little Chef?

My oldest son wants to be a chef. He is very determined to make various creations of new foods and new combinations of foods. However, those food choices aren’t exactly appetizing. Some favorites are a jelly sandwich with fruit snacks, fruit snacks dipped in milk, and fruit snacks placed in a water bottle to see how they taste after they deteriorate. Yesterday, however, was different because I was the testing dummy.

As a parent you want to be as supportive as possible to your children. You don’t ever want crush their dreams and hurt their soul. You want to be with them and help them and support them and tell them the truth except all those times that you really just have to lie. This was definitely a time when lying was necessary. And it was also a time where I was not allowed to barf.

So yesterday he decided to give me a grape, a goldfish, and a fruit snack sandwich all in one bite… it was disgusting and I will never be able to un-taste that. Thankfully moments later he told me that he didn’t think it tasted so good. But he is very determined to make ‘Vincent’s Taste Creations.’ 

I want to be supportive but I just don’t know if this is his calling at this moment. Either that or we need to buy different types of food to support his dreams.

Here’s hoping that you will never find a grape, goldfish or fruit snack appetizer because nothing is more disgusting.

Until next time, 

pass me the Tums.

Wearing a Mask

You know, we all wear a mask. Some masks are worse than others. But in some way we’re all fake on the inside and the out. We want to work harder, be better, do things for other people, however, in reality, all we want to do is to live life for ourselves. We’re all just trying to survive.

I wear a mask. I were teachers mask, a mom mask, a clients mask and even a wife’s mask, over this face. I have a tough guy mask, I have fear mask, I have a ‘don’t fuck with me mask,’ and I even have a child’s mask.  I can’t say who I think I am, I can only say who I want to be but in all honesty, I don’t really know me.

I’m tired of always pretending, you know? Having people assume something about me and thinking that I’m someone that I’m not. 

It’s frustrating because I don’t even know what mask to put on in certain situations. I am always thinking I’m doing the right things, believe I’m doing the right things, but in the end, I just find out that I fucked it up somehow. 

Sometimes, I just have to deal with the bullshit in life and put on that mask. I have to pretend that I’m something or someone I’m not just to survive. 

Having a mask on is about survival. And I think we all have to deal with that. We have to also understand that. We have to believe in the good in people and believe that people are trying. I don’t understand why but sometimes we all wear a mask because I guess we have something to proove. 

I have so many masks in my closet I don’t even know what to do with them anymore. Hang them up on hangers, throw them on the ground? Some I would like to destroy some, I need to keep. But I’ll tell you what, I never take off my mask because I don’t know what’s underneath and neither do you.

Until next time,

What mask do you hide behind? 

Walking the Path

Last week, I decided to walk down to an abandoned tower in the middle of the woods (the blog I wrote about this little adventure is called ‘Going Out on Location’). I went after school and before I had my group therapy session and on my long trek, where I felt that I was unbelievably lost and alone, I decided that I needed to write this blog about the personal experience and not just the funny one.

So I decided to make this little photographic adventure on a whim. I had my cameras in the car and I just wanted to photograph something. When I feel really down, I always like to photograph broken buildings and lost belongings of what once was (for this blog, you can read, ‘Abandoned Photography is What I do’). So I made the decision because I felt like I was getting to a bad place and I needed to use therapeutic skills to get me out of this spiral so I went on this little adventure and I learned some things on my way.

When I parked my car, I felt apprehensive because I was alone in the woods and I know this is how scary movies happen but I wanted to go and I am extremely stubborn. I didn’t care about the consequences of my actions; I just went.

The gravel path that met my feet, was filled with jagged rocks along the way. Some rocks were smooth but most of them were awkward and sharp and I was only protected with a thin layer of cushion from my old sandals. There was a lot of rocks and it didn’t help my feet. My feet were sore and hurting but I pressed on determined to get to this abandoned tower; needing this opportunity to photograph.

As I walked, I noticed that I was never aware at the beautiful nature and wildlife refuge that I was walking through because I was too focused on the pain in my feet. As I walked down the path, I kept looking behind me, waiting for someone to attack because I am paranoid like that and I kept looking back at my car as my safety net, my safe place.

I kept walking and walked through the pain and ended up in a more secluded part of the woods; I could no longer see my car nor the tower that I was seeking. I saw a couple up ahead and wondered if they were safe enough to talk to because of my immense trust issues but they pointed me in the direction of the tower. The couple also told me of a cemetery that was also on the property and how to get there.

The exhilaration took over my body and I kept pressing forward; I couldn’t wait to see this abandoned building and now I had a cemetery to explore. As I approached the tower, I could smell the smoke and it choked the breath out of my lungs. The tower had been burned down the weekend before and there was nothing left. I could feel my body drop in disappointment but I still made the most of the experience and I took photographs of the wood still burning, even days later.

After a few shots, I went in, what I thought was the direction, of the cemetery but because I am still having concussion symptoms, I was all turned around and headed down the wrong path. I went to the right. I went to the right and ended up in ankle-deep mud. I lost a sandal and pulled it out of the sticky and wet substance. Looking at my feet, I realized sneakers would have been a better choice.

As I turned around, I went down another path. The dead grass made it feel like knives were stabbing my toes and feet. The bugs were hitting me left and right and I was unable to dodge them; mosquitos and grasshoppers were running rampant and it felt I was living the Book of Revelations in the Bible. I looked down at my feet when I really felt the dead grass slice me like a sharp blade. As I looked, I saw, one muddy foot and one bloody foot.

Literally, the furthest from my car, I stopped in the middle of the path and wondered how I was going to do this; I wanted to call my husband and have him rescue me but then I realized that no one really knows where I am. I finally found my way back to the smoldering tower to realize where the cemetery actually was and I was beating myself over the fact that I had walked a whole mile out of the way because I couldn’t remember the directions. I was so angry and pissed off because I didn’t have time to explore the area before therapy. I was kind of lost and broken… literally because there was blood on my feet; but I had to keep going or I would be late for my appointment.

However, all I could think about was this missed opportunity, my gross feet and the hundreds of mosquito bites I currently had. What a disappointment.

I traveled back the same gravel road that I started on, but this time, I looked around and captured better shots of the nature that was around me and the nature that I missed the first time. The same gravel road that pierced my feet felt better this time around; like it was more smooth but it shouldn’t have been. And looking ahead, I could see the refuge of my car… that was awesome.

So why did I make you read all this? It’s because this is what I gathered from that day:

We all have a safe place; a place that is our own that we don’t want anyone to know about. A place that we are scared to leave when life gets hard, but if we don’t get out, then we will never experience life.

The gravel path that I walked on was full of uncertainty and I was unsure if I could even make this trek alone and even though it hurt, I kept pressing on but the pain bothered me so much that I ended up missing the birds singing, the rustling of the trees and the nature changing around me during this fall season.

The abandoned tower was my mission and it was what I wanted and part of what I thought I needed to survive that day. However, when I got there, everything was gone so was it what I wanted or was it what I needed? Maybe I just wanted the experience but perhaps I could have used another therapeutic skill to get me through the day? The disappointment is just like life- full of disappointments but also full of different opportunities than the ones we first seek.

The couple that gave me directions was a sign that I should be more trusting of others even though along the beaten path people let you down. However, nothing is worse than letting yourself down and you always will if you don’t learn to trust others or more importantly, yourself.

Being turned around and not remembering where the cemetery location was, represented to me, the long walk in life. We all get turned around and lost on our way through life; it’s part of learning and if we are patient enough, we will understand the lessons that life is teaching us; no matter how hard they may be.

The mud was just that. Some days, I sink and I sink hard but that day I got out and when I got out, I was cut with blades of grass that made me bleed. Both are gross but it doesn’t mean you are dying; it just means you need to find a better path.

Figuring out that I was all alone in the furthest spot possible was a wake up call. I realized how much I depended on other people to help me when in all honesty, I can help myself. Did I need to reach out or did I want to reach out to my family and others? Was this really a crisis that anyone else could pull me from? Life is all about hitting rock bottom before you make your way out and this was a perfect example of hitting rock bottom and looking for ways to climb out because no one was going to get me out; I needed to get me out.

Walking back down the path to my car, I realized that I missed all of the beautiful life around me and it wasn’t until I stopped and realized how much I missed, that I discovered that this could have been just a beautiful walk. No goal but only to be a part of nature and I missed it; however, I learned that after all of the hardships and all of the trials and tribulations, that the walk home is that much easier and sweeter because you did it yourself and you survived. And the mosquito bites, are still all over my arms but it’s just a reminder of that day. They are like our scars. Everything fades but it’s not forgotten… it just means we are stronger because of it.

Until next time,

Always pack sneakers and never be afraid to step out of that safe place and live.

abandoned-tower-0008

 

 

 

Let’s Have Brunch

So I have been deep in thought about Christmas and I know what you are going to say- ‘shut the hell up, it’s not even Halloween.’

I am with you readers… I am, but unfortunately my daughter took out a talking Christmas book and it just got me thinking about Santa and Jesus and eggs.

So of course, there is that magic on Christmas. The magic that your children believe in something bigger than themselves annnnnd you just lied your pants off and are basically a pathological liar. Let’s leave cookies and milk for daddy and mommy… eer, I mean Santa. So yes, I am destroying my children one at a time, lying to them about Santa and bunnies and tooth theives. They I’ll probably need therapy.

Either way, I was thinking about brunch because we are going to set up brunch with Santa. 

So then I thought…what the hell? Why don’t we have brunch with Jesus. I mean, it’s his damn holiday. I could picture it now… eggs with a side of hay and everyone sits comfortably in a manger. Of course you need a reservation because when you get there, there might not be any room for you in the dining room… haha… get it? So make your reservations now and have some eggs with Jesus.

Wait for night fall and follow the north star and bring me freaking gold because this was my idea.

Until next time,

Jesus is knocking and you need to let him in because he has manners. Santa just brings his fat ass into your house and eats your cookies.

My Pretty Gran Came to Visit

So there’s one woman in my life that I miss the most and that is my gran. 

Emily’s middle name is Adeline the same middle name as my grandmother. I was very proud to name my daughter after my gran because my grandmom meant so much to me and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her. 

This morning when Emily and I were cuddling in my bed, I told her that I needed to take a shower. She looked at me and said ‘you smell jussssst right!’ 

Then she said ‘let me smell your arm,’ so I let her smell my arm and she took a big whiff of my arm and said ‘you smell just like Tootsie Rolls!’ 

Such a random thing for a 4 year old to pick. But here she was saying my arm smelled like Tootsie Rolls which is the exact nickname that my gran used to give me and all her grandchildren. 

Then when I asked her if I was just a bowl of porridge because she kept saying I smell just right, she raised up her fist and said ‘do you want one of these?’ My gran used to say that as she raised  up her fist and told me she was going to give me a porky (a punch). 

That look and determination in my daughter’s eyes were the same as my grandmother’s. 

I don’t give my kids porky’s, I don’t ever talk about my gran calling me a Tootsie Roll but that was a very defining moment for me because I know that even though my gran is gone and I miss her so much, I know that she’s still around telling me that she cares even when times are hard. 

Could it have been a coincidence? Maybe but I don’t believe in coincidences.

Until next time,

Let’s watch Jeopardy

This blog is dedicated to all of the grandchildren and all of us Tootsie rolls, Jamie, Chris, Lauren, Missy, Lisa, Mike, Jeff, Brad and Brian.