Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day

It's July 4th. Independence Day. The New Republic. The day we Americans celebrate our freedom and independence from British rule.

For me it takes on a more personal significance. As of 2001 (a space odyssey, we joked), July 1st was the day Chris and I got married. Not a quick road-trip-to-Vegas-let's-get-hitched-kind-of-thing. No, I was on the sloooow track. I was the "I'm never going get married or have kids" kind of girl. Strong and proud, independent and free, I'd lived my adult years on my own terms, captain of my own ship. "Compass Girl" was my theme song and the name of my first CD.


I’ve been around this world
searching for my lost pearls
I’ve dragged them thru the mud and swine
and I told myself it was…fine

A nomad and misfit, wandering spirit
east coast - west side - and true north, but
it’s gonna take alot of snow to freeze this heart
and I come to you still

following my own free will

And if it feels right - it’s alright by me
But when the feeling’s gone - it’s time to move on
I spent a long, long time finding my place in this world

It took 6 long years for Chris to pry back the armor and get under my skin, enough to trust him with this partnership and heal my thoughts on "men." When I first met him on the beach 11 years ago, he was not what I was looking for. In fact, he was everything I wasn't looking for and I had given up looking. "Have a relationship with your self for a while" was the advice I had followed. I did.

I was on my second round of The Artist's Way and had road-tripped across America. For six weeks in my 1985 Nissan Pulsar, armed only with 4 cylinders, a journal and an open mind, I was on the road to discover a new horizon. My meanderings departed Louisville where I had been docked after New York City, and led me to friends and strangers, couches and motels, dive bars and rock stars, and eventually a sublet in LA.

Chris and I met before I actually moved here. I joined a few new friends at a concert on Hermosa Beach for the now defunct radio station, KSCA, featuring Sonia Dada from Chicago and opening band Venice from well, Venice Beach, California. I was there to see the headliner and he was there to see his friends play in the opening band. He casually knew the girls I was passing "Kentucky bug juice" to (a tasty concoction of bourbon, sweet herb tea and sliced fruit), so he plopped down and joined us. He was everything I wasn't looking for: a guy, with a warm smile, sea blue eyes, who played guitar and wrote music.

Been there, done that, sworn it off for good. Not even looking, thank-you-very-much. Musicians had been my drug of choice for quite a while there in a merry-go-round of unsatisfying power plays. It was heartbreaking really. I was done.

Knowing he wasn't going to get to me, I thought we could just be margarita buddies and check out new bands together. I was the new kid in town. I knew almost nobody. I needed some hangin' buddies. He could fit that bill. And besides, I wasn't even looking…I was having a relationship with myself for a while.

This isn't the time to spill the whole tale, only to introduce you to my world and invite you into my blog. I find it fitting that I enter the Holy Bloggership on Independence Day, as in a way Independence Day to me is tied to the weekend we got married some 5 years ago. It's an odd study in opposites, but ironically I celebrate my independence on our anniversary, the day I got married, the day I became a dependant and the day I closed the chapter on much of my past family ties.

It is the day I finally dissolved the visceral need for a mother, the mother I never had, the mother who couldn't be present in my life, as a child or an adult. The mother who "just couldn't make it" to my wedding or to much else in my life, with no explanation other than "she just couldn't do it." But that was just her way. After a whole lifetime of this, I had finally decided to give it a rest. To stop banging my head against some dead end wall that was never going to open. To totally drop it. To truly move on. I finally got it.

So for me, celebrating my marriage, in celebrating our partnership and inter-dependence, was really like celebrating my independence from the past, (or the grip it held on me anyway), as I turned a fresh clean page on my future.

Every year I like to reconnect to that feeling and be grateful for the new family we have created, the healing that has occurred, and the ride of my life. For in learning to trust, learning to love deeply, learning to make space for another and then another, learning to mother, like learning to crawl, I am learning to live a whole new way.

The Compass Girl has taken root, blossomed and given fruit, and now all I can think of to say is, Go Mama, Go!


Suzy said...

Congratulatons on your maiden blogging journey! Perfect day! The fireworks are for you!!!

jennifer said...

Yes! Go North...no west! No South. No...east...screw it, stay put!

Congrats on your blog! Great writing too!!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Woo hoo! Congratulations on your blog, your healing, your journey, and YOU!

Learning Lollipops said...

To read your piece is to "sit" with you in our class again. As I read it, I see and hear you clearly. Enjoyed the reading immensely.