Tag Archives: beautiful mess

Pink

23 May

A few days ago I changed the look of my blog to make it perkier and give it a lighter ambience.  One thing I made sure was consistent, though, is the color: pink.  I have had a love-hate-love relationship with pink throughout my life.  I thought today I would give you a little glimpse into me using the color pink as a framework.

When I was very young my parents were members of an Apostolic Pentecostal church because my uncle was a pastor there.  One foundation of that faith is that women (and girls) are required to only wear dresses and to keep their hair long.  There are all sorts of other strict rules, but the basic idea is that femininity is required – even for babies.  That means that I actually learned to “crawl” in a dress.  I put crawl in quotes because I couldn’t really use my knees like most children do since the dresses made it virtually impossible.  Picture this:  me in a frilly pink dress, hair that had never been cut, “crawling” around on my hands and feet in this weird hunched/ crouching position so that I could maneuver around without tripping myself.  I think I have a photo of that somewhere, actually.  I will have to try and find it.

It wasn’t quite like this, but you get the general idea…

In my early childhood pink was a staple.  Even after we changed churches and parted ways with the stringent guidelines I owned tons of cute outfits, hair clips, and chunky plastic jewelry that was pink.  When I was about 6 years old my parents bought 10 acres of land in the country, and my Mom started designing a new house for us.  We got to pick everything, which was very exciting for me.  I picked out pink carpet, pink paint for my walls, pink wallpaper border, and a pink bedspread.  We moved in when I was about 7 years old, and I loved my new room.

In the next few years I got more active in sports (softball and horse-back riding mostly), started exploring those 10 acres, and became a tree-climbing, tough, tomboy who loved getting dirty, didn’t mind a few cuts and scrapes, and spent more time with my horses and dogs than playing dress-up.  I started hating the color pink with a passion.  I decided orange was my new favorite color, I think mostly because it isn’t “girly” at all.  I named all of my stuffed animals “orangey,” even the ones that had absolutely no orange in them.  I also spent some time ripping the heads off of my sister’s Barbie dolls just to prove how not interested I was in being frilly and delicate.

As I changed from a pre-teen into a full-blow teenager orange was no longer my favorite color, but pink was still at the very bottom of my list.  I gravitated to blue, gray, black, and anything that made me feel tough.  I think part of that had to do with the fact that I was very picked on in school.  I was home-schooled by my Mom until 6th grade, which I thought was wonderful.  I was super-fast with my school-work, which allowed me to skip a grade and have more time to play outside.  I could finish my lessons for the day in just a few hours at home.

Then I changed to private school for 2 years.  Not only were the lessons excruciatingly, unnecessarily long (it took 3 or 4 times what I had been spending to go over things that I found incredibly simple), but the kids were mean.  Private schools sound good in theory, especially to religious parents who think their children will get the benefit of Christian teachings, prayer, and smaller class sizes.  Let me tell you something – the reality is much different.  Private schools are full of kids who have been rejected from public schools because of their bad attitudes, problems focusing, and in some cases drug habits.  Sure, there are only 15-20 students in an entire grade.  That just means you can’t get away from the bullies.  Ever.

I was very glad to switch to public school for 8th grade through graduation.  At least there I could blend in, fade into the background a bit, and hopefully find a niche for myself.  Still, I was the “new kid.”  Everyone had been together, known one another, and formed their social circles since elementary school.  I wasn’t especially popular, outgoing, or interested in the “normal” teenage drama.  I came to despise the color pink even more because it was associated with the narcissistic, cruel, and shallow group of “mean girls.”

I did end up finding my own comfort zone in show choir, academics, and a few musicals and plays (even though I never fit in with the drama crowd).  I had a few close friends, I was relatively well-liked and respected, although not popular by anyone’s standards, and I was able to avoid being ridiculed for the most part.  I graduated at the top of my class, and couldn’t have been happier to leave it all behind.

I will skip most of the stuff in between then and now because it really doesn’t relate to my journey with the color pink.  Once I became a more self-assured adult something slowly changed about my opinion of pink.  It started with just a few nice pops of pink in a pretty shirt.  I realized I was okay with being feminine – in fact, it was something that made me feel good about myself.  I bought a bright pink shirt for the summer and noticed how much it flattered my dark hair and fair skin.

Slowly pink started making its way back into my life.  Now it represented confidence.  I could own pink for myself, not as something forced onto me by religion, culture, my parents, or the “in crowd.”  I also found that since I was more confident in myself I was okay with the vulnerability and softness that pink sometimes implies.  I didn’t have to be tough all the time.  I didn’t have to be strong, invincible, and shielded from the world.  I could just be me.  And I discovered that “me” likes pink.

I have been shaped by my life experiences and have grown because of them.  I still like black and gray, but I also enjoy silver and pink.  In fact, black and pink were the colors of my wedding.  I wanted this blog to have a pink theme because it reminds me of the journey I have taken to be okay with pink.  It reminds me that I can be vulnerable.  It reminds me that I am fluid – changing and becoming a different person every day.  That is why pink is important to me.

Silly Monday

21 May

Once again it is time for my silly Monday list of random questions to answer.  I got this one from the archives of Sunday Stealing.  Without further ado, here it is:

1. Have you ever licked the back of a CD to try to get it to work?
I don’t even know what this means, and have no intention of finding out.  No.

2. What’s the largest age difference between yourself and someone you’ve dated?
20 years.  With my husband.

3. Ever been in a car wreck?
Yes, when I was in high school.  My friend was driving and rear-ended someone.  I was very, very glad that I had my seat belt on.  It is one of the reasons that I always wear it.

4. Were you popular in high school?
Not in the least.  Unless you count my chorus friends.  I had a lot of those, and they came from all sorts of “clicks.”  Overall, though, I was made fun of and not very accepted.  That’s what happens when you are new(ish) to the school, introverted, have a sarcastic sense of humor that no one gets, and are super devoted to your studies (I graduated with a 4.3 GPA).  I’m just fine with that, though, because I like who I am and I think they are the ones who missed out!

5. Have you ever been on a blind date?
Absolutely not.  I would never go for anything like that.

6. Are looks important?
Not in the traditional sense.  I don’t really care if someone could be a super model or not.  In the looks department what matters the most is being well-groomed.  Besides that personality really is key!

7. Do you have any friends that you’ve known for 10 years or more?
Not really, unless you count family.  See previous question re: popularity.  I have a few people that I still keep in contact with via Facebook, but I don’t really think that counts.

8. By what age would you like to be married?
I’m already married, so I don’t think this question really applies.  However, I will say that I never had a “taget age” for marriage.  I’m not really someone who cares about that type of thing.  I have always marched to the beat of my own drummer.

9. Does the number of people a person’s slept with affect your view of them?
I would like to say no because I don’t like to think of myself as a judgemental person, but in reality it absolutely does.  I was raised in a very conservative home, and I still have some deeply ingrained traditional values.  I can’t reconcile sleeping around with my view of the world and the importance of committment and monogamy.  I do think of both men and women who have a lot of sexual partners as sluts.  If that offends you, I apologize, but I firmly believe that sex is something that is important, special, and that should not be given away lightly.

10. Have you ever made a mistake?
What kind of question is that?  Everyone has made a mistake of some sort.  I have made many mistakes in my life, and I’m sure I will make many more before I am gone.

11. Are you a good tipper?
If I have a good server.  I don’t believe in free rides just because you are a warm body, though.  There is some standard of service that I expect, and I tip on a sliding scale according to how well those standards are met.

12. What’s the most you have spent for a haircut?
Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of $60, including a (generous) tip.  A good hair style (and stylist) is important.  I also only really indulge about once per year, so I don’t mind paying a little more than the Great Clips $12 discount price.  I usually take care of trims myself, or get my Mom to tackle bigger shape-ups.

13. Have you ever had a crush on a teacher?
Yes, I think so.  Although keep in mind that my rather naïve version of a crush generally just meant that I was attracted to his incredible knowledge.  The idea of actually making out with or going any further than that with a teacher always grossed me out.

14. Have you ever peed in public?
I’m not sure what this question is really asking.  Are you asking if I have used a public restroom?  The answer to that is of course.

15. What song do you want played at your funeral?
I’m not really sure.  I haven’t thought about that.  I sing at funerals pretty regularly, though.  I do like the version of Amazing Grace by Chris Tomlin.  Here’s the video.  It still gives me chills every time I watch it.

16. Would you tell your parents if you were gay?
Funny that would be one of the questions…  I have already told my parents that I am bisexual.  In fact, I lived with a partner of the same sex for several years before I met and married my husband.  Honestly, I believe it is incredibly important to be who you are.  It wasn’t easy telling my parents, especially since we are in the south and they are incredibly religious.  I couldn’t live a lie, though.

17. What would your last meal be before getting executed?
I would hope that I will never have to deal with that.  I don’t plan to murder anyone.  However, I’ll entertain this for the heck of it…  I would want my last meal to be home-made macaroni and cheese, a filet mignon, crabs, and a giant piece of double chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.

18. Beatles or Stones?
Neither…  I was not alive during the time that either of those bands were big.  My understanding is that their time was in the 60s and 70s.  I wasn’t even a twinkle in my parents’ eyes at that point (as the saying goes).

19. If you had to pick one person on earth to die, who would it be?
That’s a really weird question.  I don’t know everyone on earth, so I don’t know how to answer it.  I guess one of the active serial killers who are operating in the country.

20. Beer, wine or hard liquor?
White wine or flavored rum, please!  I have had to swear all alcohol off due to my antidepressant medication, though.

21. Do you have any phobias?
I don’t really think so.  I am terrified of dying in a fire, though.  I think that would be the worst death I can imagine…  Other than torture.  I really can’t handle torture, even in movies and TV shows.  It’s just awful.  I don’t think that is necessarily a phobia, though.

22. What are your plans for the future?
Keep growing and changing to be the best version of me that I can be.

Lessons from Judge Judy

18 May

Of course right after such a positive post yesterday I came home last night and discovered my husband has been lying to me again.  Not about sex stuff, but about money.  It wasn’t just a one-time lie.  It has been a continual lie over the last 2 weeks.  It took all of the wind out of my sails, and I really couldn’t handle it emotionally.  Let’s just say Mr. Mess slept on the couch last night…

I have to thank Judge Judy, though, for giving me some hard lessons about how to tell what is the truth and what isn’t.  Here are some of my favorites:Judge Judy

“If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not true.”

“You don’t have to have a good memory if you’re telling the truth.”

“If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.  Your story, sir, is not a duck!”

I actually used the second one on my husband last night.  As his story changed for the 3rd or 4th time I told him that you don’t have to have a good memory if what you’re telling me is the truth.  The truth just is…  You need to use your memory when you’re trying to remember a made-up story.  When it’s the truth it doesn’t change so all you have to do is say what happened…  Plus, what he was saying just didn’t make sense.  So it couldn’t be true!  Sure enough… after several MORE denials (“I wish I could find that invoice that shows what they charged me for”) he finally fessed up that he had been lying to me.  If you can even call it “fessing up” when I busted him and wouldn’t let him squirm his way out of it…

So after what has been a very good few weeks of moving forward, we have once again started taking steps back.  I don’t really know what I expected.  After all, yesterday I even said, “Sure, there have been a few low points and some disappointments – there are always bound to be some of those.”  I just didn’t expect one of those “low points” to be the very same day…  There’s irony for you!

It’s like I’m being tested to see if I really meant it when I said, “When we have setbacks, I need to remind myself of everything we have made it past and how much farther along the road we are now.”  I still think that’s true.  To my credit, I think I handled this a lot better than I would have in the past.  There was no yelling, no waving about of the arms, no crying.  I just couldn’t brush it off and snuggle up for a nice night’s sleep, though.  I read in a book this morning that when someone hurts you and that person doesn’t fully change their behavior every fresh wound brings back all of the pain from each past injury as well.  That is really what is happening to me right now.  In the grand scheme of things this is not the worse thing he has done, but it hurts pretty bad just the same.

That’s where my quandary lies.  I want to be positive.  I want to give him the benefit of the doubt.  I want our trust to be repaired.  I want to let my walls down.  But he’s a liar, and liars lie – about everything – small lies, big lies, sex lies, random lies, money lies… you name it.  I want to believe him, I want to move forward, but I don’t know how to find the right balance.

I feel like the kid at the top who is just waiting for the other person to drop him.
Photo Credit

My “gut” knew there was something fishy when he his story changed slightly the first time (about a week ago).  My head knew there was something off, too.  So why did I just let it go?  Especially knowing what I know about his history of lying…

Was it because I somehow wanted to fool myself and keep my good feelings?

Because I was afraid to be negative?

Because I just wanted so badly to believe him?

Now I’m also wondering what my reaction should be.  That’s one of the main reasons I asked him to spend the night away from me.  I needed space to sort through my thoughts because this whole thing has really gotten into my head big time.  I’m so turned around and upside down that I’m at the point where I don’t even trust myself.  I don’t know how I should feel or sometimes even fully what I feel.  Let me just give you a little glimpse of what I mean.

Feelings.  I’m feeling pretty betrayed.  I’m feeling stupid and naïve for dismissing my initial doubt to take his word.  More than anything I’m feeling shut out by him.  When he lies to me because he “gets caught up” or “is afraid of my reaction” what he’s really saying is that he doesn’t trust me.  What I get from his actions is that he wants to keep stuff from me, exclude me from things (like finances) that I should be included in, and that he doesn’t feel like I’m worthy of the full truth.  It doesn’t really matter if he’s thinking all of those things when he lies to me because that is the effect of his lies.  He is robbing me of the chance to participate, to really know him, and to have a say in my own life.

What I’m not feeling that I think I should feel is anger.  I’m not really that angry at all.  I’m mostly just deflated.  Disappointed.  Resigned to the fact that this is my life.  I want to have righteous indignation.  I’ve had that before, and it really takes all of this complicated stuff off of the table when you can just rage a little bit.  I have found it isn’t productive, though…  Once the raging is done you still have to deal with all of this mess in the aftermath.  It just makes it harder to connect.  That I’m not angry makes me feel like I’m somehow “letting him off the hook,” though.  That leads to…

Reaction and Resolution.  What is an appropriate response to this?  He is waiting for me to come home so we can talk about this, but I still don’t know what I really want to say.  I don’t want to blow this up into something huge, but I don’t want it to seem like it’s not important either.  What I really want to know is why he keeps lying to me.  We’ve had that conversation a thousand times before (at least it seems that way).  Actually, I kind of know why – he’s a liar.  I don’t mean that in the incredibly negative and judgemental way that it sounds.  It’s just the truth.  He has a very long pattern of lying as a means of avoiding repercussions, making himself feel better about himself (by hiding the things he does wrong), “protecting” other people’s feelings, and taking the easy way out.  It’s something he has done since he was a kid.  It’s almost a knee-jerk reaction to lie and cover up “bad news” or a mistake.  It’s good that he recognizes the pattern, but that doesn’t really help me feel any better about it.

Scratch what I said before – what I REALLY want to know is why he didn’t catch himself somewhere along the way.  That is something we have talked about a lot.  It is a promise that he has made to me – if he feels like he is about to lie he will try to catch himself, if he doesn’t catch himself and he lies he will come clean, and if he doesn’t do either one of those things he will at the very least admit the lie when I confront him.  He didn’t do any of those things.  In fact, he did the exact opposite.  He lied to me.  Then he lied to me again about the same thing…  And again the next time it came up…  And when I questioned him as his story kept changing he still kept lying and denying.  If I hadn’t had the power of Judge Judy’s logic on my side he would have just kept on gaslighting me forever.

So what’s a girl to do?  I’m not really sure (and I’m heading home in less than 5 minutes).  I guess I will figure it out as I go.  It’s just another Frustrating Friday…

Taking the Leap

26 Apr

Yesterday I was contemplating changing the name of my blog to focus more on me and more on the positive.  I took my friend Ben’s advice and slept on it, and today I decided to make the change.  I have officially changed the title of my blog to Beautiful Mess.  I have also updated the website address to www.beaingabeautifulmess.wordpress.com.  I am already glad that I have made this leap.

I have beeing taking other leaps of faith in my “real” life, too.  I am still working on letting go (see my post Letting Go… Easier Said Than Done), and I have been seeing much more success in that area lately.  In the last few weeks I have let go of my feeling of responsibility for my husband going back to individual counseling.  I told him why it was important to me, how it would make me feel if he went back (safer, loved, and important), set a deadline…  and he took care of it!  I realized how good it feels to give away responsibility for things that weren’t mine to take responsibility for in the first place.  I want to be the “fixer” but then get frustrated that I’m having to do all of the work.  The only way to stop that is to stop “fixing” and start asking for what I need.

I have also worked on my procrastination (see Procrastination… Check).  Last night I went back to my women’s support group for wives of sex addicts, and remembered how much I love being able to connect to other women who are going through the same thing.  It was like going back to your childhood home – that feeling of nostalgia, welcome, and being transported back like nothing ever changed.  Of course things had changed a bit – for all of us – but there was the same camaraderie and understanding.  Blogging and being part of an online community are very valuable, but there is something about being in a room and speaking face-to-face with other people who honestly know how you feel that is validating in a way I can’t quite describe.

That’s certainly not to discount my blogging buddies!  I have also been inspired by other bloggers a lot this week.  I have found several women this week in the forums and blogs who seem to be going through the same internal battles that I am.  One really struck me today:  If Happy Ever After Did Exist – Diving Off The Cliff.  Her blog in general always hits home – it’s like we are living parallel lives.  In this particular post she talks about coming up with her expectations for their marriage recovery, then handing them over to her husband to let him discover his own way to meet them.  That is exactly where I am right now.  I get to set the bar, but my husband has to find his own way to get there.  It is his problem to solve.

Just like me, the whole process is somewhat terrifying for her.  The overriding fear is what will happen if he doesn’t do the work.  I have those same worries.  If I’m not there driving, will he take the wheel or crash us?  What if he can’t figure out his own way? What if he isn’t motivated?  What if he just doesn’t meet my goals or expectations?  It used to paralyze me.  It is still really, really scary if I’m being totally honest with myself.

But I’ve realized that all I can do is make goals, set deadlines for when I want to see things accomplished, and be ready for him to either do it or fail.  And if he fails I have to decide what that will mean for me and what actions I will take in response.  I guess that is the scariest part – am I ready to deal with failure?  Historically I’m not very good with it and have done everything I can to avoid it at all costs.  For now I am choosing to feel positive.  I’m not pushing away or burying my fear, but after I feel it I try to let it go.  I am choosing instead to believe in my husband and that he will step up.  I have to give him the opportunity to shine.

So for now this play-by-the-rules, need-to-be-in-charge, scared-of-failure woman is taking a giant leap and letting go of the outcome.  I’m going to trust, face my fears, and stop worrying if my husband will be there to catch me.  I just have to believe that he will be.  Thanks again to My Ideal Woman, Repairing Shattered Pieces, and all of the other people out there in blog world who have been reading, supporting me, and helping me to feel positive and empowered about myself!

Beautiful Mess

25 Apr

Today I’ve been thinking about the username that I chose for this site – beautifulmess7.  It’s something that I have used from time to time in the past, although it has never been my main username.  When I started thinking about blogging it came to mind immediately for a few reasons.  First of all, it doesn’t contain any part of my name which is important to me since I want to remain anonymous.  Secondly, none of the other usernames I have used in the past seemed to really fit the theme of this blog.  But more than anything it captures what I am now, who I was when I started this relationship, and it embraces the fact that I can be a total mess and still be beautiful inside.

I also have to admit something.  I stole the idea from a song.  You already know that music is a huge part of my life.  This is just more proof of that.  So I decided to continue along the music theme and explain my choice with songs.  Here are a few videos of songs that have inspired my choice and express some of the various aspects of how I feel about myself.

Diamond RioBeautiful Mess

Okay, so this was the original inspiration.  This song came out about 10 years ago, and I loved it.  Then when I first met my husband in 2007 I felt like I really knew what the song meant for the first time.  I wanted to spend all of my time with him.  I was staying out late.  I felt this heady mixture of adrenaline, endorphins, and reckless abandon.  It was definitely something like an addiction – and I know now that it wasn’t all that healthy.  Still, the sly smile was always on my face and for the first time in my life I didn’t have everything under control, in its place, and buttoned up.

Then later, after the infidelity and all of the crazy ups and downs, the beautiful mess part had a deeper meaning to me.  I felt like I was the mess.  Now the “haze” was from shock and hurt, not lust.  I literally had a terrible time concentrating on anything and I was always tired.  But it wasn’t fun this time.  Yet somehow I was able to find strength inside of myself that I didn’t think I had.  Instead of his unfaithfulness making me feel worthless, I discovered that I now knew with conviction that I didn’t deserve this.  That I am worthy of honor and respect.  That I am beautiful.  Despite the turmoil and the pain.  Despite the awful mess I found myself in.

Here are the parts of this song that resonated with me the most then and still do today:

“Going out of my mind these days
Like I’m walking round in a haze
I can’t think straight,
I can’t concentrate
And I need to shave

I go to work and I look tired
The boss man said son you gonna get fired
This ain’t your style
And behind my coffee cup I just smile

What a beautiful mess, what a beautiful mess I’m in
Spending all my time with you
There’s nothing else I’d rather do
What a sweet addiction that I’m caught up in

Cause I can’t get enough
Can’t stop the hunger for your love
What a beautiful mess
What a beautiful mess I’m in”

Hunter Hayes – Storm Warning

 This song is one that I just heard on the radio the other day.  I have to admit that I hadn’t even seen the video until today.  Even though I only heard it one time, it stuck in my head.  It took me a while to find it this morning, but I’m glad I did.  The first thing that struck me had absolutely nothing to do with the song itself.  He looks like he is about 15!  I’m not sure how old he really is, but I do know that he seems very talented.  After doing a quick search I found out that he plays a ton of instruments (guitar, piano, drums, bass and more) and has written songs for Rascal Flatts and Montgomery Gentry.  Very impressive!

Back to the song.  I like the imagery of the woman being like a storm.  It feels very powerful.  I also really connect to the part when he says she is, “One part angel, one part perfect, one part a wreck.”  I certainly don’t feel perfect, but I like the contrast between being something ethereal and beautiful and ruined all at once.  It also mentions burning wheels and being somewhere between coming and going.  I feel like that a lot these days.

Here are the parts of this song that I relate to the most (I realize that it is most of the song…):

“Have you ever noticed every hurricane
Gets its name from a girl like this?
She’s a cat 5 kind keeps you up at night
Hangin’ on to the edge of a kiss

She’s a beautiful mess
Yeah, the kind you love to love
But what happens next?
I got a feelin’ when the sun comes up

I’m gonna wish I had a storm warnin’
I’m gonna wish I had a sign
I’m gonna wish I had a little heads up
A little leeway, a little more time
Some kind of radar system
Locked in on love
I got a feelin’ by the time the night finds the mornin’
I’m gonna wish I had a storm warnin’

Ain’t it funny how it feels when you’re burnin’ your wheels
Somewhere between goin’ and gone
You get so lost that you can’t turn it off
You give in and you just turn it on
She’s a heart full of rain, red lips like a flame
She’s a girl from your favorite song

What a beautiful mess
One part angel, one part perfect, one part a wreck
The kind of flood you’ll never forget”

Well that’s it for now.  Those are really the two songs that I had on my mind this morning.  More of my ramblings will be coming later on.  In the meantime, what do you think about me potentially changing the name of my blog to Beautiful Mess?  I have been thinking about it a lot, and I think it might represent more of who I am.  It is also a bit more positive, at least in my mind…

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