This One’s For Outlaw Mama

Cue tears of longing

It had been a long time since I lost my shit on public transportation. But I had on my big sunglasses and decided that my train car was just full enough to give me the requisite dose of anonymity.

From behind my shades, I saw a group of teenaged boys passing around an iPod so each could take a turn listening to a song that made them smirk. I wondered if it was LMFAO.  A girl with a pierced nose saw me wipe away a runaway tear.

I didn’t care.

Once that first tear slid down my cheek, I knew I would cry all the way downtown– through all six train stops until I got where I was going.  I stood in the back of the very last car letting each bubble of grief rise up and spill out of me.

When the train stalled at the Chicago stop, I was crying hard enough to need to blow  my nose. “Atta girl, let it out.”  I was being so nice to myself, and it was making me cry even harder. As the train sputtered and lurched on its way out of the station, I softened my knees so my body could move easily with the jolts. I leaned in to each curve and bend.  The more I softened, the harder I cried.

I cried because I am stuck, and I am searching.  And, I haven’t found “it” yet– that place that’s my own.  The place where I don’t have to share one fucking thing.  With anyone.  My friends. My kids. My husband. You.  The place where I get to unpack my own toys and make my own mess.  The place where I get to truly exhale, unhook my bra and slouch while eating crunchy, fatty potato chips straight from the bag– pausing only to lick the cheesy, salty residue from my fingers. I am thinking Doritos.

The space is emotional. That’s obvious, right?

I am not searching for this just because I am a mother, though mothers do have a reputation for struggling to find “their own space.”  I am searching for this because it’s worth finding, and it so happens I also have children.

I am looking for the place where there is only me.  There’s no audience to woo, no followers to attract, no competition, no sisters, no parents, no kids, no therapists.  There is no relentless chasing– of Facebook or Twitter or Freshly Pressed or Huffington Post. There are no comments to monitor or to which I must respond.

There is no one to please, because it’s just me.  And I don’t have to please myself.  That’s the great thing about having a relationship with myself: I decided long ago I wasn’t going to bring my everyday bullshit into my relationship with myself.  Because the relationship has to be a refuge from all of that. Otherwise, why bother?

Some posts are for you.  Some are for laughs.  Some are for contests or attention.  Some are for the people I imagine never believed in me or hope I fail even a little bit.  Some are for my idealized version of myself.

And some posts are just for me.

This is one of those.


26 thoughts on “This One’s For Outlaw Mama

  1. So very, very good. Try to pretend you didn’t see that I said that. And also try to avoid contact with the “like” button I pressed. I couldn’t help myself, and I feel 100% of what you are feeling. Thank you.

  2. I don’t know where that space is either but I agree it’s worth looking for. What’s disturbing to me is that I don’t think I’ve ever thought to look for it with passion you’re describing. Just over a year ago I took an online class through Bravegirlsclub dot com called Soul Restoration. The idea was to kick everyone out of your “soul house” so that you could restore it back to it’s original condition. It was a fun, artsy-crafty, thought provoking project and played a big role in me deciding to get sober. But now that I really think about it, I refilled my soul house pretty quickly with people and things before I got a chance to live in it by myself. Definitely something for me to think about. Thank you for opening your soul and putting this out there.

  3. Tearing are running down my face, I don;t know you one bit, but this post made me feel like you know me. I’m still looking for that space.

  4. To find my place, I would have to not only outrun my children, husband, dogs, friends, extended family and volunteer commitments, but also myself. I am my own worst critic, and try as I might to shake her, I can’t. She is always there and I am *never* alone. However, a good cry sometimes gives her a little distance from me.

    • That’s exactly my experience in terms of the cry. I am working on being less of a critic and more of a refuge to myself. (I almost typed “refuse” which is interesting.) At least I don’t have dogs to outrun. Dogs scare me.

  5. Pingback: My Version of Elevator Chit-Chat | Outlaw Mama

  6. The unhooking your bra and eating potato chips part made me smile, because isn’t that the moment when a mom/writer/friend/partner who is everything to everybody can finally breathe? I’m a newish writer/blogger, and I’m constantly overwhelmed by it. To hear someone who’s really good at it say that it’s too much sometimes is a relief. It doesn’t always fulfill the dark parts, and maybe it doesn’t have to. Thank you for this.

    • Thank you for the affirmation and for “getting it”. It’s such a weird ride– this blogging…. It’s like I love it and use it to torture myself. I think I use family obligations like that too.

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