Monday, April 7, 2014
This Is Me ("My Messy Beautiful")
How is it that the people with the cleanest homes are always the ones that say,
“Please excuse my messy house…I haven’t had a chance to clean.”? They say it without embarrassment but I’m thinking with a bit of smugness hiding in their words. “Trust me,” I say, “I know messy. There’s no messy here.”
I am writing this essay-blog for the Messy, Beautiful Glennon Lloyd-Melton Project. (She wrote, Carry On Warrior.) And when you mention “messy” to me, the first thing I think of is my home. Shouldn't it be a warm safe harbor, our home? I have days, a few days of the year, where it feels that way. But there’s soooo many days where it is the enemy. A battle waiting to be won. Laundry should be called “laun” because then it would be a four-letter word. And the kitchen “sink” already is one.
When my family and I aren't home making a mess, I have a dog, a hamster (their urine really stinks…don’t get one...no one ever told me that) and a beta fish who continue to do that while I’m gone.
I love coming home to a pretty home. When everything is in order and there is NOTHING FOR ME TO WORK ON THE MINUTE I WALK IN THE DOOR. I LOVE pretty. I even put on some pretty text to sit down and write.
I've been through the real messy stuff, too. A miscarriage, a divorce, the loss of my mom and then my dad a month later, (cancers...how cruel) but I tend to not think of those things as messy. I don’t write too much about them. They are all dear to my heart and so very sacred. But they don’t make me different or lonely or in need of sympathy. They don’t even make me messy. They make me normal. When I had the miscarriage, I felt awful. But on the same day as my D&C, I learned that one in three pregnancies end in a miscarriage. I suddenly felt normal. I had team members in large numbers by my side.
I like to keep things private to keep them less messy. When I had the miscarriage, no one even knew we were pregnant until the miscarriage. So no one else had the opportunity to mourn with me. A family friend dropped by after I came home from the procedure and wanted to say Hi.
I said, “I’m sorry…I’m not really up for company. I just had a D&C due to a miscarriage.” That was a messy moment. And REALLLLY awkward. Only because I REALLLY didn’t feel like talking.
My messy is me. I’m way too private. (Except for when I’m behind my keyboard.) I don’t share enough about myself to really close friends. (“Oh, by the way, four years ago my husband had an affair and I’m still not dealing with it very well. Can we talk? Yes…that IS my secret diet and the reason why I’m way thin.”)
I find that if I talk about those messy matters, then I feel them way more often than I care to…or want to. They won’t go away, just because I’m feeling them more. I will still have to deal with them. But if I keep them private, I won’t have to hear people say: “how are you doing…are you okay?” Because that’s a reminder. A reminder of something that I would rather put aside until I’m alone and have the quiet space I need to try to figure out how I am going to embrace my new life. My life without that baby. A life as a single woman. That life without parents…without M.O.M.
O.M.G. Without Mom. Moms are everything. You won’t know that until yours is gone. They are your foundation to every single living cell in your being. Literally and figuratively.
So what is my messy-beautiful? I use this to pay a tribute to my messy, beautiful mom. She was a pack-rat, so she knows about a messy house. I’m sure that’s where my messy house comes from. So it’s not so messy, then. When you find those reminders of a Love that is gone, you inhale anything that reminds you of them. My sense of direction. I LOVE getting lost on road trips. It reminds me of my mom and her bad sense of direction. My thighs, as much as they aren't so pretty, they remind me of my mom each time I look down and there she is. Those funky words that she would use and I would giggle over them. They escape the crevices of my mouth on occasion as I get older. I would have cringed at them if she were alive, but now I smile. Mom lives on in me. And it’s messy, but I will never find myself apologizing for it. I will embrace it. Because I can no longer embrace her. Mom…you were Messy. But God you were Beautiful. I Miss You.
This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!
Katherine A. Rayne is author of, Back To Being A Woman (Without Changing the Man), a book on relationship replenishment. Contact Katherine at ItsHappening@BackToBeingAWoman.com