Friday, August 24, 2012

out here on my own...

It's been four months since my last post...
Sometimes I wonder where I've been
Who I am 
Do I fit in. 
Make believin' is hard alone,
Out here on my own.




On a darkened stage one afternoon, Coco Hernandez (Irene Cara) sang what was deep within her heart as Bruno Martelli (Lee Curreri) listened intently.  The movie Fame premiered in 1980 - I was 15 years old and destined to be a brilliant actress - for god's sake... I had already been cast in a supporting, ensemble role in a high school production!

We're always provin' who we are 
Always reachin' for the risin' star 
To guide me far
And shine me home
Out here on my own.



Needless to say, thirty odd years later I am not a brilliant actress -that dream faded along with the popularity of the movie Fame (but wouldn't it just be a hoot if I was?).  I am a wife, mother, artist and 'accidental advocate'.  I have a wonderful and caring family, and though I am not alone, the song 'Out Here On My Own' seems as relevant to me today as it did in 1980, yet in such different way.  So, how exactly does this fit together?  Lack of posts?  The movie Fame?  Out Here On My Own?  


Mid-Summer I posted this image:


It was meant to be followed up immediately by this post.
Apparently that didn't happen, as it's now the end of August and I'm just writing this.

When I'm down and feelin' blue 
I close my eyes so I can be with you
Oh, baby, be strong for me
Baby, belong to me
Help me through
Help me need you. 

When the girls were younger, my husband and I had made the joint decision that I would stay home with them.  It's been equally rewarding and challenging as many of you know.  However, as their needs grew, I felt my own identity slipping away.  

And then it hit like a ton of bricks.  For about the past four months - I've been feeling lost.  I find myself becoming more withdrawn as each day passes.  I'm sure we all feel like this at times - a bit lost.  With so many things to take care of, I find at times I take care of nothing.  We are mothers, wives, providers, educators, advocates and problems-solvers... but sometimes I wonder:  Who am I?  It sounds so simple, and I should be able to answer.  Who. Am. I?

Until the morning sun appears 
Making light of all my fears 
I dry the tears
I've never shown
Out here on my own.

The exterior me shows strength and confidence.  Yet the interior is slowly ripping herself apart.  


S.    L.     O.     W.     L.     Y.

We're talking a five to six year tear here.  Corresponding with???  You betcha - our diagnosis.  You see, I think there has always been a little part of me (2%? 5%? 10%?) that has been living in denial.  Who knows the actual percentage, but it gets pretty loud every now and then.  And then I think to myself, by admitting that this percentage even exists, what does that say about me?  That I don't support my daughter?  That I don't accept her for who she is?  Emma's a gem - I love her fully and completely.  Sometimes, it's hard though -it's really, really hard.  The play dates, the birthday parties, the sleepovers... all those 'typical' activities she sees her younger sister partaking in, but she never gets asked to partake in.  But everyone's so 'friendly' to Emma, right?  There's a BIG difference between being 'friendly' and being a 'friend'.  The hardest thing you will ever do as a parent, will be to watch the things you have absolutely no control over take place.

When I'm down and feelin' blue 
I close my eyes so I can be with you
Oh, baby, be strong for me
Baby, belong to me
Help me through
Help me need you. 

As I work through this song - 'Out Here On My Own', I ask myself:  Who is Coco/Irene asking 'Baby, be strong for me, baby belong to me.  Help me through, help me need you'?  My only answer can be:  HERSELF.  She will find it within herself to get through, to be strong, to be who she needs to be - to be the best she can be - for herself.  I need to be strong for myself, so I'm able to be strong for my daughters.  I need to know who I am, so my daughters will be able to know who they are...  

Sometimes I wonder where I've been 
Who I am 
Do I fit in
I may not win
But I can't be thrown
Out here on my own
On my own.

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to visit with two very dear girlfriends (both whom are living in different states now).  They're friends from college - you know the kind... the ones who have known you since you were just finding your feet.  The kind of friends you don't have to 'edit' yourself around, because they've already seen you at your best and worst.  We went to art school together, so trust me... there were plenty of 'worst' times!  We shared so much in school:  laughter, tears, inspiration!  I miss those ladies.  Seeing them - albeit separately - enabled me to find some of those small pieces of myself again... to begin to answer the question Who I am.   


I am an artist.  I am a wife.  I am a mother.  I am an advocate.  
I am a gardener.  I am a photographer.  I am an avid reader.  I am strong.

  
'To reach your destination... First you must begin your journey'.  

As I mentioned to a friend earlier today:  It's time to take off the dirty old robe and toss it away.  It's time to start this new journey, to rediscover who I am - to be reacquainted with these different aspects of myself.  In order to 'reach my destination' Fasten Her Seatbelt may change a bit, for not only will this be about Emma's journey, but mine as well.

Title Inspiration:
Irene Cara:  Out Here On My Own

1 comment:

  1. you are ready to get out there. your identity is a constant flux. all ours are. your battle has a diagnosis, a name, a general starting point, most don't. play to your strengths, you got a lot of them ;)

    Illegitimi non carborundum, girl!!!

    do or do not, there is no try

    all who wander are not lost

    <3 U

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