Friday, June 21, 2013

Mommy Wears Osh Kosh

Way back when I was weird. I had days when I didn't want anyone to know and then days when I was unabashed and certainly not ashamed of being different. Until one day Mom and I were shopping in Traverse City and I fell in love with a pair of overalls. They were dark wash, loose fitting, and had a white star embroidered on the front bib. This particular pair was held up with strings that you tied in the back. They were just cool enough to not be too weird. Then, like most everything else, I made them weird. I dipped my hands in white paint and put hand prints all over them. I wore them to school and now I know what it's like to be the girl that maybe but maybe not is pulling that off... Looking back, getting audibly laughed at didn't bother me that day because I was in love with what I was wearing. I defended my outfit and thus defended myself. Those bibs were an expression of who I was and who I wanted to be. I wanted to be different and forge my own path and for whatever reason that morning, I was daring and willing to put myself out there.

I now have a new pair of overalls. These come straight from the closet of my 73 years young father-in-law. They are already broken in where they should be and the fit is loose enough to let the breeze in, if you catch my drift. Trust me, blackberry picking in 100 degree Georgia weather makes you appreciate a well placed breeze. I wear them around the 40 acres like I'm Tom Sawyer's niece on a mission. They're my full access wear. Once again, bibs are taking part as an expression of who I am today.

This outfit says it all. Well, all there is to say really of the past several months. This is how I have looked:

Tank Top: from my punk rock days, circa 2005ish
Bibs: Osh Kosh
Boots: hand me down
Hat: Husband's, from highschool

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Hit Rock Bottom With a Bang

Dear Me, My Best Friend + All Of My Imaginary Friends,


Love to You,

Ashley Marie
28th Year

You want to talk about a rough year? Nah. Well, maybe. I really want to tout my survival. Over these past 13 months I found out truths of lies that devastate me. I have found out things that made me want to turn my back on love and run for anywherebuthere. My picture perfect fresh start turned out to be anything but. How did I get to here? To today? How did I make it? I have something to say about maturity. Coming to terms with reality and taking responsibility is hard, especially when there are other lives complicating things but lives that also depend on your ability to be an adult. It's rough when you are really trying to muster up the courage to run to your mother and blow your cover of "Everything is great!" but it takes all of your energy to try desperately to shield your children from the stark realizations you are having. I feel as though I am the child in The Giver who has realized pain in the world for the first time. As a victim of several childhood abuses, I never thought I would suffer so vastly as an adult. I have spent my entire life fighting to not be an adult victim. However, as one dark day clouded the next and then the one after that went up in flames and then the one after that I lost completely... I have flashbacks of myself lying on the floor in a flood of tears and sorrow, I have flashbacks of myself pitching fits to rival Catherine Linton's, I have flashbacks of those times I tried to get out of life. I am a victim of not only my surroundings but my mind. With just enough support to keep my lifeless head out of the water, I have survived. As a plus, I survived with no visible scars and not a single {obvious} mental disorder. Yay Me!

How? That's a loaded question.

I guess realizing that where you are, no matter who's fault it is, doesn't matter nearly as much as who you are while you are there. You can either let your surrounding consume you or fuel you. I'll be damned if I give up and live like this for the rest of my life. Although, I would be remiss if I did not count the blessings that I receive that have given me a place to pull strength from. I not only have relationships to nurture to keep me alive but also a certainty of support in case I to need to rely on someone besides myself for protection from a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. That, ma' dears, is how I made it through.

"Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away."

Here, I wrote this:

As I look at myself in the mirror, it is as if I just woke from a sleep that relieved me of the past year. I have come to this place by way of an epic journey. The details are not as important as the success of endurance. Determination, blood sweat & tears, damned stubbornness, sheer willpower, and love have been my companions. I can see the effect these experiences have had on my age. Twenty eight years of thread have already spun a tapestry of such detail and story. This is the tale of the pretty girl in the trailer park.

Well, there's much to share and many ways and days to let it happen. Later.

Check it:

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