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before you can say Yes…

October 17, 2014

you have to say No. A lot.

I want to just welcome new opportunities into my life. We’re not there yet.

By dismantling half of this year’s potager, while considering what differed this year that made it, overall, a disappointment, I discovered… I like greenery. Lots of greenery is good, especially if the shapes and/or textures of the leaves are interesting. BUT, I also need lots of flowers.

This year’s edition was hampered by two things: (1) to avoid neonicotinoids, I wasn’t able to buy any plants from our local nursery. Instead I bought certified-organic plants from a nonprofit environmental organization. Most of those plants died fairly quickly; 2 flowered first, but the blossoms were small, and not very colorful. (2) What I called “unknown neighbors” (but most people would call “weeds”) appeared in pots and windowboxes. As an experiment, I didn’t remove anybody. I eagerly awaited seeing what kind of flowers they would have! None of them flowered. And some of the cultivated plants they grew adjacent to (that had flowered last year) did not flower this year either.

I spent a lot less time in the potager this year than I normally do. That meant I needed other activities to step in, help regulate my moods. It’s a very good thing that I’m learning how to self-regulate, finally. But going to plants for comfort, for enthusiasm, for joy . . . seems for me to be sort of a liminal kind of place: not wholly outer, not wholly inner. I was raised amongst plants inside and outside. I can’t be completely at ease without plants nearby. But now I know, some of them need to flower, at least sometimes.


I’ve been idly looking for skilled things I can do to help other people out. I’ve applied only to the ones that looked especially interesting. No one has contacted me.

Instead of my usual desperation at this point, I’m just rolling along. Keeping an eye out for things I think I might want to do. (Rather than the more usual Yes to whatever I’m capable of/skilled at doing, whether or not I enjoy doing it.)


In the last few months, I’ve made even more friendly overtures than usual. Pretty much all of them, to date, have been ignored. (Also as usual.) But instead of feeling like a disgusting monster, I feel kind of . . . blank. I tend to forget that I even said or sent anything, until I stumble across a reminder.

I no longer feel like my entire self-worth is entangled with other peoples’ random responses to me.

That blankness, I recognize as similar to how I felt last year when I broke up with longstanding friends. I think it’s somehow a good thing: I’ve disinvested in social things I have no control over. Whatever happens, I’ll deal with it. But none of it is a referendum about me.


I got new “business cards”, in case I meet people I’d like to keep contact with. They don’t include my e-mail, never mind a phone number. Just my blog URLs, and Twitter handle.


The solid 11 months I was obsessed with poetry have . . . now ended. Nothing definite seems to be replacing poetry, which is good. I definitely need fallow time after all that focus.

People I know from AROHO have poetry collections that I intend to read, but they will have to wait until the right frame-of-mind returns.

I set myself a goal of writing 30 poems in September. (Which I actually thought of on September 6, so it was slightly more than 1 poem/day, on average.) By month’s end, I had written 31.

My original plan was to write in September; edit throughout October. I now think editing may not happen until December. Maybe January.

I miss writing poems. I kept doing more and more, faster and faster, as the year progressed. But now I haven’t written one in weeks. I feel . . . hollow.

That’s good. I’m clearing out old stuff. Making room.

I don’t know who I am anymore. In a good way. Years and years overdue.


I’m trying not to obsess about AROHO. I don’t think about them much when I’m awake. But I dreamed about them last night; about anxiously waiting on their decision. Dream-Spouse playfully suggested I make an impassioned appeal to an assembled group of AROHO women, before the official shindig got underway. I recoiled, sure that “no one would care about what I need”/”no one will notice if I’m not there anyway”.

A central motif in my therapy.

What’s really catching my attention right now, though, is that dream-Spouse is never playful. Why was he this time? Shouldn’t he have known that I would see what he was saying as setting me up for public humiliation? If he wasn’t concerned about that, why wasn’t he?

Basically, is it possible dream-me is overly concerned with the wrong things? If dream-Spouse is being playful, the whole world is topsy-turvy. Which means I need to adjust to the environment I’m actually in, not the historical social environment I tend to feel trapped in, when I need something from other people.


As I find myself recognizing certain ways my mother wanted me to be, or even things I wanted for myself, I notice these particular kinds of things all diminish me. Lop off pieces. Camouflage or hide others. I spend so much energy denying what I am that I don’t even . . . realize . . . what I am.

I’ll never be soignée. I’m scruffy. I’m sturdy. I’m skillful. I get stuff done, often innovatively. I’m no Thoroughbred; I’m a mountain pony.

I’m not “all sweetness and light”. I’m prickly. I stand my ground; I defend what’s mine. Tangle with me and you’ll be sorry. I’m determined. Strong-willed. And my ideas . . . barely resemble anyone else’s. Deal with it, or get the hell out of my way!

+ ^ + > +

I “said Yes” to some on-foot exploring today, where I discovered a florist. I bought some flowers for myself, “just because”: orange Alstroemeria, hot pink Gerber daisy, and plum-purple flaxflowers. (I didn’t notice until just now, but those colors match the sweater I wore today!)

I had a difficult conversation today, that I’d been dreading. It turned out very well.

I’m getting braver, but things are also working out better, which helps immensely.


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