So, apparently, I only write on Tuesdays now? Weird. Back from a much needed (albeit too short) visit to Stina's. Someone asked me what we did during the visit and then asked how come we didn't really go do anything. I was amused. Last visit, it's true, we did a bit more running than we did this past weekend but, one of the things that I appreciate about visits to my chosen sister is there's absolutely no pressure. Something sounds good and the weather cooperates (or, as with last time, if she has a class assignment) we head out. If it sounds good to just hang at the house and watch movies and talk each others' ears off, catching up, we do that. No pressure; just going with the flow, basically, and resting. Maybe other people get that more in their day-to-day lives than I do but I appreciate so much the respite it provides. Then, of course, there's Stina herself, the most grounded person I know. Everyone should have a Stina in their life. (Yes, Stina, I know you have your moments and could tell some stories. That's your label. Accept it.) Another label she has come to deserve over the years I've known her: family.
There's a label that takes me into the less fun area of this post. It's a double-edged sword, that label. I've been the odd one out in the family I was born into for, hell, my whole life, I guess. I'm the girl who'd rather read than go shopping/play sports/whatever, the girl who couldn't cut with scissors properly and who took *forever* to get the hang of driving (without significant property damage, anyway). I'm the unrepentant Pagan bisexual in a family of conservative Baptists. Even without all that, I'm the girl who grew up knowing that family members could just disappear on you without a backward glance.
That knowledge and the accompanying sense of insecurity...I do know that that's what motivated me to maintain relationships that were unhealthy for me. But, it's also what has driven me to try and build a family that is the supportive (and source of constructive criticism when needed), loving, accepting group that I longed for for years. It's an ongoing, evolving process that isn't without its bumps in the road and resultant bruises. Due in large part to my personal hangups, no doubt. I fear rejection and I dread loss. Sometimes, even the small rejections (or perceived ones) make it so much harder to continue to risk further. When I was growing up, I swore I would have an even number of children (i.e., two or four) so that no one would feel like the oddball, the one left out while two of them bonded and went their own way or made one the butt of all their jokes. And, yet, life moves on at its own pace and loss is a part of that. People leave our lives for a lot of reasons. Relationships end and we make ourselves go on. That doesn't mean it's easy or that I, especially, cope with it well. And, the fact that this is the week when I lose a major source of support makes this a tough time for me (as does realizing ever more vividly what a dream that keeps recurring means over the last few weeks). I pat myself on the back for managing to keep going and not let that become bigger than it has to be. I'm trying to do that, anyway. Trying to find the evidence that, even if I do lose at times, there will still be those who won't disappear as I inevitably, humanly, fumble and make missteps. My gratitude and love for those people is immeasurable.
(Sorry for the somewhat morose entry today. I promise more sunshine another day.)