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By Decades

January 2, 2017

I was thinking about all the pictures people were putting on instagram, me in 2006 & me in 2016. I hadn’t thought much about grouping my time by decades until then.

I was 27 when the clock told me it was 2006. My children were babies, Skylar was 6, Fallyn was 5, and J was just 3. My cats just 1 & 2 years old, and my beloved best buddy Nick was only 5 months old. My grandpa was still alive and my dad did not have cancer. In this last decade I have lived a lifetime.

I fell in love and got married, I made it through the agony and healing of the break up that followed. I watched some of the most influential people in my life slip away before my eyes, and have held & loved the new babies that have been born since. I’ve learned that parents are not immortal. I have moved 4 times losing much along the way but also learning it’s ok to let go. I have written about my life for ten years right here on this blog to make sense of what I’ve thought about anything. I’ve watched my red-haired dog turn gray. I have watched my children grow to adults. I think that’s the part that really hurts the most.

I have learned to appreciate every obstacle and hardship that has come along because I’ve been able to turn them into lessons learned. With my kids however, the lessons and mistakes made feel too great. The weight of hearing their tiny voices on old videos and knowing that in those moments I wasn’t fully appreciating it because I was worried about making dinner, or paying bills, or trying to figure out what the hell I was doing with my life is almost crushing. Maybe that’s the greatest lesson, time is no one’s friend. Time is here to teach us to appreciate what’s important by any means necessary so pay attention. Stay present and remember what it’s all for.

I wrote this note to myself about two years ago. I still have to remind myself of this daily.

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Babies with my dad

kids

Bill & little J

2007-may

2016

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and here’s me. same oregon, same brother from another mother, but the girl on the right is infinitely wiser with the understanding there is so much more yet to be learned.

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About Last Night

November 9, 2016

These are my feelings, you don’t have to agree but in the words of Louis CK “When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.”

I really thought this was a joke in the beginning. My kids were worried. I have two daughters and a transgender son. They were fucking worried. I wasn’t talking to them about this filling their heads, they all came to me. They heard things and learned things on their own and came to their own conclusions. I guess they have been listening to what I try to teach, equality, being kind, trying to understand others.

They stayed up worried and scared and woke up sad and not really knowing what to do next and here’s what I told them. This is happening for a reason, maybe it is to unite the like minded people, to inspire the apathetic to wake up, to give the young a reminder that what we have in this country was not given,  it was fought for. Where we go from here is to be more diligent in standing up for what you believe and helping others up along the way. United we stand. Liberty and justice for all.

With that, here is an event I support and will be going to, maybe I’ll see you there.

https://www.facebook.com/events/346555445691358/

ONE MORE THING!

 

Witch Magic

September 13, 2016

I went to Reiki training over the summer without knowing what to expect. It was one of those things I’d always wondered about and thought about taking a class forever and then one day I just signed up. I didn’t have any intentions, or prior experience I just wanted to know, but this story isn’t really about that. Something happened at Reiki training that led me to where I am right now.

If you know me at all you know I am a hold my shit together kind of person. In reiki training we picked partners and worked on each other. During this some blockage was touched and I had an emotional reaction. I knew I had to dig in and get that shit out, but time sped up and it seemed like there was no time to sit in the quiet and look around so I’ve been putting it off, which we all know is terrible.  I think training was in July. It is now mid September.

Lately I’ve been noticing some physical symptoms that I experienced when I was in my marriage that had seemed to have left me so I wondered what’s different, why would these come back? I started to wonder about cell memory and maybe something was triggering what’s being held there. The only thing I could figure was maybe it was alcohol. I stopped drinking for almost two years completely and now I’ll have some. I thought, my body must remember the place I was in when I was drinking all that alcohol when I was unhappy and is reacting the same. The things we don’t heal and push down inside of us REALLY ARE pushed inside of us. Our bodies remember.

This led me to more information and articles and something I’d joked about really was true. I’ve been experiencing PTSD. Listen I know I wasn’t in a war zone or attacked in a violent crime but I lived in a place of feeling like I was on the edge of a cliff every single day and my body didn’t know I wasn’t actually in danger. To my body I was in danger every single day and it reacted in a way to save me. (I think I should clarify, I wasn’t being beaten or scared for my physical life, I was scared that my life would fall apart and I had no where to go and I didn’t know what I would do and how I would take care of the kids. I was betrayed a lot and still trying to hold on and make it work to keep all of our lives together. I was scared to let go because I didn’t want to leave someone else who was clearly hurting no more than I’d leave an injured animal on the side of the road) Reading through different articles and the symptoms down to the unexplained heart palpitations was really mind blowing to me. I felt relieved because all the shit that I’d been experiencing was real. It wasn’t just me not being able to get over things, or me being too sensitive, or me not letting go it was this whole other thing behind it. I felt sad, I felt shock, I finally cried.

I think I cried because as I sat here and these pieces fell into place and I finally had a clearer view I realized exactly how badly I’d been hurt. It’s like that thing where you cut yourself and you know instantly it’s fucking BAD so you grab a towel and hold it tight, somehow you stay very calm and level headed and the adrenaline takes care of the pain so you can focus on getting help. You then go get yourself fixed up and then after is when you freak out a little bit. You let down, you say holy fuck that was crazy! I guess for a really long time I’ve just been holding that towel over the cut not looking at it so I don’t freak out.

Learning about this is another piece of the puzzle that is me, it’s helpful because I’m realizing now that certain things are triggers and that’s why it causes a physical reaction in me and how I need to start to navigate all that shit and heal it. Everything is for a reason in your body and it starts in our spirits. If some shit ain’t right there, it’s going to lead to physical problems. It’s funny how we as a society accept SOME of this as truth such as, stress leads to ulcers but saying other things being wrong will lead to this physical shit over here being wrong and all the sudden people think you’re a wacko. Good thing I don’t give a fuck if people think I’m a wacko. If you need me I’ll just be over here healing my spirit with my witch magic.

Dried Spaghettios

September 1, 2016

WARNING!! If you’re going to get mad about me referring to kids as assholes, mother fuckers, idiots, or anything else just move along now. I use these names with love, now really fuck off and be gone if you can’t handle it.

We make ourselves believe that humans are complex creatures. We navigate each other either delicately or brutally depending on the bruises we have and which have been poked. The reality is no matter what walls you’ve built or what dickhead shell you’ve coated yourself in all we really want is a god damn hug.

Parenting is hard. How rare is it that someone became a parent AFTER they had any kind of semblance of having their shit together? We generally just go right on in to this madness. It’s like jumping off a bridge before the guy can even strap the damn bungee cord to you.

Our intentions are always good. We want to make these assholes happy. We want to give them whatever we didn’t have as kids whether it’s love, material shit, or just support. WE WANT TO GIVE IT. We have grand ideas about producing good humans who get it and give a shit.

I understand that they cannot see the whole picture yet, I’m sure I still can’t see it because you have to live first and experience all the things. What would be fucking nice is to get a HELLO, GOODBYE, HOW ARE YOU, HEY THANKS, or even a FUCK YOU. Acknowledgement of my existence beyond what’s for dinner, I need some shit or the fucking dryer is broken.

I am fucking cool. I know this. I don’t expect them to know it but my fuck, I don’t expect much from them. I support who they are as human people, I want them to follow their happiness and I love their asses but most of the time I feel like a hamster in his running wheel.

I feel like I must have gone wrong somewhere. I mean I know we all fuck up as parents but come on. I have a 17-year-old daughter who can’t be bothered to clean her slopped all over the stove spaghettios and crusty ass pan after she’s done eating? Then when I ask her to she literally takes the pan with the bottom full of spaghettios and dumps it into the sink like that’s all that needs to be done?

What is the point of this madness? When can I say Clearly this isn’t working out but I do wish you the best. Good day.

I can’t wait until these mother fuckers have places of their own with shit of their very own and I can come visit. First I will arrive before they are home and take red sauce and put splatterings everywhere. Next I’ll make bacon so the grease makes a nice coating everywhere on the stove. I’ll make lots of dirty dishes but to top it off I’ll pour a bowl of fruity pebbles and then leave a bunch in the bowl but I’ll use a blow dryer to speed up the normal process of leaving it to dehydrate in their room for 2 weeks creating a rainbow cement impossible to remove from any bowl. I will then find and throw away every single fork in thier house.

After that I’ll do them a favor and vacuum their house but I’ll only suck up things like dryer sheets and markers.

For the grand finale I’ll ask to take a shower. I’ll need at least 6 fresh towels to do this. I’ll use all the shaving cream in one go, make sure I leave all my hair in the sink, and then I’ll take the shower sprayer and just hose down the entire bathroom for good measure.

Because fuck you that’s why.

These assholes rip our hearts out from the very first day they arrive and continue for a lifetime and still at the end of the day we would lay down and give them our last breath no questions asked. WHAT THE FUCK MAN?

Afterword:

This was written yesterday scribbled furiously into a notebook. There were many more anger fucks that have been edited.

When I told Adam I wouldn’t be home right away he just said go find some quiet, I’ll be here. I came home to flowers and made from scratch penne ala vodka. Having a person who you don’t have to explain shit to but just gets it is invaluable and I hope you all have a person like this in your life who just picks your ass up when it’s down and knows exactly which lizard videos to cue up on the youtube.

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Big Ass Ship

July 29, 2016

I was thinking today about an experiment I started at the end of 2014. I decided to live a life honoring what I wanted. I needed to find my authentic real self. I found a therapist who was just the right weirdo to speak to the weirdo within me. She sent me to yoga and in turn somehow led me home.

I wrote this post Jan 2015, https://candrasquire.com/2015/01/07/unearthing-myself/

It sounds like I am coming from a place of NO, but really I was saying YES to myself. Giving myself permission to BE.

Looking back at the last two years I imagine my life as a gigantic ship on the ocean headed in one direction when the captain decided we needed to go in the exact opposite direction. You can’t just whip a u-turn in a ship, it’s a slow deliberate process.

Shortly after writing that blog post I packed my notebook and hiking boots and headed to the mountains of the west to sit in my quiet. I sat and I wrote and I thought and I felt. I wrote a truth I’d been avoiding. I didn’t try to figure or make a plan, I just set the truth free out of myself, onto the page, and out to the universe.

At times I’ve fought the changes I set in motion or wanted to take them back out of fear. Shit man, turning your life upside down and shaking it like a little kid emptying the piggy bank because they hear the ice cream man requires some deep faith. Every lesson & realization I’ve had along the way feels incredibly hard-earned.

About a month ago I took my journal and some intentions out to the river. I hoped to do a little figuring on two pretty giant issues, life purpose and releasing my karmic relationship by finally understanding the lesson. I didn’t think that I’d be coming out of those woods 4 hours later with real answers, but I did. I felt like I floated my ass out of there.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.  The answers are there if you’re brave enough to listen. The more you ignore whatever it is the bigger it grows in size and toxicity. Think of it like a cavity (of which I’ve ignored plenty), it will grow and grow until you’re in pain, and if you ignore the pain it then grows so deep that now you need a whole root canal when if you’d just have taken your ass to the dentist in the first place you’d be just fine and on your way.

Do yourself a favor and follow your own light. The more you do,  the brighter it grows illuminating your path making it so much easier to navigate.

Just Am

July 25, 2016

There is a quote often attributed to Buddha and I have no idea if it’s actually from him but it’s something I think about a lot.

I am not what you think I am. You are what you I think I am.

I think about this in terms of projection and mirroring. If someone is bothering me I’ll try to figure out why, I think about this quote and I see if something about them hits on a truth I have about myself that I don’t like, or if am I being judgemental because I think I know better whatever the case may be I try to figure it out so I can let it go.

I was thinking about this quote this morning because there is a person in my life who I’ve never been able to figure out how this applies. The things I think about this person are certainly not true of myself. This person expects a relationship with me that I am not able to give for many reasons but the truest bottom line is that it does not bring me joy.

I am kind to this person because that’s all I can offer without being inauthentic to myself. I cannot engage with someone and pretend, I’ve tried for other peoples sake and I just can’t do it. It makes me miserable. I don’t like to be around miserable people and I certainly won’t be one and because I excuse myself from the relationship it’s mistaken for hate. I don’t hate anyone, I am not angry or holding on to grudges though that is projected onto me from this person and relayed to anyone who will listen.

So,

I am not what you think I am. You are what you I think I am.

How does this relate to this relationship and then I got it. We are all humans struggling through trying to figure it all out. I don’t need to label or judge or justify to anyone not even myself. It doesn’t matter what I think anyone is, THEY JUST ARE! The same way I JUST AM!

Here’s the thing, we don’t have to do ANYTHING we don’t want to do. We do not have to have anyone’s approval or blessing or permission. It reminds me of another line I think back on often, do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy? If I don’t feel happy being around someone no one is holding me hostage and making me be there.

Here’s what I know: be kind, follow your joys, accept your sorrows, learn the lessons and repeat every day that you’re given.

 

Trenches

July 23, 2016

At one end of the beach this morning there were two strangers and at the other a swamp had formed because the river was blocked by a bank of rocks and sand. I walked toward and past the strangers who were seemingly unfriendly to my little cove of silence and I noticed I’d been followed by the lady stranger so I made my way back to the beach and let her have my cove. 

I got to the swamp and looked at it with its scum and goose poop swirling around and decided I’d dig some trenches through the blockage to drain and maybe find some treasures beneath. So I dug and the swamp followed. I watched as my trenches came to life emptieing into the lake. Over time I saw that some trenches closed and others became bigger, the flow changed direction, little islands formed in some places and a big sandbar formed extending into the lake. 


I knew that I didn’t NEED to create this path for the water and that nature would change it on its own but I wanted it to look different now. I thought about how no matter how humans attempt to change an environment nature will always work around it or reclaim it completely and then I thought god damn that’s just like my kids!

I, like most parents I’m sure, work really hard to try to put them on the right path and share with them the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I try to tell them to learn from the mistakes I’ve already made so they don’t have to repeat those same ones. Then I realized it’s just like this swamp, I can show them the path, hell I can even DIG them a trench but then the rest is up to them. I cannot control what choices they make any more than I could control the river that formed from my trench. That’s the hardest part of the whole thing. We can only help guide others, the shapes and directions their paths take is their own journey. 

Lessons from the Lake of Erie

June 27, 2016

I beach glass the shit out of beach glass. Everyone who knows me knows this. Everyone who follows me on the instagram knows this. I LOVE BEACH GLASS. I think it’s because each pieces feels like a relic of times gone by. I do a lot of wondering about it. Who used this glass, where did it come from and how did it get here? A couple weeks ago I noticed that I was finding crystals on the beach. My beach that I’ve been going to for three years and I’ve never noticed any crystals. How the hell? In the time since I’ve starting finding the crystals I started to edit down my glass collection. Going through jar after jar and sorting. I’ve shipped some across the country to Oregon for my friends to spread on their beaches for people to find, i’ve recycled some and a lot I threw right back into Lake Erie so the bits and pieces can bring others as much joy as it’s brought to me. Finding glass is like finding treasures to weirdos like me so I know for sure it’s going into very loving hands.

Today while on my morning hunt (which last generally 3-4 hours because what else would I be doing at 6am?) I was down in the rocks in a position close to childs pose looking at the rocks towards the sun and thought it’s so funny how everything looks so much different depending on the light. Sometimes you pick up a clear piece only to be super excited later when you get it home and look to see that it’s actually purple. Sometimes you get shit pants excited that you just pulled a pink piece from the water but it’s really just a regular ass clear that was sitting on a pink rock.

Our lights are no different really. When our lights are bright we can see things more clearly but when they’re dark we see ourselves and others shrouded in the same shadow. You surround yourself with people you might think are gems but turn out to be just hardened cat turds and you do things you wouldn’t ordinarily because you can’t see the truth.

Have you ever driven by something all the time and then one day you notice something you’ve never seen before? It’s a small shift in perspective. I realized this morning that when I finally noticed the crystals on the beach it shifted my awareness to be able to see all the crystals. It changed the way I interacted with the beach. Most of my body is now in contact with the rocks, sand and water for the entire time I’m there (strangers must think I am a real KOOK). This tiny shift then dominoed into me letting go of my prized glass without even thinking about it and by letting go we invite new things in. This weekend I went to the river, sat down on the bank and looked across. I thought fuck it, I’m going to see if I can get across this to the beach on the other side, so I toddled through the water very carefully in flip flops and my giant back pack full of glass, candy, and of course books. When I got to the other side I realized it was the opening that I’ve seen where a creek runs out and the deer run in so of course I had to walk up that creek and find a place where no humans could be seen and I could do some figuring. By the time I left I was a new girl. Lighter, full of love and new direction. If you go into nature and don’t come back with any answers you’re doing it all wrong.

Here’s a PS lesson from the lake…

Don’t look too far ahead for the next piece of glass because you’ll miss what you’re already standing on.

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In the way of Beauty

June 1, 2016

This year has felt mostly like climbing a mountain and falling down 3 switchbacks for every 1 I make it up. My pieces just haven’t been fitting back together. 

When a bone breaks we have a doctor reset it so that it may grow back together and you can be whole again but when a heart breaks no doctor on earth can heal you. You are left to figure it out and find your pieces, however the pieces have been scattered and blown by the wind to places you shared, houses you lived your lives together in and in memories held dear. Those pieces are beyond gathering. Those pieces you must leave behind because they no longer belong inside of you. 


You’ll now find yourself literally or figuratively sitting on a log above a fork in the river. One side runs fast and the other pools with only a small trickle making it out and on. You have to choose your own adventure. Do you wade around in a small pool doing laps almost surely to stay in that little pool until it completely dries and you’re stuck or do you thank those wild pieces of your heart for getting you this far and jump into the rapids to the next leg of your journey?


Put yourself in the way of beauty, the woods open to reveal a sandy beach along the river. 


Put yourself in the way of beauty, a whale breaches. 


Put yourself in the way of beauty, a rock is turned over to show that’s it’s actually a crystal. 


Put yourself in the way of beauty and let your heart be full and grateful. 

(Please excuse me if there are errors as I am quite literally writing this from a log above a fork in the river.)

My Boy

April 21, 2016

A week ago I got a phone call from J’s school principal. The police had come to school to inform them that someone filed a police report against J because he had shown them a knife the day before on his walk home. They called J into the office and asked him what was going on and if he had the knife with him at the moment. He pulled it out and set it on the table for them and didn’t say another word.

J is extremely sensitive and empathetic. He tries to build other kids up. He loves babies and writing sweet letters to his girlfriend. He isn’t a mean kid, or a vengeful kid. He isn’t full of hate and he would never be able to live with himself if he hurt someone. I couldn’t wrap my mind around why he would have or bring a knife to school.

I was so mad at him when he got home that I couldn’t even deal with him without yelling or feeling compassion so I sent him to his Dad’s house for the night. I had no explanation of what happened and why in the world he would ever have a knife at school. We left for Texas the next morning and didn’t talk about it at all. I could see his fear and sadness. I tried to lift his mood and let him be free for the weekend to enjoy our small getaway but he was so heavy-hearted I could barely get through.

Yesterday he was home alone and his only instruction was to write. I needed him to write me and tell me what happened. I knew we were having our meeting today with the school and his teachers and counselors to determine the disciplinary action and they were going to want the same answers I did.

J’s school is a mile and half away from our house and he has to walk unless someone can pick him up in the afternoon. Most of the time he walks to the library and waits there for me. Every minute I can’t see him and he’s out in the world I worry. I worry because I know he’s afraid to use public bathrooms so he’s holding it. I worry that kids will be assholes. Mostly I worry about the adults, that someone will see him and target him for something far worse than just a kid saying something stupid. He struggles all the time. He’s a 13 year old boy living in the developing body of a girl and it kills him and there is nothing in the world I can do to make it different. He feels less than and alone. As a parent when you see your child hurting you rush to make it better. Band aids, doctors, ice cream, just please stop hurting and be ok and when you can’t make it ok and there is no way to make it ok it’s kind of like having millions of tiny jagged tears in your heart, always painful, always bleeding.

We met with the school today and J has been expelled for the rest of the school year. Actions have consequences and his were wrong. I told them I was going to home school him next year to give him time to more fully develop his sense of self and grow stronger but also selfishly on my part because then I would know where he was at all times and I could breathe a little easier. After the read his letter they hoped I would reconsider. They want him there. They want to help him grow and see him be able to transition into the real world too. It’s still something I need to figure and decide but having so many people around wanting to share in supporting and helping my boy along is overwhelming in a good way. I think it’s an extraordinary thing to have found so many people who can see beyond themselves and really want to help make the life of this one kid a little better. Thank you to all of you who march in our army.

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J’s Letter

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Us in Texas

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