The inevitable, huge blog post

Oh, hi! Glad you’re still around. I am, though from the posting around here, you’d barely know it.

For some reason, this morning – above all the other mornings, I have a lot on my mind that I want to write down. This is great, with one exception: I’m due to teach a class in less than an hour and I have so much to type here. Maybe I’ll be brief. Maybe.

I’m going to blurt things out a bit stream-of-conscious, and these are things that are on my mind and are largely what has kept me from being so public lately. [Note: I’ve decided to split this post up into multiple posts.]

I have a shrinking and growing family. I find it confusing and so I’m putting a wall around myself. I don’t mean to, but brick by brick, it’s been going up since my mom died nearly two years ago. She meant an enormous amount to me and when she died I lost a friend, a mother, and I felt adrift. This year, last month, my mom’s mom died. I had been preparing myself for her death for years, as I live an ocean away and my trips to the US were infrequent at best. Any visit I made, I made peace with the idea that it would be the last time I saw grandma. Turns out, the last time I saw her was when we both grieved for my mom.

Their deaths have left me with a small group of loved cousins with whom I speak rarely, see even more rarely, and don’t know how to weave into my life. My family has grown since losing my mom; I have located my two (via-my-adoption-by-their-father) brothers. This is both wonderful and again challenging to me as I try to find new balance with people I barely know. (My brothers and I didn’t grow up in the same household – they’re older than me.)

At the same time as this less-than two year shake-up is happening, I’m experiencing huge marriage problems. Neil and I are not having a good time of things and this has been going on sporadically for years. The radical changes in my family are difficult for me, and the addition of marriage trouble – to the point we’ve called it quits a couple of times in recent months – is pushing me inwards. I’ve all but lost touch with a few friends, have just barely managed to continue with Jodi and Aaron, and now that Pete lives near, I retreat often into the nearest person who isn’t going to die or divorce me. Don’t get me wrong, he’s my best friend anyway, but feel like I’m walling myself into my own little panic room, and at the same time, trying to get my career in art off the ground. (Which is ramping up, but could be better, of course.)

There’s more, so much more to talk about… But now, I’ve got to go teach a class in life drawing. Time to put a smile on and do what I love.
Until next post… perhaps later today.

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