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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

I read something recently that inspired me to start writing a story about a girl and a horse. It is a story about things that I don't know. Write what you know. Except I'm writing about the opposite. I mean, I know what it is like to be a girl who wants a horse, but I don't really know anything about horses or horse farms or history. But I am writing it. I am writing this story just like I have started writing all of the others. I will wright until I reach a spot where I stop and then it will get set aside and never finished, but the intention to go back and work on it is there. This story, like all of the others, is a story that I want to finish. Of course, I want to finish them all, but right now, in this moment, I want to finish this story about a girl and a horse. 

I find myself in a spot where I want to do a lot of things. Cleaning out all the garbage in the house. Making a yoga video series. Writing writing writing. Taking some pictures. Making some money for Christmas presents by selling those pictures. Setting up a shop or something. Something. Take a nap and hang out in the hammock. Harvest more purple hulled peas. There is a lot on my list. I want to move forward with all of it, yet there's something keeping me rooted in one spot. I have become Chris. In so many ways. I have lists. I have unfinished bits of writing. I threw a fit about the trailer for the New Justice League movie and how the industry has just ruined so many of the comics I read as a kid. I am this close to putting unopened mail into manilla envelopes and labelling them with the days of the week. 

I made an appointment to meet with a therapist and immediately regretted it. She used the words 'psycho analysis' and that's what caused me to pause. I don't need to be psycho analyzed. I'm not crazy crazy. I just feel a little bit numb on the insides. Insignificant. Hollow. Full of doubt. Maybe even lonely? Lacking in vocal communication skills. I am not a danger to myself or others (not intentionally). The words 'psycho analysis' suggests to me that there is something seriously wrong with me. Like my brain is really truly cracked. I don't need to be analyzed. I just need to talk to someone who's feelings are not going to hurt by what I have to say. I just need to talk to a person who will listen without interruptions and who will listen with some empathy. Then maybe that person could give me some advice on how to communicate effectively with words.

I wanted to cancel the appointment or maybe just not show up; though just not showing up is not my style. I told Dr. M. all of this when I sat down in her office. She told me that I was the boss here and that this could be my first and last session if that is what I wanted. I told her some of my story and how I feel like I have lost the ability to verbally communicate effectively. There were tears, something that hasn't happened in a while and an act that usually makes me feel shameful or pathetic. I let them come easily this time and I didn't get mad at myself for it. She had me read a passage from The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion. The passage discussed a section of one of Dr. Freud's papers on grief in which he says that grief is an illness. It when on to mention another prominent psychologist who felt that grief required treatment just like any other mental illness. My pride has not allowed me to think of myself as being sick. The idea that grief is an illness was not an easy concept for me to accept. It did give me some things to think about. I scheduled another appointment with her for next week. 

Lately, I find myself waking up periodically in the middle of the night. I sleep pretty well from about 9:30 to 11:30. Then I wake up because the dog has made a noise or the cat. I have to get up and use the bathroom. On average, I'd say I get up out of bed at least two times a night. Last night I slept straight through until my alarm went off. For the first time in a long time, I pulled myself out of bed this morning without the urge to flop right back down into it. I remember how I had such a hard time navigating in Portland because of their two norths, a true North and a magnetic North. During my second visit to the city, I got it all figured out. I just had to learn a new way to navigate. That is what I am doing now. My north has shifted and I am just starting to learn how to navigate it all after realizing that I can't do it in the same way as before. 

So...this week, I am thankful for moments of vulnerability. I am thankful to be learning new ways to navigate. I am thankful for a good nights sleep. I am super for grateful for that moment at work when ABBA's Dancing Queen started playing in my playlist. 

I am thankful for you.