This is what my inner 14 year old boy is laughing at today.
Okay. So I have a new client for a web project I'm taking on, right? It's for a general store in downtown. They sell all manner of candies, toys, hand made soaps and candles, their own sauces and relishes and condiments - you get the idea. They get kick ass ice creams and make waffle cones for them, and all kinds of home made truffles, bonbons, and fudge. I love the store, I could spend hours just wandering around the place.
I was there this morning before the store opened taking pictures for the site and getting an inventory of the stuff they sell, when I ran across the section they have of condiments and such. I set my camera up and adjusted the lighting for bottle labels, and there they were on the top shelf - several bottles of bread and pancake mixes, all labelled "Bear Batter".
That's right. Bear Batter.
I did something tremendous for myself a short time ago.
Most of you who know me know that I am partnered to the most fantastic man on the planet. He's simply the best thing that has ever happened to me. If you've spent any amount of time with us together, it should be clear that we are totally enamored of one another. I did not have any conception of how deep this love we share could get until I spent the last year with him living together and the two of us sitting down and having deep conversations about who we wanted to be and what our rules were. It doesn't occur to me to make a decision without first considering how it might affect him before I actually consult him on it. I only feel truly safe and secure when I know he's nearby, and nothing is so wrong in my entire world that he cannot fix simply by walking through the door.
Plus, we laugh - all the time. No, seriously - we laugh ALL. THE. TIME.
So I'm sitting here with my belly full from dinner, completely content and overjoyed that he comes home from this current business trip tomorrow evening, when it dawns on me that I'm smiling for no reason at all. It is my nature to second guess myself when my mood is really high and everything feels good and fine, because I don't really trust it and self sabotage by waiting on the other shoe to drop because it always does. I've never believed I would be happy like this, I was diagnosed bipolar as a child and have had to adjust my life to accommodate the world because it sure as hell wasn't going to accommodate me. It felt safe to just idle at contentedness without longing for more for most of my life, and I resigned myself to the fact that that would be my station and I had to get right with that fact.
Damien has made all the difference in the world for my firm belief that anything is possible. I've challenged myself in so many ways and really grown into something new and better, something infinitely more satisfying than anything I can ever remember having before. It's been a really challenging life I've led, and I've had more than my share of reasons to give up and quit life completely - yet somehow I managed to dig in my heels and keep going forward.
I've only just started to trust what my life has become. It is so full of love and life, chosen family and a bounty of friends, babies and misfits that fit us perfectly. I want for nothing, I've never felt better and I'm more centered than I have ever been before.
So like I said when I started this post, I did something tremendous for myself a short time ago. I gave myself a gift, possibly the best one I've ever given myself before.
I finally gave myself permission to be happy. Some of you understand in fundamental ways what a huge thing this is for me.
I had a wierd dream last night (or maybe night before last) that I was on my Granddaddy's porch with Nina Simone and Jimmy Carter and we were shelling peas and drinking sweet tea out of Mason jars and talking in Granddaddy's wicker rocking chairs. It was fucking awesome.