Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Anniversary of Steel and the finale of Penny Dreadful.

Yesterday, June 22nd was our 11th anniversary. We have loved each other for thirteen years, been married eleven of those.
June 22nd 2016

I can't describe to anyone accurately what loving someone this much is like. 

When I first met my husband, the original thought that went through my head was that this could not be a real person. Nobody was that innately good. Nobody that intelligent could be that kind, having been smart enough to see the world full of shadows, how does someone look to the sun? I know his life story, and I still don't know how he managed to become the great, the startlingly bright and gleaming creature that he is. And, he is, aside from my closest friend (and of course my children), the only human being I can be around forever and not be worn down, or worn out with. 

Us, twelve years and three children ago.
I am as taken with him today as I was then. I can not imagine my life without him in it. I have no idea, really, why he thought I was worth it (years of abuse had made it so that I rarely let anyone in, he went into the entire ordeal of loving me as Scott approached White Fang in London's novel-he knew he might have to be bitten to earn trust, but once he had it, it would be there forever), but I am so glad he thought it was. 

He proposed in a medical room. We'd been dating for two years. An unexpected pregnancy just before we graduated from college together became our first grieved miscarriage-and landed me in a dire situation in need of surgery, or a blood transfusion. They would not allow non-family members to see me, to know of my condition. So he told them he was my fiance, that we were getting married. 

When they let him back to my little white room, he held my hand and asked if I thought we should get married. 

And I said "Yes." 

He is the reason I can write about love. 

He is why I look to the sun instead of the shadows. He is why I can, though guarded still, believe in people. 

I sort of understand now, why the idea of the "better half" exists. lol 

In all seriousness, even having a lifetime to be by his side-it won't ever be enough. 

But every year is a gift. 

And we will treat it that way. 

And you're probably sitting there thinking "what the hell does this have to do with Penny Dreadful?"

Fair enough (I mean, for bonus points, we're sitting here as we finish up watching the third season, but there's more, I promise).

And it has to do with the characterization in the series.

Vanessa Ives is the best icon of how we, the girls and women made of darker stuff, beat ourselves up. We walk around being told, often by our families, and certainly by our selves that we are unworthy. Unworthy of everything, including love. Including happiness. Because we are not as they are. 

Ives is that struggle, externally and internally. However much the writer/director says it was a journey of a woman to her god, for me, it was more of this. 

It affected me to watch her stand up for herself, in the best way possible. 

The way Vanessa had to deal with something tracking her, hunting her, the showdowns in which she is turned truly vulnerable and still manages to be strong enough to win, to fight back, are unlike any female scenes I have ever seen in horror. In my darkest, scariest moments, I hope I am that strong. And, though her story was tragic, it was still one of love. Of being worth love-and it's something every card-carrying member of the weird phantasmagorical female club can identify with. This is one of the most important things about dramatic horror. It can give you this imaginary hero to look up to as you set about facing your own demons. 

As for me, I think I am even more mindful of how fortunate I am to be given the life I wanted. Those like me are told, many times over, that we don't deserve that,

but we do.

Monday, June 6, 2016

If I Fall Quiet for A While...

Today starts a month-long summer course, the last course in my certificate I returned to the university for.

And within the first moments of it, the instructor successfully talked several people into dropping. I had that happen once before, and only once, when the original instructor was swapped for World Religions and traded for a professor from a place noted for their vigorous (and rigorously delivered) curriculum. I learned a lot then (and also almost forgot how to speak English after thirty hours of badly-translated texts needed to write a ten-page paper). Maybe this will be the same. 

At the very least, this is the home-stretch. 

I've been back at school since my last baby was nearly four months old. I have juggled her therapies, her feedings, everything that comes with a special needs infant and school for almost as long as I can remember. I don't know what it will be like after, other than I might have time again.

But that is a month away. A course crammed into a month away. And a dream I can't settle into yet. 

The 30 hour technical drawing with my current mood added...

What will this do to my writing time? That hour or so in the night after everything is done and everyone is in bed?

It will obliterate it. 

I'm going to try to write a few paragraphs here and there, because if I lose my place or momentum entirely, I'm frightened I won't be able to get back to that same place. It's one of the reasons I also have to write scenes in order-it's a journey I take with these characters, usually knowingly only slightly more of what's going on than they do, and I don't get to skip ahead. I know plenty of writers who can use that technique, but for me taking a break too long or going ahead is a fatal mistake to my story.

The challenge in this won't even be the coursework, or the lack of writing, it's going to primarily be how to be a mom who has to juggle three nights a week away for 3-4 hours and not ruin her childrens' summer. It means I spend a lot of nights pre-making meals, now. And that I'm not going to have time to eat dinner before I leave for the evening. And any outings I manage to take them on will have to be early in the day so I have time to deal with my assignments and getting to class. It means I have to heavily rely on my parents and husband  (which isn't fair to them) to pick up the slack where I can't. That's probably the worst part about going to school. You absolutely have to ask for help. Whether it's begging your best friend for her computer because your's is out of commission or asking your parents to pick up a pizza and come over because you ran out of time to cook, you have to ask for help. You feel incredibly sorry for everyone that has to come to your aid (and you think for what? Aren't you a SAHM mom?!)

But, I went back to school to be further trained in graphic design. I went back with the intention of further offering my skills to developing businesses AND I still plan on selling my work myself. Both things are on the back side of the to-do list for now, though. Because for the last two years it has been survival. 

I can't wait until that isn't my reality anymore. I've had the adventure of a lifetime going back, and met the most wonderful and skilled people, but I definitely want the quiet of home when I can finally have it once more. 

And, after that, I'll find a different adventure.