Sunday, September 4, 2011


MY UGLY PLACE came about because I had to abandon my other two blogs due to what have you, but I wanted to make it the place where I can unleash the uglier side of myself, the side you don't show to most of the people who know you in real life. 

Most people who come here know what they are in for, and aren't shocked by the things that come out of my mouth, because they know what this place is all about. It's me at my worst moments, my worst unpolitical correctness gaffs, and in a nutshell: this is part of who I am. For better or worse. Love me or leave me be.

But we're not just our worst parts, we don't just have ugly places or sides, we also have goodness and good sides, and while they may not be as FUNNY, it's still a part of what makes me, me. So here you go.


A usual Sunday morning: I run around, trying to assemble some type of cleanliness and organization to begin the next week. Dishes are shoulder high in the sink, mountains of laundry are strewn in the bedrooms, bathrooms, and floors. The trash is overflowing. The litter box hasn't been emptied in days. The brown dog hair covers every square inch of the white ceramic tile like a blanket of filth. 

I am freaking out because my son is more interested in playing hide-n-go-seek with his sister, than he is in helping me clean up this wreck. My daughter is inevitably in the corner, that I just cleaned, ripping it apart bit by bit. The dog is right on my heels, following my every step, wanting to be taken on a walk or outside to potty, and I am tripping over her at every move.

Thank God it is visitation day, that one glorious day of the week, where both of my children are gone and I can take a well-deserved breath: AHHHHHHHH. And spend the next five hours doing WHATEVER I WANT. Which is usually cleaning, or grocery shopping, or working, or walking the dog, or all three.

But this day, I was all twisted up inside, full of piss and vinegar that on my one free day, I needed to clean and work and do laundry and get groceries and walk the dog, and that I didn't get to do what *I* wanted to do. I quickly grabbed the mail and headed up the steps, listening to the dog bark at me as I came to the door. 

It was some religious newsletter. I usually throw those away. I know my God in my way, and I don't need your church telling me that I don't. But for some reason I opened it up and read the first thing that caught my eye. 


The Knots Prayer

Dear God,

Please untie the knots that are in my mind, my heart, and my life;
Remove the have nots, the cannots, and the do nots that I have in my mind. 

Erase the will nots, may nots, and might nots that may find a home in my heart. 

Release me from the could nots, would nots, and should nots that obstruct my life. 

And most of all, Dear God, I ask that you remove from my mind, my heart, and my life all of the am nots that I have allowed to hold me back. 

And I started thinking: how many NOTS do I live with? Turns out... ALOT.

We don't have a house anymore. 
We don't have a yard anymore. 
We don't have a reliable car anymore. 
We don't have a place to call our own anymore. 

I cannot raise these kids on my own.
I cannot mend my children's broken hearts. 
I cannot fight with my son anymore. 
I cannot get this house clean.
I cannot get this laundry done.
I cannot sweep one more dog hair off of this floor.
I do not make enough money. 
I do not have the energy. 
I do not have the time. 
I do not want to work. 
I do not want to put my daughter in day care. 
I do not want a phone card. I want a regular phone where I can talk for as long as I want.

I will not be a published writer. 
I will never be thin. 
I will never be young again. 
I will never be in shape. 
I will never look in the mirror and find what I see acceptable.

I might not be able to provide for my kids.
I might never be published. 
I might never pursue my dreams. 
I might never go back to school for my writing degree. 
I might never be able to make money doing the things I love to do.
I might die alone. Discovered months later. Underneath a thick film of brown dog hair.

I am not thin enough
I am not smart enough
I am not organized enough
I am not diligent enough
I am not good enough
I am not strong enough
I am not Christian enough
I am not enough 

And that last line says it all: if we have any of those "nots" in our lives, it's because we tell ourselves, that we are not enough. Some person or circumstance somewhere along the road convinced us we weren't enough. And we believed them. So we settle and we tolerate and we say to ourselves: I don't deserve any better because I am not (blank) enough to do any better.

But we are. We are enough, just as we are. I am enough with my swearing, and my never going to church ever, and my dirty APARTMENT on the second floor with no yard, and my mountains of unwashed laundry, and my chubby gut, and my Oprah arms, and my sagging face, and my BROWN hair (I dyed it, people, but that's a whole other post) and the dog shedding like it's her job, and the kids fighting, and me yelling, and my crap job I hate... I am enough. For all of this. I can do it all. 

I will do it all. I will never give up. I will make enough money. I will buy a new car. I will buy a new house. I will have a yard again. With a patio. And a pool. And a fence. I will raise my kids. I will fight with my kids. I will love my kids. I will watch them grow into a spectacular young man and a spectacular young woman. I will go back to college. I will get my degree. I will always be a writer. I will get paid for doing something that I love. I will work out when I feel like it. I will eat what I want. I will look in the mirror and not see a face or a body, but a spirit and a soul that has had a remarkable wonderful beautiful life. I will not die alone. I will die surrounded by everyone I have ever loved. At least that's what they say on, I Survived... Beyond and Back.

I will do it all... with a little help from God, and then some. 

I will and I can. 

Just watch me.