HONOR the Past

I have the memory of an elephant. Sometimes that memory is like Jeopardy. Mostly my memory is in the form of dates that I energetically remember and start acting like an asshole or get super emotional and then a few days or weeks later remember that I am physically and emotionally remembering a big change in my life. This weekend has been one of those times.

NOTE: In Billings we don’t get MLK, Jr. day off, because that date is built into other vacation days. It’s a progressive district that could grow a little (a lot). (YES. It irritates me that MLK, Jr. Day is not recognized as a Federal holiday by my district but President’s Day is. IT’S WRONG. But this is not a fight I’m up for right now. It’s also not because I am trying to get a 3 day weekend. MLK, Jr. day is a day of service.)

So 2 years ago this weekend I packed all my shit up in my truck and in my trailer (was co-owned at that point, but the ex-partner didn’t want it) and moved 30 miles away and parked in the backyard of a friend in Brownsville. I had no extra income and I was screwed. I couldn’t afford to rent anywhere, and the trailer was my only option. I still owned a house with the ex, and had been living with them for two weeks after breaking up before I moved out.

I lived in this trailer for 6 months. I still can’t believe I made it through all of it, but if anything has instructed my life it’s the saying “You’ve made it through all your hardest days so far.”

Memories and transformative energies are SWIRLING through me in the last month. Like a lot. There isn’t a day I don’t dream some crazy intense dream. I have stopped writing them down. It scares me a little, some of the things I dream. I never dream about my toxic ex. I do dream about my ex-husband, though. I think I’m still in the process of forgiving myself for my marriage ending. FIVE YEARS LATER. I think it could take my whole life.

So living in this trailer was lovely. And it was also NOT cake. I had to order a holding tank from the port-a-potty people and have it delivered to behind my trailer. To dump my poop. Literally. My landlord (thank you, forever) had them put it a little far from my relief valve. So it was too hard to use the waste tubes to do it. I had dump my waste into a bucket and then carry it over to the holding tank and pour it in.

No. I’m not kidding.

I felt like I was a middle schooler. My life got extremely micro. I took my dirty clothes to school. The kindergarten wing was the old home-ec wing, and I used the washer/dryer there to do my laundry. I had to pull the hose from the landlord’s house to fill my water tanks in the trailer. I took very short showers and turned the water off in between soaping up to save water. I lived with an eternal backache due to the mattress in the trailer. I used my iPhone as a hotspot to do any internet, but I couldn’t stream anything because it would take waaaaay too much data. So I watched every single DVD I had twice.

There’s nothing like carrying 5 gallon buckets of your shit and piss to give you a real sense of what your rock bottom is.

I was telling Jess and his boys about living in the trailer recently. I off-handedly said I’d done this waste transfer thing, and the boys had the face of utter shock and horror. Jess is a wastewater engineer, so he was nonplussed. (GOD I love him)

I sat in that trailer plotting everything. From next steps in the micro: “do I have enough water tonight? Do I have to trudge through the snow? Do I need propane? Can I wait until the weekend? No. I can’t. Off we go.”

(yes it snowed stupid much in Oregon that winter of 2019. We also lost power multiple times. Fuck that shit.)

It also got macro: what the hell am I doing with my life? Where am I going to go? How am I going to repair my life? What amends do I have to make?

I plotted my course and kept adjusting.

I went to Bend a lot. I thought I was going to move to the high desert of Oregon, but instead I landed in the high desert of Montana. When I was considering sharing an apartment and paying $1K a month, or renting alone and paying $1.4K, I just couldn’t. I had owned my own house for 15 years and I couldn’t reconcile being a renter. It just felt wrong. So I started looking at Montana. And Billings was the trifecta of what I was looking for. And they hired me 6 weeks after I applied.

I totally thought I was done with the growth. (LOL) But the underworld was not done with me yet. {hint, the underworld is never done with us, it comes in waves.}

The ex was horrible and it got worse and worse. Scary worse. I drove to Montana over Mother’s Day and found Lucy and knew I had a safe haven to move to…no matter how neglected she was. Lucy was so patient with me. I had only a little idea of what I was doing, but she just sighed and waited. I learned to take enough time to do things well rather than fast.

Sometimes going too fast makes us have to go much slower.

-Jennifer Fogerty

So today I am recognizing how much my trailer was my first real home in this new life. Her name is Lola. She is amazing. Like, she’s a gorgeous trailer. She rules. I was mad at her for a long time because with payments and insurance it’s equal to my house payment to own her. But in time she’ll earn her keep and be an Air B and B. I needed her to live in before I got here, and I needed her after, too. She was my bathroom for 3 months while gutting Lucy’s bathroom.

I have nothing but respect for you, Lola. I am so sorry I’ve not been loving since I moved out. When I lived in Lola I loved on her and collaged her cabinet faces and saged her and gave her gentle love. I promise to put only loving thoughts into the universe about you now, Lola.

I appreciate you.

To what or to whom do you need to say thank you to today?


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