Criminal Complexity: Hard Knocks Back and Forward

It’s nearly four o’clock in the morning and I am not quite ready to sleep.  I have an article that I want to write.  That I should write.  That… I might not write until… well, at least after this.  This is my treat to myself.  I’d like to think that maybe I’ve deserved it.

Last year was really difficult.  Or rather, the year before were really.  It’s been that way for quite some time.

Oh “time…”

Life has hit me hard.  The top photo was actually taken during a relaxed moment last year… before it all happened.

After it all happened.

Same difference right? Heh.

The inside kitchen wall of my then loft just outside downtown but not quite in an artist colony might make me look like a bit of a hard ass criminal.  Rest assured, that is not true.  You can even check my record if you’re curious.  The funny thing, however,  is that I seem to get the criminal label quite frequently.  Confused?  Read on and hopefully you will understand a bit more.

There is a quote by Butch Patrick (aka Eddie Munster) which just sort of stuck with me since that first time it came into passing:

“I may be little but I’m odd.”

At four foot, ten inches in stature this rang true for me on all sorts of levels.  It’s been the blessing and curse that has followed along beside me each step of the way.

I could potentially have to go into labor tomorrow.  This pregnancy has been an abundance of surprises and complexities.  A test tomorrow at 1 will determine our fate.  So why the hell am I even awake at this hour?

My exes would lead you to believe I’m crazy.  The entourage of potential clients in the background might believe that I might be…

And I think about how much different my life is today than it even was yesterday.  Reeling back to a month ago.  To six months ago.  To a year ago. To two years ago.

And so on.

And so on.

“You wanted this.”

I found scrawled on a piece of paper.

I did.  

I didn’t know it.

I didn’t plan it.

But it was likely there… waiting.

Like that first day I saw my son on that screen.

In the following months that would come into fruition after that night I finally got the guts to leave I would be amazed at the wonders of the heart.  Of the wonders of all of those around me.  Complete with their flaws as well as their peaks.

Nearly a full day week has passed since I started to write this draft.  My doctor’s appointment has come and gone.  Thankfully I am not typing this from a hospital bed.  I’m still at home on my computer… thinking about how to tell those potentials that I might not be available for a week or two to talk, plowing through Amazon looking at strollers and car seats (that won’t be here until after I have my son thanks to crappy customer service and shipping deception), thinking about the next few days hours… and enjoying a bit of the quiet and introspection.

He’s going to be here soon.

I was glowing as I left the appointment.  I am excited.  My doctor let me decide when I’m going to be induced.  Due to the complications with this pregnancy (of which I feel has been about the entirety and theme of it), I have one week day maximum before he must make his exit.

It all started a  couple of weeks or so ago when something just seemed a bit odd.  I didn’t know what it was and I barely mentioned it to my doctor.  Why the heck was I itching so much? Was I just nervous?  Surely it wasn’t all those nonexistent hikes I’ve been going on.

I was told that I have some uncommon liver issue that makes my son’s exit necessary or I could potentially lose him.  They call it cholestasis.  Feel free to click the link and read about it further if you dare.  I won’t be boring you with all the nitty gritty medical details.

My due date wasn’t for several weeks.  I remember joking about it during my pregnancy how funny it would be if he came before/on Halloween.  And now?  Well, hopefully he will.  I go into the doctor later tonight in hopes of potentially having that Halloween baby.

The debatable crazier part?  I might be alone.

Even crazier?  It’d be my choice.

Papa bear will not be present.  I didn’t give him specifics nor will I.  After he’d told me several times about how he wished this baby not to exist, I fought with my heart to tell him anything more beyond my diagnosis and planned induction. Hours left to go and… I still wonder if not telling him more than that is the right decision.  But I can’t be stressed to think about it more than that.  It’s admittedly somewhat selfish but after all that has happened, this is a special moment going to be shared with the one person who always (didn’t know) wanted him to exist.

Yesterday I was talking to a friend about my upcoming birth.  He asked me how I was going to get to my appointment tonight.

“I’ll take a bus. No big deal.”

He seemed baffled by this.

“No one is taking you?  Who is bringing you home?”

“I had offers but it’s not that big of a deal.  I can get a bus there. My friend is going to pick me up since she has a car seat already and mine hasn’t come in the mail yet.”

He wouldn’t let me do that.  He offered to take me.  So did others.  I wasn’t going to take any of their offers.  I was ready to do it alone.  I feel like I have been alone for a majority of this pregnancy anyway.  I’d made peace with it.

But I caved.

“Well maybe we could get dinner or something before I go in?”

“Ha.  What do you want for your last meal?”

“Poutine. And maybe some [famous named] ice cream.”

“We should post a FB invite for people wanting to have dinner before you pop!”

I couldn’t really go that far.

And while poutine is magical, there’s still a part of me that wonders if I should just take the bus.  I have some wonderful people around me and… I just think I want to be alone.

 

Going back to how things were once upon a different time ago…

Last year I turned 30.  My then best friend moved up North to Seattle and… I nearly almost moved there myself.  I was doing fantastically.  The year before that had been.. an absolute nightmare.

(I haven’t talked to her much since I got pregnant.  She has mysteriously disappeared from contact…)

Most people enter their thirties and freak out.  I did the opposite.  So much so that I remember that last airport train back when someone asked me about my boyfriend back home and I was glowing when I answered.

“I don’t need one.”

That was, of course, before I met bear.

Fast forward to a few months later.  To coffee shop visits in the early morning and later to that day I let this guy I knew help out with some work around the office. (With results so disastrous I had to fire him only an hour later.)

“That’s your boyfriend isn’t it?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

To the yearly Halloween party at The Studio Bar.

(I wish I had those pictures.)

Greg and Janet (pictured below) host the most amazing holiday parties every year.  Little did I know it at the time but the man I brought to that party (dressed as Hi from Raising Arizona) would be the father of my future child.  And while I wasn’t dressed as a cop to that party, perhaps the baby part was the one thing missing from that costume.  Lord knows that I could imagine that’d be the look on his face when our son (not named Nathan Jr) would have garnered from him if he… actually was going to be present.

 

haha Jena is going to be pregnant

But that’s the way life goes.  It’s unscripted.  And as much as these past couple of years have had their down points, there has also been a tremendous amount of glory in it all.

And maybe that’s why I fight so much.

I get a lot of flack on a nearly daily basis for why I stay here in Los Angeles despite all of the hardships and struggles.  During my pregnancy I was told by several people (including and especially family) that I should just “move away and be a better mother” and that staying was “selfish” of me.  I get talked down to like my choices are that of some sort of criminal constantly.  I have learned who my real support system is.  Who my real friends are.  Who… I was wrong about.  Who… my REAL family is.

So why is being an individual with out of the box ideas something to criminalize?  Why does society constantly feel a need to punish those who are educated in ways of… perhaps the full effect.

Mind.

Body.

Soul.

(I swear I showered and am not a hippy.)

It’s a constant struggle with the world to tell them to… just open their damn eyes.

When my children were here this summer we analyzed the word “monster.”  Our Disney experience was filled with laughter as I asked them why they were not scared of people like Sully from Monsters Inc.

“Because monsters aren’t real mommy.” they told me.

“Oh but they are.”

They didn’t understand.  I talked a bit more about it with them.

“Monsters are real people.  They can be anyone.  They can even be me or you.”

“How?”

“Everyone has a monster living inside of them.  It’s not always a bad thing.  But anyone is capable of being a scary horrible monster.  It’s a choice. “

Later in their visit, my father would start talking down to me condescendingly in front of them.  I said the word again.

“Monster.”

The kids understood.

The same could be said about this criminal complexity.  Anyone can get the title just like anyone could be a criminal.  (Or so at least the Joker tried to prove ala The Killing Joke)

Being an actual criminal though is a choice.

There is so much magic in this world.  There is also so much disaster.  Our society has not “grown up” much as we’d like to think.

We are embedded to think that different is bad.  That it must be squashed, medicated, criminalized, and otherwise reprimanded.

But then there are some lucky, wonderful, amazing people who see through the bullshit and know better.  And these are my friends.  They are the music makers.  They are the dreamers of the dreams.  They are part of my inspiration to keep going towards these dreams and why I am closer and closer everyday to actualizing them all into reality.

One by one.

Day by day.

It’s all happening.

All because I’m making it happen.

Alone.  

that’s ok I don’t need it

…And it’s the best place I’ve ever been yet.

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