8 a.m. My phone vibrates and I sleepily roll over and paw at my nightstand until i grasp my phone. I open one eye and see I have a text message.
“Good Morning! I’m sorry I didn’t call back the other day. I will call you later I’m looking forward to seeing you on Thanksgiving. Luv u. (insert several lovestruck smiley faces)” I was already happy as I slowly woke up but that text message from my Aunt elevated my mood to joy. I love good morning texts, especially ones with so many emoticons. I set my phone back down and burrowed myself into my covers and pillow. I smiled because I love the little personality quirks that run deep in our family. The Hansen’s, well we’re pretty freaking happy people in the morning; Her peppy text is just one little example. I absolutely love little things like that.
Then I thought, “I really need to call Dad.” I decided I’d lay around for 10 minutes and then buzz my pops. I guess I sent some good energy out because not even 5 minutes later, guess who called.
I answered and said, “I know you’re not going to believe this but was actually getting ready to call you” He responded with, “Boo-Boo! (one of my many childhood nicknames)” Joy elevation level 2. I love hearing my father happy. Maybe because he’s just so full of energy all the time and as much as we spar and differ in our views on life and being human in general, he can make me smile even when all I want to do is throw things at him.
Usually my phone calls with my father are short and awkward. I hate talking on the phone. And my father has ADD like whoa and he can’t stay focused on anything that comes out of my mouth, so it’s usually me listening to him get all excited and hyper about something that happened with work or the sunday school kids he teaches. I have about 3 people that I can actually have great phone conversations with; my father is not one of them. I don’t mind it though. Like him and I both say, “It is what it is”. But I was pleasantly surprised when we got 10 minutes into the back and forth communication and neither of us seemed bored. It was nice for a change.
And then things took a turn unexpectedly and as I sit here writing this, I’m still in shock and mad appreciation for the little things that can absolutely without a doubt change the dynamics in interpersonal relationships and families as a whole. Anyone that is close with me knows my family background. They also know in depth, what the relationship with my step-mother looks like. Since the age of 14, her and I have battled. It hasn’t really been much of an issue the past year though since I’ve accepted 100% that my family situation is that of anyone else’s: dysfunctional; but it’s the hand I was dealt. My relationship with her in particular is exactly what it is. I can either continue the battle and choose not to heal my own wounds or forgive, let go, enjoy the now and just be thankful and happy that my father has someone share his life with. I wasn’t always able to do that. But now that I’m older and have gone through my own missteps and trials in life separate from my family, I’ve just learned that the more you focus on the good, the more good you see and then it just has a domino effect.
My dad asked, “Do you wanna talk to mom?” Side note: I don’t call her “Mom”. She is Janice to me, but I think it makes my Dad feel like he’s doing his peacemaker duty by addressing her as our mother. I also think it makes him feel better, even if we don’t reciprocate. I said, “Sure.”
Janice had just had surgery on her foot a couple weeks prior so I asked how she was feeling and then she asked me how I was feeing. I’m two months post-operation on the removal of my endometriosis. I think that was the first time I heard someone ask me how I was feeling and I could actually hear the empathy. My battle with endometriosis was a rough one. I’ll probably write a detailed blog post about it sometime but it’s way too involved to do that now. It felt nice to have someone that knew what I went through care enough to temperature check and see how things were.
I took a deep breath. I was looking forward to saying the words that were about to come out of my mouth. “I feel fantastic. I never realized how much the endo affected everyday life in the way that it did. I was always a thin little toothpick, in constant pain, stressed out and never felt like I had control of anything because I was fighting the mess that was inside my body. Now that it’s not there anymore, I just feel alive for the first time. I know I’ve always had a ton of energy and no issue bee-bopping around but it’s just heightened. It’s kinda strange living in a healthy body for the first time. Plus, work is going really well, I’m super happy with my firm transition and I’m keeping my promise to Grandma and living out what I’m passionate about. That feeling can’t be put into words.”
“Sadie, I’m so happy to hear that. I see that as nothing but a blessing and something you’ve worked so hard for. That’s great. You know, I was thinking the other day about all three of you girls and how right now, all 3 of you are living your dreams and goals you had since you were little…”
(Excuse me while I get a little choked up. If you know my step-mother, you know she doesn’t normally say things like this. Or if she does, it doesn’t come out in warm-fuzzy context. So hearing her talk about me and my sisters the way she was and knowing that all the words she was saying were coming from a place of love, adoration and straight up just being proud of us really kind of felt like Christmas morning to me.)
“…Your sister Megan has always been the wild child. She wanted to be a biker chick and live ferociously and had her mind made up at the age of 7. Now she has her Harley, lives in California and is being true to her dreams, even if we don’t agree or like it. Mandy has her family and has a house full of little ones like she always wanted. And you, our intelligent and talented writer. All three of you created exactly what you always wanted and tackled goals. In your own ways you each are following destinies and grabbing stars that have been inside of you for a long time. That’s something that your father and I are very proud to say and it’s a testament to anyone that you need to live the way that makes you happy and follow your hearts desires. ”
I don’t know if it was just because my parents were on their way to Church that prompted what I was hearing on the other end of the phone, but I didn’t care. I was hearing things that I literally was waiting my entire life to hear.
My throat tightened up and I fought the tears that were forming and I said, “Thank you. I’d really love to hear more of those things, especially from you. All three of us could really use that encouragement and expression of how you see us. That means a lot, Janice.”
“I know I’m not the best at saying what should be said and telling you girls those things but just know that I love you.”
Well there goes a tear free Sunday. Sigh. I let a couple water drops fall and then we finished up our conversation. I hung up, sat my phone own on the nightstand and rested in stillness and took in the moment.
Right now the Rolling Stones song “You can’t always get what you want” is playing through my headphones as I sit in starbucks typing this and I’m filled with emotion. It’s true, “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try. Sometimes you might find. You get what you need.” Mick jagger, I think I may have a new appreciation for your antics.
The universe is not stupid. It gives you what you need at any given moment. To stumble and fall, to succeed, to teach yourself a lesson, to teach someone else a lesson and to grow. I’m very thankful that I can recognize that. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a little bit of a dreamer and a hyper-sensitive; or maybe God gave me crazy compassion and intuition to see below the surface of everything and connect dots in a way that others spend their lives fighting to ignore. Who knows. But holy shit, today is a good day. I know precisely how ice cube and p-diddy feel. 🙂
So if I can draw any correlation from what happened this morning, I think I learned a lesson in things ALWAYS work themselves out. You may not get exactly what you want when you want it, but you get what you need whether or not you can see it right away or not. I may have wanted to hear the words my step-mother said to me as a wounded, confused teenager but I heard them as a strong, grounded and driven woman. Her words make me want to be even better. Love even harder and appreciate the life I have because I’m creating what is carved deep in my soul.
Mike Dooley said it best, “All that you need, to have all that you want, lies inside of you, right now. Everything.”
And with anything, always give back. So i got my happy ass up, went downstairs, turned up some Petty and cooked and delivered breakfast in bed for the roomies. Sunday mornings are the best. 🙂