(Makes zero sense! I haven’t had enough coffee to refrain from mixing my thoughts up. So yeah, the world is my oyster and I’m gonna draw allllllllll over it. You know, as if it was a chalk board.)
I begin this “story” with an exceptional quote some of you may or may not have heard:
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
The quote actually happens to be from an exceptional story I read yesterday on a plane home from Los Angeles. A few months ago, the first time I visited California, I found myself in the breathtakingly gorgeous town of Santa Barbara after a couple “magical” interventions from the Universe . I was hell bent on seeing an intuitive because there were answers to questions that I desperately needed and it seemed all my searching and trying to uncover the stirrings of my heart weren’t getting me anywhere. My thought process: “If I can’t figure this shit out, there has to be someone that can.” See, “trying to uncover” has been my motto once I figured out it was okay to have a voice of my own. The trick has been finding that voice despite not knowing what it sounded like, felt like or if it really even existed. I wanted explanations for why certain things happened to me, I wanted reasons why I had made certain decisions, realizations of why I had attracted certain people and situations into my life and needed a clear definition and physical manifestation of the unease in my soul and ache in my heart. After the relentless and exhaustive seeking I had done up to this point, sitting across from a “psychic” behind a red velvet curtain seemed like the most reasonable and rational way to go about getting my answers. Aquarius trait much?
I had to wait about 30 minutes before my scheduled reading, so I took the opportunity to browse the store. Smell all the essential oils? Check. Ooh and Aah over all the pretty stones and gems? Check. Sniff all the candles and acquire a headache from the olfactory overload? Check. Drink 4 cups of really kick ass tea in 15 minutes and tweak out on caffeine? Check. Have a sense of complete oneness and out of body experience as I got as close to “being in the moment” as I have ever been before? Check. Find a line of oracle cards dedicated to dogs, then see an entire shelf of things dedicated to the spirituality of dogs and make a note to myself that it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who thinks dogs know way more than they’re letting on? Check. Look to my left and see a small book and think, “I need to buy that book. It’s speaking to me”? Check.
Just as I went to pick up the book, my name was called. I jumped a little and the book fell to the ground. With my cheeks reddening, I picked up the book and set it back on the shelf. I followed the sales associate back, my heart beating a little faster while excitement AND anxiety built; As the curtain was drawn back I expected to see what everyone sees in the movies: gypsy explosion. However, there were no crystal balls or tapestries sewn together with gold thread. No patchouli infused incense, tarot cards or new age music playing. Just a table, two chairs, a beautiful picture of a woman standing in front of a prism of light and a very large gray poodle that decided to lay under the table and sniff my legs during the hour long reading. Pretty sure it’s the same dog that was on the front of that oracle card deck.
This is not part of the story where I tell you the secrets of the Universe were revealed to me and I emerged from the small room with the red velvet curtain with super-powers or the ability to see dead people. The opposite happened actually. Everything that I had “known” or possessed a gut-feeling about was confirmed. Things that I never even thought about were brought up to get my brain thinking. Then things that I really didn’t want to discuss were thrown in the mix and everything I thought I knew went to shit. My question of “Well, what am I supposed to do? Do I choose A or B” was met with “Mercedes, you already know the answer.” Enter internal eye roll and silent “Well, what the fuck am I supposed to do with that?”. Sigh. I was now an ambiguous super-nova. Thank you psychic lady.
Little did I know, things were about to get very interesting.
[If you are just starting to follow along with this blog or need a refresher, let me take things back just a bit. Last year I fell in love with a boy. I decided, even though I had fallen in love with a boy, I was going to accept a job in Guam and move 7,500 miles away to write my book and see shit, while still trying to maintain a relationship. How in the hell do you maintain a 7,500 mile long distance relationship? Uh, you don’t. 4 months after leaving to go fulfill some dreams, I came back for a number of reasons that are irrelevant to the story. Relationship between said boy and I didn’t end up working out and I broke it off shortly before visiting California.]
A few days after my reading in Santa Barbara, I sat on a little white couch in a bedroom, in a house that overlooked the ocean. Pandora was playing some acoustic station, I was studying someone else’s “vision board” and it was another one of those “in-the-moment-out-of-body-experiences”. The opening strums of Dream a little dream of me floated through the speaker of my phone, my entire body burst out in chill bumps and I started to cry. They say “when you know, you know” and I fucking knew. I was pregnant.
I had always day dreamed about picking my daughter up in her super-soft pale pink blanket, holding her to my chest and gently singing, “Stars shining bright above you, night breezes seem to whisper, I love you. Birds singin’ in the sycamore tree, dream a little dream of me”. As those melodic words filled the room of reality and I continued to spew tears, the world as I knew it completely…halted. It felt like a punch in the stomach or the hardest slap in the face, maybe a combination of both. For just a few weeks ago, I had decided to end my relationship and move to California. One of the reasons for me even sitting on that damn white couch in the first place was to figure out where I was going to live and where I was going to work once I bought my plane ticket. And now, the eve before Easter, I felt like Mary and the immaculate conception 2.0. Mechanically I knew how I wound up pregnant, but situation-ally I was screaming, “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”
“Do you know for sure?” my friend asked. “Well, in Santa Barbara I was already a week late. Can you give me any other explanation why my boobs are literally trying to murder me, I’m eating like a professional fat kid and want to puke about 7.3 seconds? I need to get a pregnancy test.” I would be lying if I said I went about the rest of the day like a normal person who isn’t plagued with the thoughts of her hopes and dreams going up in flames while she watches it from her old and tattered couch in her small and rented out trailer – Yup. I quickly transported my future-self to a Louisiana trailer park complete with shitty decorum. I refuse to hold back the utter fear and despair I felt that day not knowing what the fuck was about to happen.
That night, I stared at the little pink box that was to decide my fate. I read on the internet that the best time to take a pregnancy test is as soon as you get up in the morning, so I decided to wait. I slowly put on pajamas, looked in the mirror and placed my hands on my stomach and thought, “Well, I guess I better enjoy this view for the last time.” I climbed into bed and dreamed about looking through pink quartz. I awoke at 4:00 a.m., pulled the packaging off the test with my teeth and peed. Before I could even put the cap back on and place it on the counter for the 2 minute waiting period indicated on the instructions, the lines were loud and clear: You, my dear, are definitely pregnant.
And suddenly, there was a shift. I was happy. I had a purpose. Nothing that happened prior to that point mattered anymore because I was having a baby. Then things shifted again and I became insanely protective thinking about the not-so-nice and alcohol induced argument my ex and I got involved in before I left for California which resulted in me saying, “I never thought I’d be one of those girls that was with one of those guys who would get violent.” I had no desire to go back to someone that could possibly push me around while he went on an anger infused drunken rage, even if part of him was now growing inside of me.
A day before I got on a plane to come home, emotional and hormonally charged me called emotional him and told him I was pregnant and that I hated him and was moving to California and there was nothing he could do about it. Yes, a very smart and well thought out way to ask someone to pick you up from the airport. Let me tell you, most awkward pick-up from baggage claim. Ever. You see, we were still living together. You know, the whole “we’re broken up and sleeping in separate rooms until one of us moves out” thing. So now I had to go back to that situation. Pregnant. And him with one objective: to win me back.
I held out for like a week. Barely speaking, complaining about how shitty I was feeling and trying my best not to ask him to pick me up a 50 gallon drum of strawberries on his way home from work because that’s all I wanted to eat. Well, a funny thing happens when you and someone else co-create another life. There’s all these things like hormones and weird chemicals and crazy stuff that’s happening to your body that when the person you were once madly in love with says, “You’re really going to take my child away from me? Think about how you grew up. Don’t you think we owe it to our child to make this thing work?”, you actually stop to answer those questions. Despite all signs pointing to “NO! STOP!”, you say, “Okay. I have this un-explainable bond with you now and you’re right. I don’t want my kid growing up like me so I’ll stay with you even though I was outrageously un-happy and this relationship was never anything close to healthy. Yup; SIGN. ME. UP. A kid is going to fix all of our problems.”
I won’t lie to you. I really wanted to make things work. I was being given a chance to have my own family, something that I thought my endometriosis would prevent me from doing. There was this window being opened and the rustling sound of the wind coming through that window saying, “Here’s your chance to do it differently. To create something on your terms. To experience unconditional love.” I ignored all the other facts and focused solely on the fairy-tale notion building up like cotton-candy in my head.
My first ultra-sound was scheduled for a Friday. I was far-enough along that I should be able to hear the heartbeat. With all the research I had done, I even knew what range the heartbeat should have fallen in. As the ultra-sound technician took us both back she said, “Do you have an empty bladder?” as I took a huge swig of water. I swallowed and replied, “Uh, no. I thought I needed to come in with a full one.” She pointed me to the bathroom and said she’d meet me in the exam room once I was finished. My stomach dropped when I realized I was spotting but my fears quickly dissipated as I saw the little fluttering of a heart on the screen. I started to cry. Then the technician said, “Looks like you’re going to have one heck of a Christmas present. Your due date is December 25th.” This was really real and it was really happening. We were then taken back to the Drs office and I asked him about the spotting and said that I was concerned about the heart rate being lower than what I had anticipated and researched. “Everything looks normal, you have nothing to worry about Mercedes.”
24 hours later as I laid on the bathroom floor in the worst pain of my life, about to lose my baby, I no longer wanted to know the answers. When the bleeding and cramping began a few hours after the first ultra-sound picture was taken, I knew what was about to go down. I bargained with the Universe between trips to the bathroom and refused to take any pain medicine because I wanted to “feel” everything. As I stared at the small ball of tissue that once contained a beating heart and entire DNA make-up that should have been cuddled-up in a pink-blanket, on my chest while I sang sweet words, my heart broke for the first time in my life. There are no words to describe already loving something so small and it captivating every part of your life only to have divine timing step in and say “time’s up”.
It took me a few weeks and several bottles of red wine to move through the initial loss phase. I wanted everyone to stay the fuck away from me and everything angered me. Babies became unbearable to look at and I broke down in tears every time I saw the word strawberry or the color red. I purged my soul out and literally became and empty vessel full of pain and confusion. It was torture getting up, most days I didn’t.
Then the work began. For the first time in months, I picked up my journal and I wrote. A few sentences at first. It felt foreign. I had to literally force myself to get anything down at times. I wanted so desperately to hold on to the pain and sadness, it was the only thing keeping me alive it seemed. Then I realized I wasn’t inching myself out of a hole, I was actually digging a deeper one and if I didn’t do anything about it, I wasn’t going to get out.
So, I took on a spiritual coach. I started to re-program myself on how to live, how to breathe, how to pay attention to my body and my heart and had someone I could be honest with that possessed the tools to help me do what my heart has wanted all along – to find my voice. Not the voice that is conditioned on another person or is calibrated based upon any other belief or opinion other than my own, but the voice that is spoken by moving through life and experiencing everything that I have allowed to enter my reality. Knowing that everything that comes in is here for my growth and not to work against me. Knowing that happiness is not a destination but a continual journey that I alone can choose to walk. It is not dependent on circumstances going on around me, the money I have in my bank account or if I have a child. It is not a ring on my finger with a promise to another person or even having somebody to make promises to. Although, let’s face it, having someone to love is awesome. It’s the voice that vibrates from that place right in the middle of your chest and a little to the left. It’s the voice that only you can hear and articulate. It’s your knowing regardless of what anybody else thinks you should do and it’s where you can always go to get the answers. Some days, you can’t hear it. Some days, you want to tell it to shut the fuck up. Some days, you wonder if it has laryngitis. Some days, it hums a long beautifully. Some days, it knows French and you don’t.
I started this story off with a quote I read in The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo a book I highly recommend. The same book I dropped on the floor before I had my reading. The same book I ran across right before my flight home yesterday. The same book I balled my eyes out reading because, “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” – The Alchemist. As I looked at my sun-kissed skin and out the window at the double rainbow shooting out at one of the clouds below, everything around me becomes better because I am better.
I truly believe that when you really want something, the Universe works with you. How else can I explain everything that has happened thus far. In order to know what you want, you have to experience what you don’t want. Well, I never wanted a boring life…I’ve never been able to say I’ve had one. I also can say that I want a truly exceptional life full of creativity, radiance, abundance, inspiration, magic, authenticity and to feel god damn sexy as often as I can. I can’t expect to experience those things without some heartache, face-palm moments and the universe sending me “equalizers”.
When you focus your intention on your heart’s true desires, it has to come to fruition. It wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t meant to actualize. Do you know how many forms it could possibly manifest in?? Be OPEN. That’s my intention. To openly follow the voice of my heart and see where it leads me.
I got much more from sitting behind that red-velvet curtain than I bargained for. For what seemed like the first time in my life, I was forced to go inward instead of outward and discovered so much by going where my heart lead me. I may not be welcoming a physical presence of another life on Christmas Day, however, I am forever grateful for her coming in and out of my life so fast to wake me up to all that is here right now.