Pollyanna is a strange being.

Captain’s Log:

Writing is coming along a little more naturally.

Maybe when I was so broken in my marriage—full of heat and passion, bulldozing through my personal life in some beautifully messy and glorious way—it served some period of profound growing.

After all, I was a perfectly magnificent mess when I started this blog, and it fueled the words that fell onto page—words that brought me to life again and reminded me of the importance of becoming.

I’m on the heels of another type of uprising; it may get messy and I’ll have no clue my exact direction when I come to the bends, but I’ll be okay, just as though I carry myself through. I’ll lean on God and trust that He knows where to take me.

My blogs and Facebook kept me afloat for a long time. It’s not that the relationships were necessarily bad, they just left me feeling like I always had to prove something.

Look, I’m a good Mom…I’m adventurous and outgoing…I’m a little closed off but don’t forget me! Whatever our very own big deals may be.

Facebook holds the sporty guys and their marathons, or the tech geeks and the people who hate the world and everybody. There’s the women and their children. There’s the politically charged and overstated, and the meek understated who don’t want to anger anybody.

Facebook—whom I’ll refer to as Felix from now on, as one should perhaps give a name to their bad habits—is merely a rush of rather ordinary life, constantly being streamed at hyper speed; our perfect moments captured so beautifully. In that way, Felix is really nothing more than a bunch of carefully selected moments, while the ugly stays hidden and complex, convincing us that we are all alone in our own tragedies.

Felix once served a great purpose—tiny moments of validation and mini-revelations that I was still someone who lived and breathed and who was, perhaps, still worth something.

The plight of the stay-at-home mom is really something. Our brains are typically juggling more jobs at one time than any single career might demand of us. The catch is that the entire circus showed up for lunch and they are eating in the living room. The elephants are shitting on the carpets and the hyenas are climbing the shelves.

I sometimes wonder if people realize the full scope of being a stay-at-home mom, and I worry that there are a lot of young moms out there choosing this route who question their validity. Because that happens. We somehow can put everyone else above ourselves for so long, that we sort of forget—over time—how to really live for ourselves. There is something to be said for honoring our own needs.

I’m in a place right now where I need a heck of a lot more of that self-love, and to deny the things God has put before me, would be largely a tragedy. I think for a long time, I haven’t been allowing myself to really live. I kept myself bound to the constraints of having to be what other people expected of me.

When I was carrying Joseph, I used to sit up in that big house up on that steep hill in Nolensville. I would rub my stomach, so unsure of what the future would bring. I would pray that God would take care of things. I didn’t know His purpose and the lack of control over my own life, had me in a moment of profound clarity. There was nothing to do but to sit…and to wait.

“Baby Joseph,” I used to whisper down to my swollen belly, “hang in there with Mommy.” I  knew I would have to figure out the proper balance between writing and raising him.

I’ve been angry, really. I don’t even know how to articulate it anymore. I went off on my town; God, though, what about this place I love so much for some unknown reason. Pollyanna is a quaint little place on the outskirts of Nashville, where everyone knows  everyone. It’s a mixture of progressives and a dying breed of Mayberry mentality.

Politics in Pollyanna have mostly run on the “Good Ol’ Boy” network—the resume of who knows whom and how good is his golf game.

I know that network well, and so it’s humorous to me. Dad was a Good Ol’ Boy. He was also a brute, neglectful, and verbally abusive man who knew how to make himself look good. As a girl growing up in his house, where back-handed compliments were commonplace, I never learned to fully trust the small southern town country clubbers with their very own blue ribbon in the art of ass kissing. But perhaps, Dad just left his type as a filthy stain upon my lens. Perhaps, I should ease up. Clean it a little. Try to understand the difference between him and them.

There’s something that happens in a little girl’s life when she grows up neglected in a room with a mattress for a bed. Something happens when her only sense of hope is the  little cross she had nailed herself, right above her makeshift bed.

Conversations with God was everything back then. It was a place for me to go and to dream. I dreamed of a family, one more solid and complete than the one life had dealt me.

For a really long time, I believe I have repressed that little girl. Her pain was so deep and impossible for her, that she learned well to stick herself under the covers and to never let herself fully speak. Her self-doubt was massive enough, that she’d rather silence herself than to disagree. I have to forgive that little girl, you know. Her father. Her family.

This process of emerging from my own cocoon, has been this incredible revelation of motherhood and self; an expansion of going on three years of awakening and becoming. My wings are sticky, but emerging. Its time to close my universe a little, while sending my voice out far and wide.

Felix was great while it lasted, but lately, when I use it, I don’t really feel like I’m living. My connections with my universe have gotten so expansive, that I have numbed myself to what’s right in front of me.

I have this beautiful, blue-eyed boy with sandy brown hair to raise. His skin burns easily in the sun, and the heat leaves his cheeks cherry red. I have to embrace this time I am given. I have to be sure to raise him gently and lovingly, to teach him to be progressive while grounded in his faith; to teach him to serve God and his family, while avoiding at all cost, being a piece of shit who puts himself above others.

From here, I will chronicle my life here in Pollyanna. Raising a little boy in the middle of what is panning out to be a fight to the death for the Good Ol’ Boys club, and their attempt to raise the dead in a zombie apocalypse of confederate soldiers and worship of country.

Pollyanna is a strange being that’s full of a love for Christ, but the political climate here is silent and unnerving. It breathes the oddest beats of Southern Charm dispersed with ruthless evangelical Christianity. It’s the perfect mixture of “bless your heart” and a slap in the face, with perfectly-edged white frosting.

C.Brownlee, Writer, Space Force, 2018