Monday, August 16, 2010

In which New Medicine finds Candyland's face and live to tell about it

I use to be a lot of things: fun, free-spirited, outgoing, independent, and fearless. And among other more superficial things, I was crazy thin without that annoying upper arm (and everything) jiggle only childbirth could instigate. I was once a guitar-wielding (self-proclaimed) bad ass, ready to officially start my life since I'd only been skimming by all the years before.

But, once I fell in love and started baking that little bun in my oven, everything changed. I wasn't *me* anymore. I was us, we, our, him and her. Then I caught a major bout of post-partum depression and it was a long, LONG road I thought I'd never recover from. I actually thought I was going to die. Don't get me wrong, I love my life, marriage and motherhood and wouldn't trade any of it. But, there was a part of *me* I thought I'd lost forever, and it hurt, burned and stung like nothing I'd ever felt before. So, though I started to rely on us, we, our, him and her, a hole inside kept growing and I became only wife and mommy....and I had no idea where the *me* went, or how to get it back.

Fast forward through some of life's typical highs and lows.

Something the hubs said regarding Saturday's New Medicine show suddenly struck me. A bulb shattered overhead. A siren went off. A buzzer sounded. Loud. And. Clear. It's not just about the band. Or the music. Or the lyrics. Or the Matt Brady eye candy. It's the way all of it, together, makes me *me* again.

New Medicine filled the empty, lonely, misunderstood space. The part that only music could translate. I don't like it, crave it, desire it. I NEED it. It's the same way I feel about writing. They connect with the missing piece in me, and I only hope my words might do that for you.

And because of the life they pumped back into those dull veins, the only time Candyland will ever show her face on this blog, is today. Because I want you to see the face of someone, once lost, reborn again. If you're ever in doubt, about what you're saying, conveying, or portraying, remember: the power of words, compassion, gratitude and human connection really do mean something. I've got proof.
Thank you, followers of old for reading my words and connecting through comment and email. Thank you, followers of new for finding me and deciding I'm worth your time. Thank you, New Medicine for finding *me.* Thank you hubs for allowing me to always be me, (whoever she is) up or down through all the years of us, we, our, him and her.

And thank you, Brady, for the beer, the hugs, and the continual inspiration re: J2W. You make me want to be a better person, just by knowing you. I look forward to drawing more awareness to J2W, together, this fall. To everyone who's lost the spark, the smiles, the memories, the joy and everything in between, remember: 
"The strong resolve to fight"

My friends, what, in your life, salvaged the parts of you once forgotten?
Candyland. OUT.


Robin_Lucas said...

I know exactly what you mean! But don't let this be the only time you show your face on your blog-- I expect a huge picture (or Vlog) when you sign your amazing book deal as well as a pic of you and your book when its published ;)


Vicki Rocho said...

First off you are BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for ending the mystery, even if it's just for the day.

Funny you should post this today because just yesterday I was feeling a healthy dose of who the hell am I? My trouble, I think, is that I went from living with my parents to living with my boyfriend whom I later married.

I never had that transitional space where I got to be ME and do whatever the hell I wanted and figure out who I was in relation to everyone else around me.

At the time, I didn't think it mattered. But now? I spend so much of my life being mommy/wife/employee/friend that I don't know for sure where Vicki is anymore.

I love my family, my friends, my job. I'm blessed beyond belief to have all these wonderful things in my life. So blessed, and yet sometimes I resent them a tiny bit because they stand guard between who I am today and who I think I was/who I'd like to be. And then the guilt comes in torrents because I DO love them so much it feels wrong to 'blame' them for anything.

I know what you're saying. And I'm THRILLED you found a way back to you. Hold on to it!

Jaydee Morgan said...

Very heartfelt post - thanks for sharing all of it. I think most of us tend to wrap ourselves up in motherhood when we first have our kids. But as they grow, so do we :)

Anne said...

I love your pictures and I'm glad you found you! (though I'll love ya anyway I can get ya)

Kelly said...

That looks like an amazing night, Candace! Fabulous pics!
I, too, find that concerts revive me. I have three children and for the first ten months of their life, it was all about them. I rarely left them. But once they weren't nursing anymore, I became me again. Though I seriously loved the newborn part, I even miss those days, but finding myself again when that part is over is awesome too. I like what Jaydee said, as they grow, so do we.
I find that at concerts I can just let loose and scream out all the words, dance for hours straight and not have to worry about anyone but myself and getting as close to the stage as possible. :)
So glad you had a great night, you deserve it !

Lenny said...

hi miss candance! i dont have much words on this except youre sooooo pretty...welcome home...i love you!
...hugs from lenny

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Well, I already knew you were beautiful, Candace -- but those photos are absolutely gorgeous! I'm happy that you are feeling upbeat and renewed and validated! A reason to celebrate!

Mary McDonald said...

Great post, and I don't know why you don't want to show your picture on your blog. You're gorgeous! I'd be plastering my pic everywhere if I looked like you. lol.

As far as finding me, writing has done that for me. I had never lost 'me', I just hadn't found 'me' until I began writing when I was in my early thirties. I tried drawing first, but that never quite fit. It was okay, but I can only draw from pictures, not create something new. Writing let me get all the stories I'd always thought of, out onto paper.

Linda G. said...

Beautiful pics, Candace. It's wonderful to see you looking so happy. :)

How do I keep hold of my essential "me-ness"? My writing has always done it for me. The writer me is me alone. Not wife, not mommy, not daughter or friend. Everyone needs a little alone time. :)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

You. Are. Amazing. Here's why:
A) You're so honest it brings tears to my eyes
B) You're gorgeous
C) You're strong
D) You lost yourself, you're getting yourself back. That takes tremendous courage.
I'm still don't know who I am, it feels like I'm someone else every day. But whenever I feel like a shadow of who I should be, I just think of Alice's rebuttal to the world that she doesn't remember (in the movie, not book) - "Lost my muchness, have I?" :)
This post is beautiful, thank you for posting it.

Matthew Rush said...

You DO look happy. Glowing even.

I think this is wonderful. It's nice to know you've found a way to rekindle that connection with the *you* that feels missing.

Alexa O said...

Motherhood takes it out of you, for sure. My daughter is two, and starting to talk. This helps a LOT for me, because it's not ALL give give give like it was when she was a tiny baby. Now she's a person, and we share our day more.

Leaving my husband when she was two months old, moving in with my inlaws for eight months, and finishing my master's degree is what brought me back to *me.*

And I'll do anything to stay here.

Glad you're back, mama.

LTM said...

and such a pretty face! :o)

it feels so good when you get it back, no? Late '90s was a dark period for me, then 2001 hit... What brought me back? Why JRM, of course!

ah, l'amour! ;p good to see you~

salarsenッ said...

I already love your face. *cheese* I'm glad you've made that connection with what fills you. When another valley hits you, remember this post.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I don't know why you've been hiding that gorgeous smile!

Writing and connecting with other writers revives that *me* inside. I'm so glad I have it.

Tahereh said...

i want to reach through the internet and hug you so hard.

im so happy you found that missing piece.

we all love you for it.


Patty Blount said...

You are so inspiring! Don't hide that face anymore!

Kelly Breakey said...

OK you should have said ***Spoiler Alert*** Super Hot Chick AKA Candy! Girl you are georgeous! Don't be hiding that face anymore!

But I do understand the not feeling like yourself. I am so glad you found something that brings you back to you. That is a gift.

Laura Pauling said...

I agree, it is easy to lose yourself in a marriage and parenthood. Writing fills that hole in my life too! Anything just for me! Glad you made it where you are!

KarenG said...

Being much older than you, there's more of me that could be lost, but except for the skinny and cute me, I'm pretty much all here still. And who knows which one will be present on which day. Thank heavens for a wonderful husband who values all of the "me's" in his life.

Jen said...

I hate being lost but I love finding myself once I've figured out the next phase of my life!!!

I'm both terrified and excited about the child years, I'm glad I'm not there yet, I'm not meant to be there but I'll expect you to teach me and tell me to find myself when I'm lost Candyland... just because you rock like that :)

Alison Miller said...

Candy - you're an inspiration! I feel the same way about my hubby, my writing, my kiddos, .... And you can be "reborn" through so many different avenues. I love reading your blogs!

PS - stoked about the tee, girl. :)

Robyn Campbell said...

HUN, YOU ARE SOME KINDA GORGEOUS! And great news! SHE REALLY DOES HAVE A HEAD! WOW! Okay, enough with the exclamation points. I do believe I overdid those little suckers.

Glad you found yourself so I could know you. So I thank New Medicine and your hubby, too. ;)

For me it is my Christopher. He showed me a 'me' that I never knew existed. A me worth something. All my kids did that, but Christopher really tied it all together.

Super post, pal.

BTW, that three chapter crit was AWESOME. I mean AWESOME! Thanks girl. *hugs*

aspiring_x said...

wonderful, inspiring post! i'm so glad you're able to feel like yourself again! (and it's wonderful to be able to put a face to your post- totally gorgeous btw!) :)

Carolyn V. said...

Candy! You're so dang cute!I love your post. It's so inspiring! =)

Anonymous said...

I didn't expect to be so emotional by the end of this post, but I truly am. I haven't had children or anything so life-changing, but I've misplaced a bit of my spark in a different way.

Please don't ever lose your honesty, it is so refreshing and comforting!

Also, you are gorgeous!

Kelly said...

OMG! Guess who I'm seeing in concert on Saturday? NEW MEDICINE! I didn't even realize it. I'm taking my son to his first concert but only paid attention to the top three bands that we like. But I saw taht New Medicine is in the lineup too.
What are some good songs I should buy?

Susan Fields said...

Aha! I got to see Candyland's face - I'm so glad I didn't miss this post! I haven't suffered post-partum depression myself, but I have friends who have, and it sounds awful. I'm so glad to hear you're feeling back to your old self! My hubby's taking me to a concert on Wednesday (two more days!) Let's just say my kids are teens now, and it's been a long, long time since I've been to a concert. I can't wait!

Angela Ackerman said...

Great post! I find writing is my connection to 'me', my way to set aside wife and mother and reclaim who I am without the much-prized labels. :)

February Grace said...

Dude- er, dudette- you are GORGEOUS. I mean movie star gorgeous. Seriously. Thank you for showing us that smile.

Thank you for giving a voice to what so many of us go through as mothers and wives. It may not always be the case but it has been in mine- I can tell you for sure that the older they get (the kid(s)) the more you remember who you are. And that's good. Because by the time they're telling you that they know who they are and it scares you, knowing who you are is a definite plus.

if that makes no sense, sorry, it must be the fever typing. er, talking.

big hugs~

February Grace said...

P.S. Arm jiggle? I don't see no freakin arm jiggle are you even kidding me? LOL


You're gorgeous. A goddess, even.

Arm jiggle.

Again I say pfffffffffffft.

Talli Roland said...

What a wonderful, inspiring post. You're gorgeous - even though I already knew you were - and you look so happy! Your post is a great reminder that every little bit of ourselves is still there just waiting to be found again.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

How's the revision going?

DL Hammons said...

So much joy and happiness in that face!!! And what a cute face it is too! What an honest...gut wrenching post. Thank you for opening yourself to us...and trusting. :)

Elana Johnson said...

Three words: You are GORGEOUS.

(That is all.)

Lisa and Laura said...

All I have to say is WOW. Wow you are gorgeous, wow this post is beautifully put, wow I've felt this exact same way. LOVE.