*I feel it’s only fair to warn you that the following contains a bit of profanity. I would apologize for that, but in the spirit of “Myrtle”, I don’t feel an apology is necessary. 🙂
The above picture is “Myrtle”. Myrtle owns her own shit. Can I just tell you how much I love her? I happened upon Myrtle last week and haven’t been able to get her out of my mind. I love what she represents. Strength, courage, wisdom, sass, and a no nonsense, badass attitude. You go girl. It took me alot of years to find my “inner Myrtle”, so to speak. Carrie Hilgert, Artist , is the creator of Myrtle, and I find them (both Carrie and Myrtle!) to be amazing.
“Myrtle is a badass. Obviously. I mean, just look at her. She doesn’t even own a shirt, much less wear one. She doesn’t give two fucks what you think about that either. And she’s not overly concerned what you think about her using the word fuck. Because Myrtle is smart. She lives her life for herself. She loves hard and true but has no time for people’s nonsense. Get on board or get out. Once, she worked at a 50’s themed diner and dreamed of walking on the beach at sunset to feel the peace there. She finally did that and now she’s busy making her dreams come true and owning her life. “–Carrie Hilgert
It’s taken me MANY years to get to this point, where I can finally say that yes, I own my shit. Years of digging deep, letting myself feel things that I had locked away, hoping to never let resurface. I guess that was just my way of coping (or not coping) with situations I experienced through my life. Put the crap I didn’t know how to deal with in the box (in my head), lock that box and throw away the damn key. End of story. Proceed with life.
Newsflash, friends: You can only get away with that for so long, until the denial and the pretending catch up to you. And let me tell you—it can be a real train wreck. I guess you could say that my box became so full of crap that it finally exploded. And as you can imagine, all of those things that I didn’t want to think about, admit, or cope with were just having their way with my thoughts and emotions. I was a mess.
I now know that there are millions of people that experience those same things at one time or another in their life, but at the time, I felt incredibly alone and vulnerable. Desperate.
I distinctly recall calling my sister at 3am and just crying. Uncontrollably crying. I didn’t know what I was feeling, or what was going on with me, but I felt like I was drowning. I remember saying that to her, that I felt like I was drowning and that I just wanted to crawl into a dark hole and sleep forever.
I wasn’t the type of person that wanted to admit that I had demons inside that I needed to put a name to. I didn’t want to accept them, own them, or work through them. I thought they made me appear weak. I worried that I would be judged. I was ashamed of them and afraid of them. But when you find yourself at a point where you can’t make sense of the chaos and struggle, you know it’s time to do something about it. When I called my sister, we prayed. I will forever be grateful for the peace that I would get from that. I know that it was a defining moment. The moment when I began to know my shit, deal with my shit, and own my shit.
Because, let’s be honest, until you know what your shit is, you can’t own it. I started seeing a therapist, who helped me sort all of those demons out and put a name to them, so I could call them out. (Heads up to any of you out there worried that someone may find out that you go to a “shrink” or think that you’re crazy— It’s time to get over it. You ARE crazy; we ALL are in some way or other. Admitting that you could use some help figuring your shit out is a sign of strength. And it’s the hip thing to do. All the cool kids are doing it.) 🙂
Therapy for me, was like having someone crack the code to a mystery that I didn’t even know I had within me. Here’s a small sample of what I came to know and understand about myself. Obviously I’m greatly simplifying this, but I think you’ll get the gist of it…
My dad was in a fatal coal mining accident when I was 11. My mom, the most loving woman I’ve ever known, was dealing with the sudden tragic loss of her husband, after already having to cope with the death of two sons earlier in her life. I can’t even imagine what she was going through, but part of her coping was to be on the go a lot, and as a result, I found myself alone much of the time. I had anger for having lost not only him, but her, as well, in a lot of ways. Then, as a young adult, I lost my mom to cancer. And as time went on, and I encountered struggles in my life, I was devastated that she wasn’t there for me, to give me advice, or make me feel safe. I was angry, and felt like the people I loved the most, that I needed, weren’t there for me. Well, hello there, Abandonment. And then I felt bad for being angry. Hello there, Guilt.
I was married to an alcoholic. Years of me making excuses for him, covering up his drinking, giving ultimatums that I never followed through on, and being made to feel like a “second choice” after alcohol, took its toll on me. I had delved into the role of his co-dependent in order to keep our family together, and I must say that I did a bang up job for many years. But eventually I couldn’t keep up with it any longer. I snapped. I had finally been pushed to the brink and I “checked out”. It was an unconscious way of protecting myself from dealing with it anymore. Living through having someone you love hurt you over and over again, breaking promises, lying, and choosing alcohol over you and your children time and again—it wore me down and I couldn’t do it anymore. I was all alone anyway, in all reality. The person that was supposed to love and take care of me wasn’t there. Hello there Anger and Resentment, hello again Abandonment. Hello there Guilt.
I’m sure you get the picture, friends. I have no doubt there are plenty of you that can relate to some of that, and more. I had a lot of shit to name, understand, and own.
Don’t cry for me, Argentina. I’m good. Really, I am. Way better than I was before I could make sense of it. I mean look at me. I’m strong, independent, and a badass, even.
Okay, badass might be stretching it just a little bit. I’m not quite sure I’m a badass. But I’ve got so much Myrtle in me now that I can tell you these things about myself without shame, when at one point I was so ashamed of it that I could barely admit it to myself.
Cheers, and I urge you to find your own inner Myrtle!