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Blow the Trumpet

I have emotional walls.

1). My huge long hair.

Twice, I cut all of my hair off. When I look back I can see that both times I did it were during the midst of a major identity crisis. Is the plural form of crisis “crisi?” Or “crisises?” And why do I not know this? Is it because most normal people do not have more than one crisis in a lifetime? Then most normal people can just fuck right off.

2). My smile.


I have this huge sparkly smile filled with giant horse teeth, my instrument that plays out a laugh so loud that you’ll forget about whatever it was that made me bust it all open.

3) The white wicker.


When I was a sullen screwed up teenager, my parents would drag me into the family room and lecture me about the importance of church and youth group and having friends that were healthy and Godly, and having a tidy room and looking up at people when they speak to you. So while they spoke to me I would tilt my head to the right and fix my eyes to the edges of our white wicker coffee table. I would imagine my body liquidizing, being pulled like vapor into the weave of the wood, backbending into the cracks and crevices and being taken away and into it all until I was gone. And I was gone.

4) Music.

Music saves me. It holds me, kisses my forehead and puts me back down on solid ground.

5) Humour and wit.


This is Andrew’s biggest wall, but it’s definitely got a spot on my own foundation too. I think the smart people call it “deflection.” We feel pain, take it in, turn it over and spit it back out in the form of a joke. It doesn’t matter if the joke’s on us or if it’s on you—all that matters is that the pain is on the back burner.

Anyway, those are my main walls. Being crude, talking about poo and farts, belching the word “barf“… those are my mini walls. I’ll pull those out when I’m feeling like I really want everyone to leave me alone, but in like, a passive-aggressive way.


Okay, so it’s your turn. I was all vulnerable so that you’d let go of the rope a bit and soften the edges of your heart so we can meet up in the middle. What are your walls? What do they look like? Don’t think too hard—just write down whatever comes to mind!




{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Jen January 6, 2016, 7:46 pm

    I used to hide in these huge baggy denim overalls and zero makeup and super short short hair. I mean, sure it was cute and totally in style at the time, but those overalls were totally a shield. So was the lack of makeup and no hair. But then even before that I used makeup in the opposite way, and wore LOTS OF IT. IN ALL THE COLOURS.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 6, 2016, 8:08 pm

      I cannot for the life of me imagine you wearing tonnes of makeup. For the life of me.

      I remember those overalls! I used to wear them too. Ikeda? I think that was the brand, right? And now overalls are back in!

      I cut off all my hair as a way of telling the feminine world to fuck right off but by doing that, I embodied my forever internal struggle: the fight between introvert and extrovert. Every time my high school teacher would ask a provocative question to which I felt I had a brilliant answer, my heart would pound in my chest because I could not stop myself from raising my hand to speak out, despite the fact that I knew my face would go bright red and I’d sweat like a linebacker. I’d cut my hair off to prove a point, and then feel exposed. I guess the risk is worth the love found.

  • Heather@hungryforbalance January 6, 2016, 8:20 pm

    I cut my hair super short (I had a pixie for a while!) a few months after Matilda was born. I felt like I had to do something, ANYTHING different. I guess to show the world (really just myself) that I was different than I used to be. I still can’t decide if I regret it or not.
    My posture is a huge wall for me. I slouch to try to hide and make myself smaller. It never works though. It just gives me back pain.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 7, 2016, 8:01 am

      Ha ha… I’m relating so many of everyone’s walls right now! I slouch too. I never slouched because of big boobs; I did it to apologize for my existence. It’s like a way to permanently say “sorry, I shouldn’t be here so I’ll make myself small.” Now that I’m healthier and more accepting and loving, I don’t apologize anymore, but the slouchy back thing has become a habit. A very hard one to break. GAH.

  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes January 6, 2016, 10:00 pm

    Yes, I am the same with long hair! I chopped it off once during a huge emotional crisis also. It took a long time for me to feel ok about growing it past shoulder length again. Lots of makeup has also been a wall for me over and over again. It still unsettles me to go out without make up on.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 7, 2016, 7:58 am

      I cannot imagine you with tonnes of makeup. I just can’t. I remember you telling me about this once before and I was just like, no way! I just see you as this strong, healthy, whole person. You know? You live in Portland, you’re always hiking and taking photos of natural beauty. And YOU are a natural beauty, and I’m so glad your husband reminds you to show your face. <3

      • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes January 7, 2016, 3:12 pm

        I know I say this all the time, but it’s too true – you are TOO sweet! And that’s what I love about you, amongst many other things.
        In part, I think my make up wall came in grad school. I was one of the two girls in my program and I was determined to assert that I could be feminine and smart. It was a tough go – I was told that I was “smart for a girl,” that I should just stay at home and clean like a good woman, and I was left out of opportunity’s because it was SUCH a boy’s club. But I refused to let anyone in my program see how much that hurt me (until the last semester when the sexism was hurting other girls in the first year as well and I had to bring it up) so I built this wall of femininity, of a middle finger to the feeling that I could not be a woman and a scholar at the same time.
        But you’d be proud of me – I used to blow dry and straighten my hair daily, and now that wall is down. It’s natural, messy, long hair, although no where near as gorgeous as your hair. 🙂

        • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 8, 2016, 7:34 am

          I remember reading about the sexism problem in your grad school program. I can’t believe that stuff still happens. That would be extremely frustrating and it totally makes sense that you’d feel like you had to prove something. I’m glad you moved past that though, and figured out that it takes a stronger person to let the walls down than it does to keep them up. Plus, you probably save yourself so much time now without all that blow drying!!!

  • Sheila January 6, 2016, 10:59 pm

    I think I talk in a different voice and accentuate syllables in strange ways when I feel uncomfortable or out of my element. It sounds weird to me when I reflect on it so it must be super weird when it’s actually happening. Trying to hide my hurt by swearing up a storm is pretty popular with me too. I used to wear a long tweed coat in grade 9 and 10 – felt like armour but i probably just looked like a flasher. Hobbies save me – they instill strength, thankfulness and remind me of what I love about life and about me.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 7, 2016, 7:55 am

      Oooooh, yes, swearing is my go-to wall too! Of course! It goes along with my poo talk and mentions of diarrhea. Although, I quite honestly love crude humour. The intelligent kind, anyway.

      Long tweed coat made me laugh. That’s awesome.

      I freaked out yesterday about something and I said to my sister “I can’t get my voice to come down from this high! This is how hysterical I am right now!” Soooo yeah. Normal.

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets January 7, 2016, 3:57 am

    Funny and vulnerable at the same time. YOU, my friend, have a way with words and I enjoy reading your posts more than most, even though they have nothing to do with food. #winning

    When it comes to walls or coping mechanisms, I’m with you on the music and the wit. I laughed my way through an unexpected doctor visit yesterday while the Hubby wrung on his hands on my hospital gown. They really do leave the back door wide open on those things. I should have snapped a pic of that instead of the selfie with muffins because of course I brought snacks. I used my boobs as a table. It worked swimmingly.

    My other defense mechanism lately is to mutter (in my head) “Eat a dick,” or “Eat a bag of dicks” to people who are working my nerves. That works swimmingly too. It’s also very mature, so embark on this one lightly.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 7, 2016, 7:52 am

      I slept on the hard floor of my coughing toddler’s room beside his crib with my arm bent up at an impossible angle so as to be able to cram it through the slats of the crib and rub his back. All night long. No sleep. I have sleepless stress diarrhea, and 5 zits cropped up on my face. We’re supposed to go out tonight but I can feel the chest cough has made its way to my own ribcage, and I’d rather just curl up into the fetal position and die right now. And yet. AND YET. “Eat a dick?” Made me laugh out loud, hard. The kids asked me what was so funny. Ha ha ha HA HA HA HA! Totally saying that today, to like, a lot of people.

  • Susie @ SuzLyfe January 7, 2016, 4:17 am

    Second, we actually share a lot of walls. But another of my walls is that I just steel myself and shut down. Not the most productive. And you do have a killer smile 😀

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 7, 2016, 7:48 am

      It doesn’t surprise me at all that we share walls. No shockers there! And thanks for the birthday wish. <3

  • Megan @ Meg Go Run January 7, 2016, 5:16 am

    I don’t know what walls I have. 🙁 That is a bad sign. I will ask Paul, maybe he knows!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 7, 2016, 7:47 am

      Oh, other people ALWAYS KNOW OUR WALLS. Tell me what Paul says, even in a PM if you want!

      • Megan @ Meg Go Run January 7, 2016, 9:11 am

        I will tell you when I talk to him tonight.

        Oh by the way, Happy Birthday!!!! 🙂

        • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 7, 2016, 2:14 pm

          Ya okay! Thanks! 🙂

          • Megan @ Meg Go Run January 7, 2016, 4:31 pm

            Okay well Paul says I don’t put up walls and that I am very open with my emotions and feelings. He said that I “attack it” I “let them be known” and then I “go through them” and then I post them on my blog. HAHAHAHA!

            ps. I opened this convo by saying, “You know how people put up walls?” and he goes, “Like dry wall?”

            • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 8, 2016, 7:29 am

              That’s the best way to be!! So funny about the dry wall. Makes sense!

  • Gretchen | Gretchruns January 7, 2016, 5:40 am

    Hmm this is interesting to think about. I feel like a lot of my walls have been broken down in the past few years. I used to be really emotionally disconnected from things because of stuff that happened when I was a little kid, so I was always distant from people. After I met Dan (aka the first relationship I actually cared about) my walls started to come down. I still don’t feel an emotional connection to THINGS (like I could throw out all of my possessions today and not feel sad, or if my parents sold my childhood home I wouldn’t care at all). I guess now it’s just a part of me?

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 7, 2016, 7:47 am

      K, weird. Because I totally relate to you, even down to the lack of connection to things. And I’ve even guarded myself against connection with people, just out of self-protection. But then whenever I’ve done that, I lose out on love, and life just isn’t worth living without connection. So, I risk it. And yeah, there’s pain. But then I love that quote I stuck up on FB and IG by Liam Neeson regarding pain and love. He says it so well.

  • Heather @ShoesRun50 January 7, 2016, 6:22 am

    Stubborn. If things don’t go my way then I don’t want to do them and will completely shut down. Fortunately my husband is just a stubborn as I am and it has really helped both of us work on being more flexible. Unless we are on the same side of the argument/whatever. In which case it just reinforces our stubbornness.

    • Heather @ShoesRun50 January 7, 2016, 6:22 am

      PS: Happy Birthday to us both!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 7, 2016, 7:43 am

      I like to rename stubbornness as simply having a “strong will.” Stubborn people have strong human spirits. We were probably colicky babies, exhausting toddlers, crazy-making teenagers. If we can channel our strength into good amazing awesome things, then we are the life-changers! Go, team!

  • nicole @ life after heels January 9, 2016, 5:08 am

    Hi Suzy, When you talk about the different walls that you put up, for me I think about when I was a lonely and vulnerable teenager and my dad would complain that I am too shy and over weight. I would just stand there like a statue hoping that I could become invisible. Its funny no matter how old I get I can still remember how I felt during those uncomfortable days. Its hard to be vulnerable

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 9, 2016, 8:43 am

      Hi Nicole! You’ve obviously got some serious strength to be able to be vulnerable enough to write that out here, and I am so glad you did! Because there are so many people who relate to your story, and that’s what helps to kick that isolated feeling. If only you knew you weren’t alone when you were younger. Sigh… “if only.” I have a LOT of sentences that start with those two words!

      So, let’s pretend that you weren’t shy and overweight when you were a teenager. Do you think you and your dad would have had a fantastic relationship? HA! Doubt THAT shit. Because whatever funk he’s got (or had) that drove him to say that to you would be the toxic stuff that would sabotage something else. Being shy and overweight aren’t the ingredients for pain; they’re the things that are served up at the crowded dinner table.

      Love breaks it all open. <3

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