I do the writing around here.
About This Blog:
I started this blog in 2007, to chronicle my dating stories. It was called “Finding Ruby’s Father,” but morphed into “doozeedad” – which was not a well-thought title since it was a mom-blog that sounded like a ditzy dad. That changed to “withalittlemoxie” and then I merged all my sites to “meriah nichols.” That was all very well, but now I’m not Meriah Nichols anymore, and everything seems to operate better with a niche focus.
Disability, career and website development is now at Two Thirds of the Planet. Instagram: #365dayswithdisability
Down syndrome, stories, campaigns, etc are all at A Day in the Life with Down syndrome. Instagram: #lifewithDs
And with a little moxie – this site – is about travel, being a single mom and wellness.
It seems like I’m a person that big things happen to.
Like, you know how some people just keep dating the same type of asshole over and over again, or other people seem to have bombs going off with a fair amount of regularity? Yeah, well, I’m the person with the bombs. I’m trying to understand this, and figure out how to take care of myself and my life and get those bombs – “big things” – down to a reasonable level.
Here’s more on the ‘big things’:
I am originally from California, but was raised abroad as a missionary child in Fiji. We moved from Fiji to Hawaii when I was 13, mostly related to income (like, my parents needed to make money).
I left home in Hawaii to go to Japan when I was 15 – as an exchange student. I never really lived with my parents again.
I bumbled along in my own way, trying to make sense of moving in and out of cultures, reconciling feelings about religion and “deep thoughts” on the nature of our existence. I moved back and forth from Asia to the United States, for over a decade and found myself a sad anorexic/bulimic chain-smoking hard-drinking Tokyo bar-dancing party girl at age 28.
Then I moved back to the United States. Cleaned up as well as I could, started to try to build a more sensible and good-feeling life.
I wanted children. I met Mikey. I got pregnant. I quit my bottle-of-wine and pack-a-day habit.
Sobered on up, I was still trying to live up to some ideal of the “American dream” and what it means to be “solid” and “responsible” and all of those things. I was working hard and bending backwards at my job when the another big thing happened:
My mother found kiddie porn on my Dad’s computer.
I had always known that my Dad was a pedophile. I had been groomed, after all. I think all of us knew it, but my Dad is a very successful pedophile, that means, so very charming. Educated, intelligent, funny, charismatic, good-looking. He’s the last person you’d expect to be so sick.
Faced with the hard evidence though, my mom left him and with my Dad making the choice to not go to therapy or heal himself, my own relationship with him ended.
Healing from that, the next big thing came around: I found that my my second child was diagnosed with diffuse fetal hydrops, given a chance like “0%” at living past birth. She was also diagnosed with Down syndrome and I was encouraged to abort her.
This challenged every one of my notions of what it means to be disabled in this here and now.
You see, I went through the windshield of a car when I was 4 years old. My face is covered with scars, I sustained brain injury. I am also deaf. Little “d” deaf, which means that I wasn’t raised with Deaf Culture, I’m not a fluent signer. I am a fierce lip reader.
I ended up keeping my daughter, naming her Moxie. Against all the odds they presented us, she was born healthy, just with an extra chromosome.
Stirred but not shaken, the next big thing came around:
Some placenta was left in me after Moxie’s homebirth. I was paralyzed by it a month later, and began a long, slow process of fully recovering.
I quit my job. My deep commitment to living life with moxie – to live as courageously, as authentically and as lovingly as possible was born. This blog shifted – I started writing more of my truth – not all of it, because it’s hard to talk when you’ve spent most of your life being told that you shouldn’t talk about that stuff. But I started then, the “placenta incident” is a clear demarcation between fluff-blog and real-stories, blog.
We worked and saved and were going to travel down to South America from the San Francisco Bay Area in order to find our forever home, a place that we could live and build an Inn, which would be a sort of employment/training/community for people with and without disabilities.
We sold off or gave away all of our stuff, made it as far as Mexico when three things happened:
- We lost some money
- Mikey realized he could not take care of the kids while I worked (- I had the bigger income-earning ability)
- My brother bought a marijuana farm in Northern California and invited us to come and farm it. Mikey (loving marijuana), jumped on it. We moved up north from Mexico.
We lived off the grid on the Lost Coast for 4 years.
The next big thing that happened was my brother Dana. He was killed.
He was shot in August, 2016, the victim of an armed robbery. He was in a coma for 3 weeks and then died.
Struggling to deal with the loss of my brother, and already dispirited by the extreme isolation I faced while raising the kids primarily alone way out there on a hill, exhausted by Mikey’s unraveling anger issues and violence, I discovered that he had been both lying and unfaithful to me. He had a 22-year old girlfriend on the side.
So I took the kids and left.
That’s where we are now
This blog has been there the whole way and I’m glad to have you with me.
Moving forward, this blog is a site is about how-to’s: how to travel on a dime (with kids, and as a single mom).
It’s about figuring out wellness and compassion, about health, both spiritual and physical. It’s about parenting when you are doing this alone. It’s about single-parent money management, with resources to make LIFE happen.