Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A ban on leggings? I think not.

This is the lovely topic my afternoon got to consist of: people's ignorance.

"The way women dress nowadays; they are just asking for it."

As someone who dresses conservatively, I have never had to think about the effects my clothing has on people.  I do, however, know that a low-cut top can get me more attention and I know that certain people enjoy a tight pair of pants, but I do not assume that wearing such things is the green light for someone to have sex with me.

Today, the pant of choice for women is leggings/yoga pants/stretch pants. Women leave nothing to the imagination in these form-fitting, anatomy-showing pieces of fabric.  I am not saying that I want to do away with stretch pants.  Such words would surely exile me from planet Earth.  I just know that girls could physically show their asses with no leggings on and not be asking for rape.  Attention? Sure. The wrong kind of attention? Sure again.  Rape?  Never.

There is no excuse for rape. Whether you are drunk at a party or stark naked in the middle of Grand Central Station.  To insinuate that any woman does that with the clothes she wears or even the things she says is ludicrous. Rape is never warranted.  It is never welcomed and it is never okay.

I  would love to know how anyone could possibly think so.

I usually welcome a difference in opinion as it offers unique perspective and keeps us all from being total sheep; however, if you disagree with this, you can just delete me.

No means no.  No matter the situation and no matter what a person may be wearing.  You don't take things from people. Especially not innocence.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Look at my 2014

The holidays are upon us and in lieu of that, I would like to shout out to my favorite things that have happened in 2014:

1) I started a semester in school which left me feeling broken and empty. I took a class that was so much work and so hard that I wasn't sure if I could do it.  Each week I did it anyway.  Each week I pushed through - never thinking there was ever going to be an end I could see.  I saw it and it was beautiful.  I learned more in this class than any other.  More than that, I had to the ability to see other religions from their own perspective. It was eye opening and I feel more respectful now. Oh aaand I got an A. 

2) I left a job that drained my soul.  This job was the epitome of everything I stand against.  Being in fear of an employer, being under appreciated every single day, being rewarded at the end of the week with a treat as if it made up for 6 days of horrid behavior and treatment, being surrounded by catty women who talked bad about you and throw you under the bus at every opportunity to do so.  The one thing I took away from this awful experience was a (what I hope to be) a lifelong bond with one of my most favorite people.  Hannah, you are a part of me.  Whether you like it or not, it is forever. 

3) My best friend helped me find a position at a new career where I was feeling overwhelmed at knowing next to nothing.  I found myself in an office of people who care about each other and instantly cared about me too.  A place where I was appreciated, understood, and not stalked.  A place of professionalism and a little bit of insanity. A place where I am respected for being in school at 32 years old.  A place where I feel like I can grow and become meaningful. A truly great place.
To my best friend: Jenn, thank you.  Thank you for drawing lobsters on boxes, playing trivia with me, and never stopping for a moment to be anything less than my friend.  Thank you for singing Disney songs with me, and watching endless movie trailers, and speaking in tongues with me. You're fired.  I hate your stinkin' guts.

4) My daughter tried out for a softball team with two dozen girls she has never met before.  She has never tried out for anything before.  She tried out for 3 days with the sun in her face and her sore little legs, but she gave everything she could - with no whimper... no fuss.  The only thing I was asked was "Mom, we are going to need to invest in new headbands."  My girl who loves softball so much she wants to get up early on the weekends to play catch.  My girl who went to the Tigers game and had to keep score by hand because she really wanted to understand the game better.  My girl who said "Mom, I like when you are behind home plate reminding me how many outs there are.  Thanks for that."  My girl who loves the game as much as I do.  My girl who is on a team of girls she doesn't know making new friends every day. I am so proud of her talent, her ability, and her heart full of kindness.

5) I went to a new place. Actually, it was five new places.  I went to South Haven, Ludington, Munising, Newberry, & Paradise, Michigan.  I got to put my toes in Lakes Michigan, Superior, & Huron in the course of two days. I got to sleep on the banks of the scariest (and moodiest) lake I have ever seen *coughSUPERIORcough*  I got to cram into the backseat of the worlds smallest SUV with my dog and my daughter for countless hours, eat food that made me feel euphoric... then miserable, and drive too fast down back-woods roads.  I got to spend time with my family making memories that drove me crazy and meant everything to me simultaneously.

6)  I started working three jobs at once.  And while this is not something most people would be "grateful" for, I am. Completely.  Two years ago I had zero jobs. I was struggling to pay my mortgage and unsure how to give my daughter a real Christmas.  Working three jobs was like finally breathing after drowning for too long.  It may have exhausted me. It may have drove me into small comas on the weekends, but it was well worth it. I am glad for all my opportunities; big and small alike.

7) I got to meet someone I have wanted to meet for the last decade.  A friend who I have FaceBook'ed and text messaged countless times over the course of the last 10 years, but never actually hung out with. And unplanned encounter at my favorite place for unplanned encounters: Meijer. My friend who loves to argue with me. My friend who loves to make me angry. My friend who loves to tell me he loves me when I least expect it.  My friend who murders me at trivia, but I don't even care because I love him that much.  Cheers to bumping into each other randomly - finally.

8) I became a one year non-smoker.  Technically right now is one year and three months, but regardless of that  I am a non-smoker for the first time since I was 15. I used to smoke to get breaks at work, because Lord knows all of the smokers got their breaks, but then it became something I loved.  I never quit smoking because I wanted to or need it, I quit because I am better without it; It has been a great decision.

9) I read 29 books this year.  My goal was 30, but I am pleased with my 29.  With school it has been hard for me to get very many books under my belt, but 28 is pretty damn good.  I feel like I understand things easier and have more intelligent things to talk about.  I can actually bring legitimate conversations to the table instead of mindless prattle.  Suggestion: If you have not read "Unbroken" I urge you to do so. It is one of the most incredible stories I have read about a remarkable man and his unbelievable journey in life.  Louis Zamperini is awe-inspiring and truly one of my heroes.  RIP Louie.

10) My 5'6" daughter turned 12.  She is beautiful and brave and her heart is as gentle as the ocean is deep. I am proud to be her mother. I am grateful that of all the lives on the planet, and all the lives to be had, her life gets to be spent with me.  I miss my tiny little bird who was so small she fit in my arms; my little bird with her tiny voice and her sweet little nose.  Now I have a tall, beautiful, sass-mouthed tween who uses sarcasm like breathing and makes me laugh so hard I honk like a seal.

11)  I dropped almost 30 lbs. that shall never return.  I made some changes looking at people around me who are suffering with health issues, and I decided that eating well and exercising must go hand-in-hand. Doctors don't just tell us this for laughter; it is a true testament to living a healthy lifestyle. While I am by no means as tiny as some and not my own personal "ideal weight", I am happy. I am healthier than I have been in a long time, I am happier than I have been in a long time, and I am living life the way it was meant to be lived: INCANDESCENTLY!  And when I am in my brother Scott's wedding come April, I will feel confident in my bridesmaid dress, rather than self-conscious.

In the grand scheme of life, 2014 brought me some really cool things (not all are mentioned above). Some perspective I didn't have before, some friends I didn't have before, and some memories I didn't have before. I have been given so many great gifts this year; I am so grateful for all of them.  This ever-so-short life I keep blogging about is fluttering by with each passing breath and I for one am grateful for every single moment - good and bad.  I've been tested and I have molded, now it is time to grow some more.

Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy Christmas to all of you!  And welcome 2015... I mean, its only 5 years til my kid graduates high school. *shudder* 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Wonder Why

Every single day someone tells me how strange I am.
And if they don't say it, they give me "the eye" that says everything.
Fifteen years ago I may have developed a complex about it.
Today I just wonder what makes people think that my own behaviors are strange, but their own are perfectly acceptable.

Here is an example of how the conversations usually go:

"I went to Belle Isle over the weekend."
"Oh, I have never been there before."
"Do you live under a rock?"
"No, I just don't go to Belle Isle."
"Man, you are different aren't you?"


"Ooo, did someone bring in those cookies? That's gonna be hard to sit next to."
"No, I don't care for cookies."
"Is something wrong with you?"
"I don't like pie or cake either so I suppose there is."

or even

"What are you doing this weekend?"
"Homework and then I intend to finish the book I am reading."
"You should probably do activities with other human beings rather than hit your GoodReads yearly goal."
"That would require me to leave the comfort of my house, put on real clothes, and NOT be snuggled up with my dog."
"Aaaand you wonder why you are single."
"I don't wonder. I know exactly why."

People astound me really.  Their judgement on my lifestyle is incredible. 
They ask me a question yet the answer is insufficient. 
Was there some other way I am supposed to answer? Something you would like me to say?

"Oh, this weekend.  I am going downtown in a party bus, going to see Wicked, and then get dinner in Greek Town."

As if catching a show and getting dinner (not to mention spending a couple hundred dollars) is superior to the exercise of my brain or the expansion of my vocabulary plus quality time with my daughter.  Don't get me wrong, I love theatre, but how is one person's activities any better than the next persons? I am not shooting up heroine. I am not getting hammered at the bar. I am not out sleeping with random people.  I am simply taking care of my house (which I love), reading books (which I love), and spending time with my daughter and my animals (which I love most of all). 
I see nothing wrong with my lifestyle.

Yet every day - it never fails - someone will ask me a question to which the answer is unsatisfactory.

I am a huge fan of the simple life.
Having a daughter at 19 stunted my ability to have a wild life, and honestly, after seeing the debauchery that my friends ensued, I am good without all of "that" being in my past.  I have no place for any of that in my life.

I also do not have room in my life for people who try to make me feel bad. So if you are one of those people, allow me to say sayonara to you now.

For those of you who support me and love me for the recluse that I am, thank you. I appreciate you. I don't even have to tell you that for you to know, but sometimes it is nice to hear.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Oh Canada.

This world has gone absolutely crazy. 

Every day it is something new and absurd and mystifying.   From scaling the White House fence (twice in a month) to the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico, or even shooting guards in the Capitol in Canada - it is always something new.  Terrorists posing threats, U.S. administering air-strikes on ISIS, deadly viruses sneaking their way from country to country, Russia being...well... Russia.  Everywhere seems to have something completely insane going on.  Maybe I am paying closer attention, but I don't think so.  I have listened to NPR every morning for two years.  I have never felt this anxious about "what is next?"

My complaints are small on the grand scale.  I whine that I don't make enough money or that I work multiple jobs and am still broke.  I complain that I want to make more of this life than I have already. Sometimes I forget the important things.  Sometimes I forget that something as simple as standing in the sun and feeling the warmth on my face is enough.  That breathing my lungs full of air and making myself feel refreshed and revived is satisfying.  I don't really need more than I am actually given.

Yesterday I got to make so many memories.  Alanna and I traveled to a new place and saw old things. We climbed the side of a flood plain and stuck our hands in natural clay that is 400 millions years old.
We ruined our shoes and got mud everywhere.
We peed in a stream - and on my sunglasses when they fell in.
We climbed a sand dune until our legs felt like jelly. Then we tumbled down the other side.
I had a very large spider run across my foot.
We ate Canadian White Cheddar popcorn which was somehow better than the American version.
We listened to a French radio station and pretended to sing-a-long like we knew the words.
We found nuggets of pyrite on the shore of Lake Huron on an Indian Reservation.
I never used my phone other than to take a few pictures.
I fell in love with nature.
I spent time with my girl.
I gave myself a break from the craziness of every day and found a little piece of peace.

This will happen more often because I will it so.

I am glad for my little moments, because they get to become great big moments... eventually.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Birthday Reminder

Sometimes life gives us little reminders at the most perfect moments.

Today my reminder came in the form of a phone call.

My daughter's school called to inform me that my daughter was involved in an incident with a male student.  While in science class, he used his rubber glove to smack her ass. Twice.  After she asked him to stop the first time.  Once class ended she reported it to her counselor.  

If you think that is harsh then you are a moron.  My daughter is brave for not putting up with that kind of nonsense.  

The school counselor called to relay the incident to me and to commend Alanna for being wise enough to know that it needed to be reported.  I explained to the counselor that we have been having discussions on "proper behavior" a lot recently.  How boys at 12-years old act a lot more sexual than girls at 12-years old and they will do all kinds of things to get their kicks in.
Like "You can't leave til you give me a hug..."  I remember those hugs.  They were a cheap thrill for the boys to feel your boobs up against them.
Alanna had to give 4 different hugs out this past weekend. She knows now what that is all about. 

And then came my birthday present:

While I am paraphrasing, it went like something to the effect of "You are doing something right with your daughter." and "Kids just don't report things anymore and half the time we don't know when things like this happen."  and "The fact that your daughter still talks to you speaks volumes about what an amazing job you are doing with her. Most kids at 12 have stopped telling their parents things."  An amazing job.  On my own. Wow.

I was stunned.  And smiling.  My daughter had been sexually harassed and I knew she would have reacted perfectly.  I know because she doesn't take shit from men.
She has twice threatened the life of boys who have messed with her.  
I know when it comes to her heart, one day she will be the perfect amount of guarded and naive.  She will know exactly what she wants and how to obtain it.

I often hear people say that "broken kids come from broken homes" and that "a kid cannot be completely well raised by a single parent." Well fuck you to all those people.
My straight-A student has one of the best heads on her shoulders I have ever known. She is the perfect amount of funny, beautiful, wise, and temperamental to make her a dangerous force to be reckoned with one day.
My girl on her 12th birthday, heading off to school!

And at 32 years old, she has given me one hell of a compliment.

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Keep On

I keep on making it worse for myself.  If I doubt, I fear, and I wonder all too much for my own good.

Every single time I think I am strong enough to let go, I am swallowed back up again. Devoured.
And not only do I drown but my chest heaves with the inability to breathe right.

This bed still so warm.
My pillow still dappled with his scent.
My eyes sparkling with tears of years lost.
My lips still tingling from missing kisses.

My head spins, my heart doesn't understand.
How have I become so unfortunate.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Right Here! Direct from the Lamp!

It always takes a random death or shake up for people to remember what a terror depression is, but as soon as the fray begins to fade, people forget that there are still a large number of us who deal with depression every single day.  That there are still a large number of us who have been affected by depression's wrath, and our lives -while potentially decent now- have been altered eternally.

I've been at my new place of employment for a whopping 4 1/2 months people say to me all the time things like: "You are always so happy." or "Do you ever stop smiling?"
They are mostly right. I am always pretty happy and I do smile more than most people.  I even laugh so often that my abs are sore when I come home from work, but no one knows that I struggle with depression.  No one knows that every day I fight demons that I cannot escape - no matter how hard I try. 

We all fight demons. We all figure our shit out differently than the next guy - some of us never actually figure it out.  Some of us cannot deal with what we are dealt.  I usually have an okay time with my demons; they each have names and places where I keep them, but not everyone is so fortunate.

Perspective is the hardest thing to keep with us every day.  It isn't something we set on an alarm and at 12:30 every afternoon we are reminded to keep ourselves in check and to quit being so judgmental or harsh.  It isn't something we can put in our wallets and when we go to the store the cashier will ask "Do you have your Perspective Rewards card today?"  Perspective is one of those unsung heroes that rescues us sometimes when we least expect it.  Like during the tragic loss of Genie.  :(

I have always considered myself lucky to be someone who suffers from depression.  And not because I like the looming gray cloud over my head, but because it reminds me to keep my perspective in check.  It reminds me to appreciate a really good day.  It reminds me that when I have anger or hate in my heart that maybe someone else is suffering too and I should just let it go.

Yes, sometimes it takes someone else's tragedy to shake me back into reality for a moment, but when it takes my perspective to a whetstone and sharpens it up, I can be nothing but grateful. I suppose perspective is my phenomenal cosmic power. 

I will miss Robin Williams for a great many reasons.  At 31, I got to be alive for the heart and soul of that man's career.  He will forever be my Genie of the Lamp.
Right here direct from the lamp.  
Right here for my very much wish fulfillment. RIP Robin Williams.  My Genie.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Everything & More

When you are four until you are eighteen you are constantly asked: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

 At 31, I suppose people think you have your shit together. As if you should have decided what to be for the rest of your life.  Most people decide in high school or their first years of college what they want to do for the rest of their lives.  I feel bad for those people.  I have no desire to do one thing, in one attitude, for the rest of my working life.  Every single aptitude test I have taken in the last 5 years has come up inconclusive. Even the acclaimed Myers-Briggs test - that men & women put on their online dating profiles: ISFJ or whatever.  I was every single letter at a complete 50/50 split. 

Then I took a 2-credit college course that is designed to guide you toward your career path.  The course was a complete waste of time for me.  I left more confused than had I not taken the class.

So I came to my own conclusion: I want to do everything!

I want to help people and rescue animals. I want to see things I have never seen before, and do something that makes my anxiety on the verge of overload.  I want to be a teacher, a writer, an editor, a coach, a waitress, a secretary; an unlimited number of things- just because, well... I can.  I don't understand the limitations people set for themselves.  Or why they choose a career based on a paycheck rather than their own happiness. 

Of course, money is the "bff" of happiness in most instances, but realistically, I don't want my 9-5 to be so miserable that I have to drink when I get home or take it out on my kids or spouse.   I want to wake up each day and not only love what I do, but live for what I do.  And for me, there are not boundaries to what that contains.  Yes, I am in school for Journalism and Political Science, but does that mean those two aspects of my degree will define me?  Absolutely not, thankyouverymuch!

Maybe all of this makes me naive.  Or flippant.  Or even a bit flaky, but I honestly don't know that those things concern me.  If at the end of the day I can lay my head on my pillow and know that I am doing what I love, then what else is there?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Shoulder Jousting

I am currently at a mental standstill. Like when you get on the teeter-totter and your weight is the same on both sides. Neither of you can go up or down, yet your feet have lifted off the ground.  You just kind of sit there... in limbo.

I have a cartoon angel and devil sitting on each of my shoulders coaxing me into and out of a not-so-fun dilemma.  I can only consider myself completely human when I listen more intently to the devil.  He just has way better tips for being a bitch.  The angel is way too nice and wont do me any favors at the end of the day.

While I would love to indulge those of you who actually read this babble with the details of the said "dilemma," I cannot.  It wouldn't be appropriate to reveal intimate secrets on the internet.  I am a way classier girl than that.  At least I try to be.

What I can say is that I have made so many choices for my daughter that have only partially benefitted me, but were always with her best interests at heart.  I didn't neglect her certain things in this life to make her suffer or to rub it in other people's faces.  I did what I did, because it is what is best for her and I. 
I get to say "her and I" because this is a team effort. This life consists solely of her and I.  We have been doing it alone -together- for over 2/3 of her life. I am sorry if I think about her and not you.

People always think they know better than me what is best for the life I have created.  Most people lead incredibly selfish lives and don't stop to think that different people are in different situations. Or that while they might struggle, someone else's struggle is completely different - eventho they could be like a distant cousin.

I guess that what I mean most of all is that, while I listen to this battle of epic proportions going on atop my shoulders day in and day out, maybe it wouldn't hurt so much for people to take a step back, close their mouths, and stop judging me and my choices. 
I try my very best not to judge your decisions and your misgivings - knowing all good and well that you, too, have your fair share of cartoonistic spirits goading you into troublesome dealings.  Lord knows, it is quite a feat.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"...Humble Pie for fifty bucks and a case of beer..."

For those that know me, saying that I am headstrong is a bit of an understatement. I am stubborn, reclusive, proud, and even too honest. 

Above all of those sweet adjectives is my lack of ability to apologize - unless I am in the wrong.  If I am in the wrong, then by all means, I am sorry; However, if I did nothing offensive, then you may not want to hold your breath and wait for an apology.

Denzel Washington once said in Remember the Titans, "I don't scratch my head unless it itches, and I don't dance unless I hear some music. I will not be intimidated. That's just the way it is." And like Coach Boone, I do not apologize unless I have done something wrong.

In the last month, I have apologized three times (ugh... THREE TIMES!) for offenses that were not a fault of my own.  I cussed, a stamped my foot, I facepalmed several times, and I even growled in anger at people assuming I should do such a thing.  Apologize for something I didn't do?  What kind of world is this?  A crazy one, let me just say.

This is not to say that when someone bumps in to me I don't say "Oh, I am sorry!" because I do.  Or when my kid is in someone's way at the grocery store and I apologize for her inability to pay attention.  And these reasons are not a fault of mine, yet I will still apologize, because I am kind and it is the right thing to do.  I am overly conscious of my surroundings.

This month's monumental apologies came more or less from me eating a piece of humble pie, and sucking up the fact that people sometimes get offended by the things I say. When I am not in the wrong, this is not okay for me.  I am blunt and a bit corrosive.  I often use sarcasm to replace my ire, and apparently people are sensitive.  
I am soooooo not sensitive.  
People's every day emotions don't make sense to me and to be honest, I don't want to understand them. I do, however, understand that just because I am not affected doesn't mean that others are not affected as well.  I get it.  Which is where the pie eating came in in the first place. 

So here's to being 31 *Raises glass* and turning over (okay... like slightly lifting) some new leaves.  And putting some of my predispositions and my pride into a lawn and leaf bag, dragging them out to the curb, and letting Waste Management take them away.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Imaginary Love

I may not be the best kind of friend, or girlfriend, or fiance, or wife.  I may not be the "Mother of the Year" or the "Employee of the Month" but what I lack in those areas, I make up for in knowing exactly who I am.

I don't need a series of relationships to define me.  I don't need to prove to the world how in love I am or how my bff is better than yours.  I don't need to post endeless pictures of my perfect life to try and prove to people that I am happy.  I don't need to post status updates every five minutes that no one cares about.

The mirror would show you the mess you are, if you would walk by slowly enough to see your reflection. 
The mirror would tell you stories of your disasterous life, if you would just look at it directly instead of seeing only what you want to see.

The mirror would show you that you are not perfect and that is okay.
The mirror would tell you that your scars are what defines you.

I'd be afraid of the mirror if it told me the truth too.  
The truth I didn't want to hear.
The truth I didn't want to see.
The truth that you are made up of pretend things.
The truth that you have no substance.
The truth that you are a bad friend.
The truth that you are selfish.
The truth that you have created the world you live in on imaginary love.

The mirror would show you, if you just stopped to look, that you are a mess, just like everyone else. 
The mirror would remind you that it is okay to be a mess. What are you trying to prove anyway?
How much better you are than everyone else?
How much more you have to offer than everyone else?
You are no better than anyone else.
The 'you' in the mirror would remind you of that, but you are too afraid to look.
I would be afraid of the ugliness too.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Old Yeller

Last night, in 45 degree weather, I sat behind homeplate watching my daughter's softball team bring home a win - their second of the season.  Softball brings her this great amount of joy.  Not only does she love to see her friends a few nights a week, but she also loves learning about this game.  In years past it hasn't been like this.  She was a decent hitter, but not great in the fundamentals department.  She liked playing but it wasn't her favorite thing to do.  Lately her love of the game has been radiating from her fingertips.

For me it is quite the opposite.  This year marks my 26 years in the game; I have been playing since I was 5.  I was practically born on a diamond.  While my three older brothers played baseball, I was dragged from field to field, with a layer of dirt covering every inch of my skin, and a small bag containing Matchbox cars and a shovel. 
The ball fields have been my second home as long as I can remember.  '
And I love being there. I love eating horrible, highly-caloric foods.  I love sitting on the bleachers for so long that I can't stand up straight afterward.  I love listening to the coaches acting like this is the ALCU championship game when in fact it is a recreational league and you win a free trophy that was Made in China for .01 cent.  I love when it is 45 degrees outside, I am swathed in a blanket, yet somehow I get completely sunburned.  The sights, the attractions, the foul balls, the popcorn, the bright lights... I love all of it.  With the exception of the "playing" part.

Over the last few years, softball has become a chore instead of a love.  When it is rainy out, I become super excited that maybe my games will get cancelled.  When it is a holiday and we are off that weekend, I do mental cartwheels because I don't have to go to ball.  This is exactly how I know that I am done playing on leagues.  When it stops becoming fun there is a problem.  I suppose the same could go for realtionships, but that sounds like a topic I could blog about all on it's own.  I have just recognized the probelm early on and decided not to beat a dead horse.

I am going to retire from softball.

Not like I will get some kind of pension from it or cash out my 401K, but I will hang up my cleats and stick to watching ball and coaching my daughter - who is becoming an good little ball player.  I am proud of my daughter.  She has that spark that I seemed to have lost.

And I am okay with having lost it.  I still love the game. I love being knowledgable, rooting for the Tigers, and playing catch in the yard or hitting grounders to her in an attempt to improve her fundamentals. Even drawing maps of diamonds on computer paper and explaining to her "turning two" or why an out was forced or not.  Baseball is in my blood and I am certain it will be until I die.  My love for the game hasn't gone anywhere.

My love for playing the game, however, has been dragged out back and slaughtered.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Five more weeks...

Every Tuesday night, part of my soul dies.

This semester has proven itself to be the worst of my educational career.  My collegiate pilgrimage, might I add, is proving to be the longest relationship I have ever had.

It's okay, because I truly love school.  Nothing makes me happier than a fresh college-ruled binder and a brand new black ball-point pen.  New folders, new sticky notes, new text books, new friends in new places, and new teachers to make me even more excited than I was the semester before.

I have thoroughly enjoyed every single second of my time in college...

Until now.

From the very first day of class on Tuesdays this semester, I knew that I was in trouble beyond trouble. 

I have a mouth. That is something that does not take a brain surgeon to grasp.  I like to openly express myself when I feel I am being mistreated or when I feel like you are being a dick.  Sometimes I just lack the filter portion of my brain and will openly say what I am thinking whether I am completely ostracized for it or not.
Even my daughter says "You know when you say the first thing that comes to your mind?  Normal people don't do that."
Thanks, Bird.

So this professor.  5'2", 172 years old, with a PhD from Yale.  He looks like he may have crawled out from underneath a pile of hippies at Woodstock.  The fact that he doesn't smell like Patchouli is utterly surprising.  On the first day of class he asked if anyone minded if he went barefoot. After slipping off his strappy sandals, he wandered around the classroom during his lecture with his toenails that look nothing shy of those greenish/yellow potato chips you sometimes find in the bag. Yes...Those.  And he looks like this:

This past week he told me "He should plan my demise." Also that I go around slandering Mormons and I just "can't do that."  I also know nothing about love if I don't know the true basis of where passion lies.  The guy is a complete nutter, yet I paid him $308 dollars to tell me I am stupid and above all, incompetent.  

I am willing to bet that I could pay a bunch of people $200 to do the same insulting. Maybe even $100.  That's a pretty good price for boosting one's self-esteem.

I've been counting down every week.
Five more weeks, five more weeks...
*Update: I got an A+, over the allotted percent in this class.  Phew.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hell's Time Clock

On September 4, 2013 I sold my soul to the devil for a paycheck every two weeks.

At first I thought "It's just not what you are used to. Grin and bear it. You don't have to make these people members of your family."
Slowly but surely I accepted their behavior and dug my heels in like all the people had before me. I accepted mediocre pay and decided that it was an easy job all I had to do was lower my standards.
Which I did. The problem was there was no one to complain to.  Issues arose, but I just had to swallow them down because no one gave a care.
Besides, when management is the problem, who do you complain to?

Little by little I felt myself fleeting.  Small fragments of my soul being diminished along with my dignity and pride. I would have sleepless nights for the fear of being verbally ripped to shreds the next day.  What kind of decision had I made?  When all these other decisions I had made in the last few years were for me and my daughter - to make us happy... I sold out.

I would receive verbal beatings all week long, but lunch on Friday - like it made all the abuse just magically disappear.  Like when your parent backhands you across the mouth but pulls you in for a hug afterward. They did it out of love, right?  I don't treat people like that.  I don't pretend to like you if I don't. I don't abuse people. And I certainly don't associate myself with people who do.  Yet every single day I went to a job where I was saying "It is okay to abuse me." It is not okay.

If there was only one thing I have taken away from this life it is that I will not put up with someone hurting me - not mentally, emotionally, or physically.  A screaming product of why I am alone. An even louder scream of why I will remain alone.

I am okay with this as long as I am okay with myself. And I am. Now that I am no longer punching Hell's time clock. I would rather be poor than have no dignity.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My Own Clique

My biggest fear for the last 12 years has been losing my daughter.  In one way or many ways, I always knew that when the preteen/teen years came, our relationship would begin to dissolve.
I don't mean go away completely, but dissipate or fade even. One day she wont wave bye at the bus stop or kiss me when I drop her off at her friends house. One day she will scream "I hate you." while she stomps with fury off to her bedroom and slams the door.

Some of my friends have already had these moments with their kids. Some of my friends will soon enough. My relationship with my daughter isn't perfect, as I have balanced the role of mom and dad alone for her entire life, but I do a pretty decent job. I also know when to put my phone down and pay attention to the greatest thing that ever happened to me.

Tonight, I entered the cafeteria to my old middle school - my daughters current middle school - for a science event. As more and more families piled in, moms grouped off into cliques and oddly enough so did their daughters.  I watched these small kids experimenting with these awesome science projects while their parents couldn't stop texting for five seconds.  All the while I hung out next to my daughter. She walked away once because I was being too slow. She saw her friends and she said hi. Even wrapped her arm around one for a half-hug, but she didn't leave my side. We walked from station to station like two friends would - maybe we were in our own clique? She wasn't embarrassed that I was there with my chin on her shoulder watching science experiments or rolling up her sleeve as she stuck her hand in a pile of goo.  She didn't seem to mind when I tucked the strand of hair behind her ear and oinked like a pig in that same ear to tease her.

One day I may not be so fortunate.
She will tell me to go away.
She will tell me I embarrass her.
She will even tell me she hates me - I am pretty sure all kids do.
Right now, she is still my little bird.
She lets me hold her hand and she still kisses me on the lips.
She snuggles me before bed every night and she makes sure to tell me she loves me just before I turn off the light.

Some people's babies are grown up and have moved away, some have grown only so much and passed away, and some don't have babies of their own.
I have been endlessly blessed to have every ounce of love I could ever need.
Someone once said "I married my soul mate."
Well I made mine.
Just saying...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

One Single Day

The "New Years" holiday has never meant much to me.  I always see people food shopping galore, hosting elaborate parties, having themed said parties, dressing up and going out, but all the while it is nothing more to me than another night for me.  A night I usually spend in jeans and/or sweats with my daughter after watching movies and/or playing a board game or two.  Last night we did crossword puzzles together.

I get the "resolve," but it is always so trite and unrealistic.  You really think the best thing for your future is to buy a gym membership you will most likely use for 2 months and never again?  You really think that the key to success is to "be kind to others" only to be cut off in traffic and scream like a sailor and forget about it the next time you have a misfortune?  I don't set these kinds of expectations for myself. I don't presume to let one day dictate that I need to have resolve. That I need to be better for the year because I was so crappy the year before.

I try for these "resolutions" every day. Every day when I wake up I make my day's goals and decisions.  When someone says something snotty, I resolve to bite my tongue. When someone forgets to flush, I cringe and flush for them.  When I get bossed around, I stand up for myself as I always should have.  When someone cuts me off in traffic, I remind myself that I have no idea who they are or what is happening in their life.  Maybe they don't have an emergency to get to, but that's not for me to determine behind the wheel of my car. You're in a rush?  Whatever. You are one space ahead of me now - revel in it. 

Life is really hard.  Like, really hard.  And no one can fully understand hardship and heartbreak and all the other two-words-in-one experiences without having gone through them, but I firmly believe setting unrealistic goals for yourself one time a year is worthless. Why one day a year? Why not every single day?  We celebrate all kinds of holidays throughout the year; If every day is too much pick each of those calendar holidays and set a reminder.  One day a year is not enough.

So celebrate the coming of a new year. A clean slate.  I have given up on thinking "This is my year" because it is, also, unrealistic.

This is my day. I am going to make the best of ONE SINGLE DAY rather than 364 days way too far ahead of me to actually control anything.

Today is my day. My day to be all the things I want to. Or at least start to be.