Thursday, December 31, 2015

My 2015

'Tis that time for reflection again, and whilst I like to reflect after each event happens, I figure I would give a more general account here.

1) I grew some roots.

I am 18 months in to this job and it feels like I have been there for 10 years and it is still my first day wrapped in one.  I was promoted in May, now it is December, and I have hardly ever done the same thing twice; therefore, I retain next to nothing, but I seem to be pretty decent at it so onward we go. I look forward to coming into work (most days) and my co-workers and I seem to have quite a bit of fun together.  They are one of the best and most cohesive groups of people I have ever met.  They want me to step ahead and start solidifying my future there, so I suppose that is in the cards for me for 2016.  Series 7 or bust? 

2) I remembered how horrendous Junior High could be.

My girl, Lou, has had one hell of a year.  At first I wasn't sure if I was going to pull her out of her current school.  The lack of attention by administrators was disheartening, her friends were rotten, bullying was running rampant, and my heart was breaking.  I would come home from work and go directly to school, so I was seeing less of her.  But when I would come home after a 15-hour day and find her in bed, defeated, and crying, I wasn't sure where our road would take us at all.  I would sit at my desk at work and weep for her.  Knowing that from two cities away I couldn't rescue her on demand or save her from one of the worst rites of passage.  If I remember anything from Junior High at all, it was that it was one of the worst times I ever had.  And this, for me, was the whole of 7th grade.  Friends abandoned me, new friends came and went, I had to drop classes due to bullying, I stopped showering for a few months (uhm, ew!). Junior High was a disaster!  Yet here I am doing it all over again. You want to know what my sage advice was? I'm sorry, but "we all have to go through the horrible to not only find respect for ourselves but respect for the things we want most."
I can't go into school and beat children up for you.
I can't kick down every mother's door and tell them to parent better.  Maybe they work and go to school, too?
We only have 6 months left and then it is off to high school *barf* where the bullying and judgement from friends is on steroids, but I am sure after all this we will be fine.
My girl has a thickness to her skin now, that she will use going forward.  She sees people differently.  She understands more clearly that a lot of people are rotten, but the good ones are worth holding tighter.

3)  I graduated.
When I was pregnant with my daughter and about a year after I had her, I had been taking a class here and a class there.  Never with any real intention to go on and become a scientist or a sonographer or a journalist.  In 2004, I chose work over school.  For the next nine years, I would choose raising a well-rounded child who wanted for nothing over going to school. I would always say "When she needs me less, I will go back."  Getting fired from Lowes gave me that gift.  I suddenly had a surplus of time on my hands and was able to enroll back in school full time for two semesters, which got a large portion of my credits out of the way.  When my year of unemployment was over, I went back to working full-time, being a parent 365 days a year, coached softball, and also went to school 2 or 3 nights a week.  My kid could finally stay home alone, where necessary, and I was in a place in my life where I was able to juggle many tasks at once.  It all just worked.  3 years later, I graduated with honors.  Role model? Check.
Oh and with no tutor, pulled off an A and then a B+ in Algebra.

4) My big brother got married and I was his best man?
Toes in the sand and one beautiful sunrise.
After a half a dozen Xanex, one book, and two boxes of Good N' Plentys, we finally settled into our ocean-front resort hotel in beautiful Virginia Beach.  My brother, at 39 years old finally was able to say his vows to the woman of his dreams and the whole family got to be there for it.  I had been asked to be the best man and I loved every minute of it (with the exception of the Bachelors Party; being the only girl kinda sucked!)!  Either way, I prepared a wonderful speech, we took lots of freezing cold pictures on the beach, and we celebrated with total strangers the way families do. 

Guys and girls on both sides.  Beautiful new family and friends. <3

 Everything was right out of a fairy tale.  The dress was to die for, the food was wonderful, the people were fantastic, the DJ wasn't awful. The weather was crappy that day and we had to shiver outside, but amidst the cold I got to witness two people who make each other incandescently happy. 

We went to Jamestown and Washington DC afterward.  I rode the subway for my first time. I ate at a food truck for my first time.  I went to Arlington for my first time.  I got lost on the DC Highway system for the first... and then second time.  My 6th trip to Virginia Beach (and elsewhere) proved to be a lovely adventure.

5) My Bird and I went on some new adventures.

I don't have a spouse or even a significant other.  I haven't actually been in a relationship in many years now, but what I have been missing in companionship with a spouse, I find (for the most part) with my Bird.  We coexist in perfect harmony.  We don't often yell, we do what the other expects, we like most of the same things, we use a lot of the same products, and we share this innate longing for adventure.  I live and breath for taking in new sights and sounds; my girl shares my affinity for life in that same special way.  I don't have to explain to her why things are the way they are, why we just went to this new place, or why I am silent or why I am crying - she just gets it.  13 years of someone every single day will get you that way I suppose. 
My girl and my man!
This year, we adventured to Traverse City, Glenn Arbor, Ann Arbor, Virginia Beach, Arlington, and Sarnia, Ontario.  Each adventure was different and each adventure left us with unmistakable and unforgettable memories.
To my Bird, I dedicate a song that is as beautiful as you are.  Songbird

6) I found forgiveness.
I am not a fan of forgiveness or any of the feelings that come along with it.  I find it stressfull and my breath quickens just thinking about having to forgive someone when they were wrong. Hell, even if I was wrong.  I don't believe you should be "let off the hook" for a great many things, but then I guess I should decide whether I would like to be the pot or the kettle. 
This year, I forgave one of my biggest offenders for their past transgressions.
I even thanked them for being a part of my life and contributing what they did while they were in it.
As cliché as it sounds, I slept better that night.  I think I will always sleep a little better knowing that weight is gone forever.

7) I fell in love with some music.
For whatever reason I never fell in love with The Lumineers at the start; however, in 2015, they became a part of my soul.  Yes, The Lumineers are a horcrux.
The song She Used to Be Mine by Sara Bareilles was like opening a window into my own soul.  I know it is from the musical, The Waitress, but it is so MaryAnne and it moves me.  I hear it and I have to sing, but then my voice cracks and my eyes water. Ugh. Love.

If you care, here are my favorites from this year (whether they are actually from this year, I don't care):
Sara Bareilles - She Used to Be Mine
Gregory Alan Isakov - That Moon Song
The Lumineers - Slow It Down
Sam Smith - The Writing's On the Wall
James Bay - Let It Go
Hello - Adele
Like Real People Do - Hozier

2015 was really quiet in all the ways that matter.  There was loss and heartache like every year before, but there was also growth and understanding.  There were moments where I went a wee bit crazy, but there were moments where I found peace, too. 

I am hoping 2016 can exhibit more growth and solace.  I am looking forward to learning more and going on even cooler adventures than before.  I am looking to get out of my comfort-zone a little (high school, wahhhhh!), and I am anticipating finding out more about what I want and need from life. So bring it on 2016.  Universe, I am ready for you.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Slightly less...

Over not any one in particular, but everyone as a whole.  And not for any one particular reason, but maybe for every reason combined.

I used to have some pretty selfish friends, then I had some boyfriends who cheated, and then it was feeling ostracized from my friends whom I had little-to-nothing in common with.  While my friends hung out at bars and met people, found new friends, went new places, I stayed home, alone, with my child.  While my friends moved forward in life, got married, began to have their own children, I continued to push myself further and further away from the human race.  After all, pushing away is what I do best.

After a while I realized that when I am in a relationship, I am toxic anyway.  And not just my significant other, but even, sometimes, with friends.  Perhaps it is a great number of years of my "friends" using me, betraying me, or leaving; same as my significant other.  I never devote myself to anyone anymore.  I used to be that friend that came running for any reason, but now you can't rely using me in that way.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, "I'm broken."  It is so much further beyond that now.  Whereas I once was broken, now I am conditioned to have no feelings at all.  Still being betrayed and hurt by the people I love, yet no longer standing up for myself and pushing you away, just letting it happen and being abused. All the while, my attitude is quite callous.

In the past month, I have seen some kind of... reflection... of myself.  Like an out of body experience?  I have been hearing people talk about things of concern and where others console and are "there for people."  I am not.  I even think, "I should say something nice, but I really really don't care."  When people talk about their newest whatever, I feel more inclined to leave the room than I do to stay and listen.  And I know this is so wrong.

This is not to say I do not do kind things.  That I do not hold the door for people, because I do.  That I do not feed the homeless, because I do.  That I do not donate money to the abandoned pet center in my area, because I do.  Or even have two cats that I'd prefer not to have whom one of has been ill for the better part of 3 years, but I keep him and pet him and love him. Even though I say I don't. This is not to say that I don't do kind, nice, thoughtful, and considerate things, because I do.
But somewhere deep inside. Somewhere in my heart of hearts, I am not sure if I can be repaired anymore.  I am not sure if my too-rational thinking and unfailing ability to reason everything can ever overcome what is in going on inside of me.

So instead of making a bunch of New Years Resolutions about how I am going to get in shape or use Facebook less (which I fully intend to do as a part of a new life resolution), I plan to work more on MaryAnne.  Learning to stand up for myself in appropriate ways, trying not to use my words as a scare tactic that really works well, attempting to say the kind things I think, but can't bring myself to utter.

Does this mean I am changing? No. Not yet.
What it does mean is that I would like to be slightly less broken than I am currently.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Slip Through Your Fingers

I find it hard to believe that destiny is carved out for us.  That each decision we make was predetermined and our fate was decided before we even make those choices. Doesn't that quite ruin the notion of free will and the entirety of the decision-making process?

I would like to think that the decisions I have made for myself were my own and not charted out somewhere in the stars while some deity sits back and says "Yep, she is par for the course."

I was supposed to go to college straight out of high school.
I was supposed to be 19, wild, and free.  I was supposed to be 21 and go to bars and have little-to-no responsibility.
I was supposed to be married after my 2, then 3, then 4 year engagement.
I was supposed to live and die in retail.
I was supposed to write children's literature professionally.
I was supposed to move to California.
I was supposed to go see Europe and never come back.
I was supposed to have between two and four children, because I always imagined myself with a nice-sized family.

None of my plans have happened.  A lot of other people's plans happened.  But my plans took a shit.

I have now been a student since January 2013 consistently.
Three non-stop years of a life of total chaos.
The plan wasn't to work for 15 years after high school, then go to college.
The plan wasn't to have a child at 19 by myself.
The plan was not to be single for a decade.
The plan was not to buy a house and live in it alone (okay, minus the dog and cats).
So is this the real plan?  Is this what "destiny" set out for me?
A general malaise of real plans and hey, you get what's left over?

I am feeling quite whiny and pathetic right now.  It is finals week so perhaps it is my disdain for all things having to do with a thought process.
The gears are whirring and I am pretty sure you can see smoke.

I am tired of being tested. I am tired of my ideas not even being taken into consideration.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

She is gone...

The pain of loss is indescribable. The air being taken from your lungs every time you try to breathe, the floor continously falling out from underneath your feet, or even a constant running; being exhausted but never being able to stop.  Perhaps loss is even a combination of those. Loss is the worst fears and worst feelings bundled into one entity and existing in the void in your chest.
I have lost many people in my life.  I have lost family and friends of every make and measure. I have even lost a child. A loss i can compare with no other. And those people were taken from me. Mostly too early, but some in due time.  Life has a cruel way of making sure you never forget what pain feels like; you can never be too happy without that sharp reminder.
Of (almost) all the pain I have had, none hurts as much as the voluntary loss.  Someone choosing to leave me. Someone I chose to be apart of my life. 
Trust doesn't come easy for me. I'll never really hold you closer than an arms length away.  I don't do this by choice but by second nature and self-defense.  This reaction is subconscious and it protects me from more unnecessary pain.  Pain I have suffered enough of.
But the loss, when I do let you inside and you still choose to leave me, is the worst kind of devastating. I can't catch my breath because I no longer I have lungs.  The floor isn't falling, I have fallen onto it and smashed into a million pieces.  I will stop running because the pain has paralyzed me and I cannot move at all.
The emptiness could fill a room.
I lay here imagining my void in a different way. Imagining it with a different ending - one where I am not left alone again.
And the tears stream from my eyes, spattering the pillow beneath my head.
The hollow pit in my stomach churns reminding me not to forget the chasm within.
The waste that was love.
The vacancy that was my heart.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fellow Earthlings

More often than not I hear people whine about youth.  How they aren't learning all the things they should be, how they are all narcissistic, how they aren't as talented as children in past eras.
It is disappointing to hear these things.

As a parent raising a child in this world, I am less impressed with the world than I am with my daughter who knows nothing, apparently.

When I look at my daughter, I see intellect among beauty. I see kindness, gentleness, and grace.  I see a teenager who doesn't understand why her Facebook is filled with people with loud opinions and hurtful tongues.  I see a child who questions faith and spirituality to the nth degree.  I see a child who has been exposed to the truths of love and life - too young.  I see a girl who says she wants to make an impression and leave her mark doing something meaningful.

Then I see the world.  I see desolation and greed. I see an unending hate that is feeding off of despair and fear and creating even more hate.

And yet, I am trying to raise a child in this world.  A world full of hate.  A world where people who can't even "love thy neighbor" can certainly judge an entire generation of children.

Do you know how hard it is to raise a kind and gentle daughter with the abhorrence that is spewed with every passing moment by nearly everyone we meet?  Do you know how hard it is to raise beauty in a world where her fellow citizens are constantly ugly?  I have been that person, too. I have detested others for their ignorance, but I have also learned.  I have grown past throwing my disgust around with no solution.

My solution is simple: I will live my life for my family with all the love in my heart I always have. I wont live in fear. I won't lessen these standards because the world has changed; I have changed with it after all.  I will live in peace, as hard as that is, and live this life how it should be lived.  I will absorb the bad days and relish in the good days.  I will stand strong against adversity and I will  be resilient against my trepidation. I will understand that some people are born with repulsion coursing through their veins, while others are born with humanity and benevolence.

When my daughter decides that she will take these values with her to college, or to trade school, or to her future family, then I will have succeeded in raising her.

Sure, she will know Common Core math, she will not know how to write in cursive, and she will most likely have her face stuck to her phone screen ninety percent of the time, but she will have value and worth. She will be a contributing member to society.  As far as I am concerned, she already is - and a lot more than some people I know. 

If I raised her to care about her fellow Earthlings, then I'd say its a job well done.
This world is tough. This world is full of complications. This world is a mess.  But it is our world and we have to always care about it.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Little Tiny

My daughter is mostly mediocre.
Don't gasp in horror or immediately judge my parenting.  She has great moments, but most of them don't stand out from everyone else.  I don't expect her to play sports professionally or to go to college on a full-ride.
Does this mean I am not proud of my daughter? Not even a little bit.
Does this mean I am not in awe of her? No way!
What it means is that I am realistic.  I know that my kid is average in most ways.
I know that she has her glistening moments of amazement, but on the whole, she isn't earth-shattering.
Neither am I.
There is nothing wrong with mediocre.  It is actually okay to be average.

What isn't average and quite often stops me in my tracks is her heart.
There is no scale for the delicacy or purity of her love.
My little girl who has already been jaded by love and endured loss some people can't begin to understand has one of the kindest and sweetest souls I have ever seen.

Last week she called me on the phone with a break in her voice.
She had found a baby mouse in the driveway. He wasn't walking and couldn't open his eyes, but he appeared unharmed.  Little did she know I had found the sucker in the cats bed.  And thinking that he was dead I had drug the cat bed outside and put him on the grass.  A few hours later she found him, rescued him, and our little adventure began.

She woke up every two hours to hand feed this little baby.  He nuzzled under her fingertips and slept in the warmth of her hands.  He seemed to love his new mommy and I can't even begin to express the love in the eyes of my twelve year old.  She was beyond in love.  She was gentle and particular, and knew exactly what the baby needed to function.  She was the most attentive and loving mother I had ever seen.  And for a mouse.  A mouse that I was told "to flush" or "I'll bop it with a shovel" or "just stomp him with your shoe."  Horrific.  I cannot physically process doing something like that to the life of an animal.  Especially one so small, so helpless, and so sweet.

Needless to say, I knew we were in trouble with this one.  I knew the attachment would grow and that one day when we had to say goodbye to him (and once he was rehabilitated and his eyes were open that day would come) that I would have a very sad little girl.  My girl who has loved and lost two very important people in her life.  My girl who is so strong and brave.

I would come home from work and she would have spent a few hours researching how to raise baby mice and how to keep them warm.  She knew their life expectancy and how they like to sleep.  She knew what they would eat from infant to adulthood.  She kept her room shut up from the cats and the sweet baby locked away inside.

We got a good 6 days with our baby before the icy breath of death settled in.  In his last moments, his body went cold and his breathing began to slow.  All Alanna wanted to do was hold him a minute longer.  She was devastated that she couldn't see his little mousey face and whiskers looking up at her anymore.  And I felt sorrowful for the emptiness my daughter was feeling.
A mouse, the size of my thumb, brought me to full on tears.
All the while my girl wept in pain.

We cut a piece of his blanket, wrapped him inside, and buried him in the rock garden under our favorite tree. As we put the rocks back on top of the ground, we wept.  A tiny little life effected ours in such a monumental way.

I got to work today and emailed her before she woke up.  I told her I loved her and was proud of her. I told her that no 12-year old in their right mind would wake up every two hours to hand-feed a baby mouse - and on summer vacation!!  I told her that I was so proud of her selfless love.  I told her I was in awe that she could open up her soul wide enough to fill it with so much love.  Her mom doesn't have a heart like that anymore.  We practice kindness always, but love doesn't come easy for me.  I told her that I didn't know what I did to deserve her as my daughter.  I told her that her light made me want to be a better person. And it does.

My beautiful daughter who is mostly mediocre has an exceptional heart and for that, I am the luckiest mother.  She has given me everything I could ever ask for.

While I wish this could play as soon as this post was clicked, it cannot. So here is my little bit of my Universe. <-- this song may have been made for her.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Time: It's On Our Side

You know those people who are perpetually early?  Those people who aren't just 5 minutes early, but a half hour early, because 5 minutes would never suffice in getting themselves ready for the things they have to do BEFORE the things they have to do?  Yeah, I am that person. 

I usually will arrive so early that I will sit in my car and read or journal or even listen to an audiobook.  Or play online.  Or crochet a blanket.  Or drink a pot of coffee and play some video games.  If I get down to the 10 minute mark, I will usually call and let someone know I am going to be late. And by late, I mean on time - according to every other schedule.  Heaven forbid that I am actually "on-time" or I shudder to think: LATE, but I will probably just not show up all together or quit my job or be institutionalized.  Or all three at once.

Yesterday, I was very late.  And yesterday, I was very unhappy about it.

Alanna had tryouts for her softball team.  Against my better judgment, I let her go to a friends afternoon birthday party. Knowing quite well that the birthday party was from 1:00 to 3:00, I assumed that she would be dropped off by 3:30, home and ready by 4:00, and out the door to tryouts by 4:30.   They went to an adventure park where you climb trees and zip-line and do obstacle courses 20' in the air.  Pretty cool, sure. 
Maybe I live in a fantasy world of sorts. 
Maybe I am a lunatic to think other people run on a clock that is 5 minutes ahead of the actual time too, just so I can be not just 30, but 35 minutes early.
Well boy was I wrong.

At 4:00, after not hearing from my kid ALL DAY, I called her and got no answer. 
My heart began to race a little.
I immediately called the mother,
"Hi Melissa. Is Alanna home?"
"No, she is up a tree at the course?  Isn't her thing at 6?"
"No, its at 5 and it is currently 4."
"Well she is on the course right now so I'll send her down as soon as she is done.  Can she be picked up?"
"I guess she will have to be.  I'll leave work now.  I thought the party was from 1:00 til 3:00?"
"It was, but they didn't kick us out, so we didn't leave. So we figured we would stay until they figured it out. hahaha."
*No laughter or cheer* "Okay, well please tell her to meet me out front as soon as you can. I'll be there as soon as I can."

I got the park within 12 minutes; it really wasn't far from my work.
Then I sat in the parking lot for another 45 minutes. 45 MINUTES?!?!?!?!?!
I texted this mom another 12 times saying 'Does it really take this long to do an obstacle course?" and "Can you tell her to sprint to me, please?"
I lost it. I was crying. I grrrr'ed a little (or a lot), I hyperventilated, and I punched some things within my car (e.g.: the steering wheel, the dashboard, my legs, etc...) 
I even got out of my car to pace.  All while texting feverishly, wanting to throw up, and wishing I could just pull away and leave my child there to suffer the consequences. 

Finally, when I walked into the park to drag her out by her harness, she came walking up the path.

"You are soooooo done."
"Why, Mom?"

Needless to say, I had a mother's meltdown. 
I did not win the Parent of the Year Award and I will definitely not be considered a role model of any kind. 
All because someone else's lack of expedience - and general regard for other people's lives.

Yeah....I lost my cool.  Absolutely lost my shit, because someone made me a near hour late for something that was pretty important. 
Even if it wasn't important I would have felt the same way, because being on time is important to me.  If you are going to make me late, then don't bother including me.  I would rather call in sick than be late. I would rather sit in the theatre lobby and go to the next show two hours later than miss the first five minutes.  There are so many "I would rather..." moments here.
But please don't make me late.

I lost my mind over time yesterday and I am sure I will do it again in the future.
I didn't learn from this. I couldn't control the situation and that wasn't okay for me.
I am not sure how to resolve this for myself in the future other than to take a Xanex when I know I am going to be late.  Ooooo, Xanex!  Why didn't I think of that yesterday?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Close-Mind, Open Heart

Lately, I have been thinking about way too many things:
  • Why are people generalized?
  • Am I close-minded?
  • Can you be categorized if you truly do not think like the people in your "category?"
These questions have been haunting me since last week Thursday when a co-worker decided to tell me I was close-minded.  Part of me believes he said it to get a rise out of me and the other part of me believes he meant it.  Asking him now, he gives no definitive answer... and it is bugging the heck out of me!

I say it often, and will continue to do so, I can hear what everyone has to say.  My best friend is the same.  The difference between us is she usually keeps her mouth shut on her own views.  She doesn't think it is worth the breath to start an argument.  I cannot do the same. I do not open my mouth and spew my beliefs out so I can convince you to think just like I do, but more so you can have more facts or be more educated. Maybe to give your belief some weight or some variety. I don't know everything and I very easily could be proven wrong, but I will always try.  I will always give my two cents.

Coming from an abnormally large family, where you cannot always get a word in edge-wise, I think it is engrained for me to say what I think. 
Structurally, it is a part of the Theriault DNA. 
When everyone in the room knows everything there is to know on the face of the planet, then there isn't always very much to say.  So listening became a pastime.  A hobby, almost.  And if the TV is off, then you have my full attention (I do not do well with distraction).  My childhood was spent with little-to-no opinion. I remember one of my old Greek aunts yelling at me that "children should learn to keep their mouths shut."  Maybe these things are the root of why I now have a hard time doing so.

To say the least, I love knowledge.  I take classes I do not necessarily need for my major and imagine going to school for the rest of my life, because the endless knowledge sounds wonderful.  I love to share the things I have learned, too.  I often come into work and tell my co-workers little snippets that I learned in class the night before.  What a nerd, right?

The close-minded thing has been weighing heavy.  I try so hard not to be someone who is quick to judge (we all have our moments), and try my best to see both sides of the coin (even if I don't agree).  Maybe the issue is that I speak up when I don't agree.  I don't nod and smile. I don't let you spout your views and sit back and chew on mine; you will hear mine. And maybe that is something not everyone is used to. 

I have a filter... most of the time.  People who claim they "have no filter" are looking for an excuse to be total assholes.  There is no need to be mean or hateful. There is no need to be nasty.  Bite your tongue when the time calls for it.  I do not, however, feel like offering your opinion is offensive.  Another reason our ability to freely think is beautiful.  I am glad for diversity.  I am glad for stirring conversation.

Monday, June 8, 2015

A work in progress.

Lately it is as if being tested has integrated itself into every waking moment of life.
And as I try and lead a more somber, peaceful, and enlightened life in my thirties, I have found that the universe is loving the challenge it dishing out.  I welcome the defiance, and I find the trial exhilarating.

I have found that no matter how hard I try to bring small rays of sunshine to my life and the life of those around me, people are always going to be there to cover my sun with their grey clouds.  I'm okay with it - most of the time.  Balance is necessary in all things. I remind myself that maybe not everyone is as blessed as I am to have a wonderful upbringing, a desire for never-ending education, and the ability to have an open-mind.  I feel much more grateful than I do conceited.

I didn't have the perfect childhood. Those who know me best know this quite well.  I didn't have wonderful teen years either. I made super poor choices and I was really bad at being... bad.
The difference with me is that I took everything from the two different worlds I was living out of and blended them into one amazing one.  It didn't happen over night. Hell, it is still "happening," but I am glad to be a work in progress!

But when I am tested, I am most gratified.  I am reminded of how simple things can become very major ones.  How one small breeze can become a monsoon.  How one tiny little grain of sand can turn the tide.  I am grateful for these moments every day.  When I can get so mad at what just happened and come right back to the place I was meant to be: one of calm.  Where anger doesn't matter anymore. Where nothing matters but what I have learned.

I deal with my biggest instigator every single day.  Via text or just inside my mind, I am at a constant turmoil with what my heart says over what my head tells me.  It's always challenging; however, I will say that I have tried so painstakingly hard to always let go of my past transgressions, my past irritations, my past bias, and start anew (and with love).

It doesn't matter that I was called an idiot this week or that my new book was ruined in a rainstorm.
It doesn't matter that my pond was eaten by a deer... or a beaver.
It doesn't matter that some people love to voice their opinions as loud as possible to get a rise out of others.
It doesn't matter my daughter disregarded my request and did her own thing.
It doesn't matter that I was eye-rolled by a mother at softball for the third week in a row.
None of it matters at the end of my day.

I am glad the annoying things happen because it makes the things I love so much sweeter.
So thank you for calling me an idiot. I know I am not stupid. My 3.8 proves that as much as my desire to continue learning.
Thank you for raining. I don't have to water my lawn or flowers, and I had already read the book anyway.
I am not glad my pond was half-eaten, but I am glad the deer/beaver isn't hungry.
Thank you to Alanna for always dancing to the beat of your own drummer.  Your free-spirited self is inspiring. Don't let it happen again! ;)
Thank you for eye-rolling me on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  You are exactly who I strive NOT to be.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Bliss of Ignorance

Ignorance is bliss...
But only for the ignorant.
For every body else it is like the obligatory nails on a chalk board or chewing on tin foil.

For me it is a retracted jaw, questioning eyebrows, a suddenly sour taste in my mouth, fingertips rising to my temples, and my brain reminding my breath to slow down and cleanse the bad vibes.

It is almost as if I cannot even process what is happening.  My eyelids will usually shut and I will shake my head ever so slightly as the information attempts to seep into my brain; It only gets so far before it is rejected and the questioning look appears on my face again.

Conviction is wonderful.  Passion makes the sun a little brighter and the sky a little more blue; however, spewing daft remarks without regard for your surroundings or without knowledge of the company you keep, is disturbingly wrong.

Today I was approached with this super-awesome bombshell:
"Don't feel bad for the people in Nepal. They had it coming.  All those Eastern countries with their beliefs in many gods.  God said believe in none but me. God is jealous and God has punished them accordingly."

I was wishing it was April 1st instead of May 5th and the man would have winked and with two finger-guns said "April Fools." Even though that would have been a disgusting joke.  Instead, this man was dead set that I shouldn't feel any remorse for the several thousands people whose lives were lost when an earthquake destroyed a country.  Never mind that while many of those who were killed may have been Nepalese, many were also American, English, Thai, French, Indian, and any other number of ethnicities, races, and religions.
I immediately wished I was somewhere else. 
I immediately wished this conversation wasn't happening.

Instead of defending those of no belief or a different belief than this man before me, I sighed heavily and wished him farewell.  I could have fought back.  I could have let him know what my beliefs were - he was quite adamantly telling me about his.  I could have done a great number of things.  I could have become enraged and told him how angry I was with his ignorance, but I didn't.  I chose the high road and let him go.

I don't fault him for his belief - we were all a product of our upbringing.  Clearly his wasn't very broad.

All too often it doesn't work out the way I handled it, and believe me, I am still whining about how awful his comments were 5 hours later, but I am glad I handled it the way I did.

We are often tried with times of keeping our mouths shut when people around us say any number of things we disagree with.  With social media, we seem to get a clear view of exactly how people feel on any given topic, as well as their faith, which current events they are most passionate about, on top of what they may have eaten for dinner.  More often than not, people just retort. They have to let you know their two cents, they have to tell you exactly how they feel as if it matters to anyone except themselves.
I am known for speaking my mind, but never, have I ever, been glad people died because they thought differently or believed differently than me.
I am sickened that a person like that lives in the same society I do.

People like that guy don't even deserve for me to fight back.
They deserve for me to walk away, just like I did.
And next time I see him, a month from now, I will definitely not have the same smile on my face.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


"I am so tired of hearing about it."
"I'm over it."
"Ugh! Quit giving attention to destructive morons."
"They probably didn't even know Freddie Gray."

Any combination of the above quotes has been said over the course of the last two days.  My overly privileged place of employment has made any number of comments about how stupid the rioting in Baltimore really is.

Some have even said "Why would you loot a CVS for toilet paper?" as if that was why it was done.

"The struggle," as it is so aptly named, isn't something most people understand. 
Living paycheck to paycheck isn't the struggle.
Having an iPhone 4 isn't the struggle.
Eating too much over the weekend at a friend's barbeque is not the struggle.
Wearing the same two pairs of pants to your work every week is not the struggle. 

Not knowing whether you will be able to feed your family dinner is the struggle.
Wondering if your kids will safely make it home from school is the struggle.
Living in a country where your fellow citizens rate you lower than the gum they just stepped in is the struggle.
Your voice not being heard for nearly all of civilization is the struggle.

People tend to make up a wide arrangement of excuses to make their situation worse than it really is.  I suppose knowing that it really isn't "that bad" does make you feel better when you go to sleep at night.
But it is really that bad. For a lot of people.

And as a country we are responsible (well, we should be responsible) for supporting every single aspect of our community. 

We weren't given the ability to speak so we could sit back and say nothing at all.
We were given a gift of voice; a gift of higher intelligence.  Yet we choose to tell people that think differently than us to shut up or to stop whining.
People were meant to be heard.

Do I agree that destroying a city is the way to be heard? A way to be seen? Absolutely not.  There are much better ways to get your point across.  Much more logical ways.  Usually those ways are harder and most of the time you get ignored.
But I will say this, you just destroyed a city because you were tired of being oppressed.  This will all get cleaned up and life will resume as it always does, and all of this will be forgotten.

If you want change to happen, you must be willing to make your own changes.
Hurting law enforcement isn't going to make that change.
Damaging public property isn't going to make that change.
Setting things on fire isn't going to make a change.

Your voice is what is heard.  Your actions are all for naught.

Friday, April 24, 2015


My brain doesn't work like yours.
It whirrs, and sputters, and smoke billows out.
My brain doesn't work like yours.
I find the words can't come out when I need them too.
I rationalize to the point of no longer having a valid reason.
I discover constantly that my initial thoughts are never my final ones.
I put myself in scenarios I will most likely never have to live in.
I make myself suffer at the hands of my thoughts and what it could do to someone else.
I am strong enough to suffer.
I can handle anything.
Every day of this life I live with a brain that doesn't work like every other human brain.
Maybe it explains my inability to love or my clearly defective relationship skills. 
I get to love from afar. I get to love and never truly be loved, or touched, or caressed in the ways I need every day.  Instead I climb inside my brain and pretend it is all there waiting for me; the kisses, the love, the home.
It's not.
It's not real.
It's not really there.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Eff you very much!

Every day I receive some sort of rude comment toward myself.
I am not sure if it is the day and age we are in, but people are blaming their rudeness for a "lack of a filter" and quite frankly it's a pathetic excuse.
I, too, speak my mind, but I am not rude to people. I do not offend them, and I certainly would never say half of the things that are said to me (out loud anyway).

The day's conversation went as so:

Them:   "Your boyfriend is coming in on Monday."
Me:       "Not my boyfriend. I don't have one of those."
Them:   "That's right. What kind of example are you setting for your daughter [being alone/not having a spouse]?"
And I replied,"I am setting an example that it is empowering her to be an independent woman who can support herself in every way possible rather than have a man do it for her.  I owned my own home at 26, have raised a child by myself while working and going to college. That's not such a bad example to me."

The distortion of this one person's view on how a woman should be frightens me.

As if having a partner defines me.
As if I need that relationship to lead a happy life.

To set the record straight for people who may be confused: I am happy.  Maybe happier than I have ever been.  I am a 4.0 student, I have a gorgeous, nerdy, and funny daughter, I get to coach softball two days a week, I have a home with a lovely yard (so much nature and flowers) that I love, I have a few close friends who care about me, I have some family members who I love unfailingly, and I have a job which (most of the time) I rather like.

Not everyone needs a partner.
Not everyone needs someone else to define them.
Not everyone needs constant reassurance.
Not everyone needs companionship.

I am not sure why everyone focuses the narrative on what I am lacking, when clearly I am not lacking anything.

Not everyone needs fixing. 

If we need things to worry about, I can give you a list to chose from:

a) a little boy who is in medically induced coma from hitting his head while sledding and trying to have some fun.

b) Islamic terrorists groups who make threats on people waaaaay too often.

c)  A sweet puppy named Hazel Grace who was held over a barbecue and roasted half to death, who has been recovering for months; Her perpetrator is walking away with a slap on his wrist. aka: a misdemeanor.

d) Children whose parents don't love them, leave them, abuse them, starve them, or any other horrific and unimaginable verb.

e) A mother who is focusing on her family and rebuilding her life after a horrific divorce.

f) The number of rape victims on college campuses each year - which is skyrocketing!

This list is endless... And we can discuss any of the topics on it at length.

But my name isn't going to be on it, because there is no mystery; there is no wondering to be had. And it sure has hell isn't a cause for any sort of concern.

If you have to meet your word quota for the day, then be my guest and say what you need to, but please keep your super rotten comments to yourself, thankyouverymuch!