The Wonder Of It All

Have you ever just sit some place quiet and wonder about things? The place you choose doesn’t need to be fancy or even beautiful but it does have to offer or reflect a sense of calm. Well, it does for me at least. Lately I have been trying to figure out where in my timeline I swerved off my path. Not all changes that come to a life are planned or meaningful or meant to cause you pain. Once again I find myself at a rotary in my travels and I am not sure if I should take the second right or merge left.

I never hide or run from the fact that I can be a hot mess. “Normal” is a bullshit state of mind created by people who are unable or unwilling to admit that everybody struggles, themselves included. Sad for them because these types of people tend to keep themselves apart from others. They come off as aloof when in reality we, ( the divine inhabitants of the pool of hot messness ) scare the shit out of them or embarrass them or just plain make them feel uncomfortable, awkward.

The story of my life. I am okay with it, all of it. My life right now is in a state of flux. I think it may have started before I was forced to “see’ the changes around me but here I am. I am making waves with a new sense of who I am and what I am willing to “put up with”. I finally feel like I can stand on my own. No validation necessary. There are times however, when I miss what once was. I recently felt a surge of the happiness and good news vibe. It is an amazing feeling that makes you want to pick up the phone to call or text your BFF right away. It lingered only a moment but it happened. I am no longer a part of their lives. I allowed myself to feel unhappy for a touch of time and then put those negative thoughts away. Never waste time stirring an empty pot. I am loving where I am right now in my journey of discovery: new people, new challenges, passports, school, tour guide…my possibilities are endless.

LIFE?

Is a tough game nobody wins, everyone has to play, and the ending, well, it never goes the way one thinks it ought. I scribbled this note to myself because as I was chatting with a co-worker, it struck me that LIFE…Is what happens when you have other plans! We were discussing how life goes awry. How random, how strange, how wonderful, how scary, how unfair, how infuriating… the reasons never ending. It is a grand undertaking and should be lived full tilt to the best of ones ability. Having said that previous statement I realize my idea of full tilt and your idea are probably vastly different. At my age living full tilt can mean peeling off my bra, flinging it wayward towards the couch, kicking off my sneaks for Crocs, as soon as I cross the threshold into my house, without putting my work paraphernalia down! But, usually I wait to be that bold until after I have had my first cup of coffee = ). Decompress from a stress filled day first then calmly change into more comfortable attire.

LIFE is like a deck of cards. It gets shuffled many times, sometimes it comes up all aces and sometimes you get dealt the joker. What are you going to do? Learn to play the hand you are dealt. Not an easy thing to do and yet, that is the choice. I have spent too many years running from obstacles LIFE threw in my way. The more I ran away the more lost I became. The more unhappy I was. I zoned out of my life and spent precious time on people and situations that I should not have. I learned some pretty tough lessons but I am a better person because of it. I can not be what YOU want or what YOU need. I can only be me. I am probably not your cup of tea and that is okay. It really is. I used to feel badly about all of that but I got over it, mostly.

What does it mean to pity someone? …It’s when you feel sorry for them because they are not up to your standards, whatever that might be. Are you being helpful or hurtful? Or are you simply telling yourself a lie in the hopes that you will feel better about who you are as a person? Intriguing? It ought to be. I have been scorned, bullied, and pitied in my life because I am different. SPOILER ALERT. I was not thin when I was younger. I was not popular. I have odd personality traits. I can not have children. I understand now that inviting sympathy & pity in for a sit and chat was not a wise decision on my part. It is so easy to get used to their company. They give you a false sense of “everything will be all right”. BUT…nothing in your life or about you will change unless you change. Figure out who you want to be and then try to become more like that ideal. It is not done easily. Hell, I am soon to be 58 ( I know, right?) and I still work on who I want to be everyday.

My changing/maturing had nothing to do with the empathy and/or pity freely given either (pity implies tender or sometimes slightly contemptuous sorrow for one in misery or distress). It had more to do with my growing up, realizing I didn’t need to be like everyone else. I did not want to be pitied. There is no joy there, no way to grow as a human. My happiness, my life, my marriage is MY business. I got on with living life. Having children does not make your life magically wonderful or turn you into a better person or make all your dreams come true. It just makes you a person with added responsibilities to tiny humans. I am living my best life right now; because I finally realized my life is better than I hoped it would be. I have friends I enjoy who enjoy me. I am loved. I am enough. I am… no longer worried about sitting with the “cool kids”.

I finally grew up. I am not sorry one bit for my journey. It is true we mature when we are ready. I was finally ready. Never Give Up On The Person You Are Meant To Be

The Tale of the Kiss and the Slap

Or why the pain of rejection lingers. If a magical being flew into your life blessed one palm of a hand with a kiss and the other with a sharp slap which would you remember longer? Most might say the kiss because it was innocent, sweet and well, magical while the other was rude, disruptive and hurtful. Which one? It’s easy…the one that hurt. Pain whether it is physical or emotional tends to linger. We try to figure out what we did to deserve it or we waste energies trying to absolve ourselves. If you are an overthinker, like me, you turn over every minute, dissecting every detail. I have to tell myself to stop obsessing. When I was young and experiencing life on my own without the safety net of family, I did not know how to make friends. It is a skill set that, let’s be honest, we work at our whole lives. If you are blessed to have one close friend in your adult life, that you are not romantically involved with, congratulations! You have won the lottery! Sometimes relationships just stop working. We all enter into relationships because there is something there we are drawn toward. We need (OMG I SAID THE NEED WORD) to feel like a part of a larger picture or there is something we want that we might never have experienced before, or there is a beauty there we fall head over heels for. (THE KISS)

Why do relationships break down? BOREDOM? infidelity, having different life goals, age, maturity ? Yes, all of those things. I am saddened to say that sometimes there are other darker reasons : abuse, neglect, alcohol or drugs, betrayal. (THE SLAP) The relationship must end for the health of all involved. Some are successful with the breakdown while others spiral out of control. I use breakdown because no one feels up after a relationship ends. Well, I never do anyway. I used to be the one to spiral, not anymore. I know what I am worth. I want more for myself than what I used to settle for.

I am also not the same person I was before life slapped me around, lol. I am enough. I am a good person with a big heart. As I sit here writing this I realize that Once Upon A Time that wasn’t true, I was not a good person. I hated myself and things I wasn’t a part of. I carried around anger, hurt, disappointment … like they were accessories for my wardrobe. Often I was rude to people, disagreeable, because I was so unhappy with who I thought I should be instead of just being who I am. My younger sister taught me to see the vulnerability of life. If you look at something hard enough you learn to appreciate the work that went into making it a piece of art. My Dad thought the best of everyone he met, a rare quality. My husband was brave enough to scale my “wall of scorn” to learn who I was. I love him. He loves me. Our life together is no one else’s business. Have your opinions, I live my life. I love my life. I have learned to be a better person because of the people in and around my life.

Everyone who lives has regrets. I have few regrets. I love with my whole being. I am human, sometimes I am a queen sized ass hat. I try to own it all, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. I offer apology when it is offered in return. There have been people in my life who chose to be passive/ aggressive instead of working through a rough patch. I get it. Avoidance means that a person does not have to accept their roll in the souring of a friendship. It makes it easier to sell “the innocent victim roll” to everyone. I have been there and done that. It is an empty feeling because somewhere in middle of all that anger is the truth. Walking away takes strength. It is ok to be sad when you have a loss. Rest a bit, take stock in who you are, where you want to be and then go live your life. Go after whatever sparks JOY for you. GO after it. What ever that IT is.

Never Give Up On The Person You Are Meant To Be

Wait for it…

Lately I have had a lot of things to think about. I am a woman of a certain age (and yes, I hate that phrase) and being in that range I know it is time for me to take steps toward the kind of life I wish to have for my later years. I am getting my 401k into better shape. I have been paying off debt. I am TRYING not to make any new debts. I am mending fences where I feel they should be mended and walking away from things that no longer spark joy. There is something to be said for the wisdom one gains from the pain of being alive.

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was afraid of her own shadow. She hated the silence of a dark night and the loneliness of a rainy day. A short lifetime ago I was that tiny child afraid of almost every thing. We are all born with the same potential for greatness. Circumstance and surroundings change that. No one person is better than any other person. One just has to learn to be brave enough to go after the life they want to live.

I am sitting in a hotel in Gloucester MA composing this post today. I have been waylaid from my midwinter adventure due to a snowstorm. I still managed to cross something off my bucket list. Watching a snowstorm over the ocean. And…if being at the Beauport Harbor is as close to the Atlantic as I can get I am okay with that. I wanted to go someplace warm but with the winter surge of Covid it was tough to get a room with flights that were not getting canceled or moved again and again. I am in unchartered territory for myself. I have never made overnight travel plans for myself before but I am a fast learner. I chose to stay close to home this round. I booked a great room overlooking the harbor. I tried new to me restaurants, Mile Marker One and a great breakfast spot, Mom’s Kitchen. I managed to hit up Zeke’s Place on our arrival. I started following Good Morning Gloucester podcast during my last jaunt to this town in the late Summer of 2021. I am not disappointed. It has been a wonderful resource for finding new spots for me to check in on. Shout out to the locals who have captured my heart.

I want to get my passport. “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” Albus Dumbledore

There is so much more to see before the curtain comes down.

So you might be asking yourself why I warned you to wait for it. Like, what am I waiting for? Well, what are you waiting for? GO LIVE YOUR LIFE! Meet new people, make friends, be kind, love the people in your life. WHY WAIT?

So? What Happens Now?

Life moves forward. After the apologies have been made and the silence overcomes the emotion you know the answer. There is no returning to what once was. An egg can not be unfried. The only thing in the world that returns unto itself is water. So I will move forward. I wish you the best life I truly do. I hope someday the moments we had will make you smile instead of angry but that is beyond my control. Often I find myself smiling over a shared memory or a trinket or an outing we took. Thanks for all of it. Thanks for teaching me how to want more out of my life. For a while a very short while I was not going to post my blog anymore in deference to your anger. BUT… that goes against my principles.

SO? What happens now? I don’t really know. Life only comes at anyone moments at a time. I am at a different juncture in my life. I am setting up for the time when I retire and am able to live apart from a work environment. I am not so worried anymore about if people like me. I am more concerned with how I treat myself. There are plenty of people in the world still left to meet. I am ready for adventure.

SO? What happens now? When you are a part of my life I enjoy every moment we have together, the laughs, the food, the places we go, the things we see. When you are not with me I still speak of you with a fondness for who you were to me. I sometimes still slip and tell people you are my best friend. There is a you shaped hole in my soul. “Just because you lost me as a friend doesn’t mean you gained me as an enemy. I’m bigger than that , I still wanna see you eat , just not at my table.” Tupac Shakur
― Recognize-the-special-people-youve-been-blessed-to-know

The Light of a New Day

There is a soft sound coming from somewhere near by, sweet and melodious but I can’t discern where it might be coming from. I am in that state between a dream in sleep and waking. I open my eyes. My room is still bathed in the shadow of early morning. My cat is sleeping beside my upper left thigh rolled into a ball, head tucked into tail. I carefully free my arm from the warm layers of blanket it has been cozy in to sneak a quick scratch to the cat. She lifts her head to look at me. I am greeted with a quick chirp. I love this cat. Hubby and I rescued her during the Big Life Shutdown (Covid-19). I can still hear the tune that stirred me. I am able to hear my inner voice quite clearly and I am sure it is me thinking about a song that I just can’t get out of my mind. I am awake in the light of a new day.

Some times life changes in ways that is unexpected and unwanted but it happens so pull up those big girl panties and show up. I am changing. I am not the person I once was. The person I strove to be in my younger years I now find distasteful. I surprise myself with how unready I was to be a grown up. Silly fantasy instead of planning a life. I could have gone to college. I could have been anything I wanted to work for but I chose a different path. I have no regrets. The less travelled road often reaps the best hidden gems; BUT, I can not undo the years where I felt like I was less than everyone. Was I not as intelligent, not as wise, not as beautiful as everyone around me? Maybe but unlikely. What was I? Complicit. No excuses. My sisters and I were raised without much expectation so I rose to that level. I was complicit in my own failure to achieve something greater than I had been exposed to .

I tried to never have any friends. I rarely reached out to family. I liked to pretend I was all alone in my misery. I really desperately wanted to be seen but I was more afraid to experience any more emotional pain. In my adult life I managed to find love and get married. I let my wall of defenses down long enough to allow myself to find love. Life changing in so many good ways. I think it is the real reason I have allowed myself to grow as a person. I was accepted as I was; not as a token to what I might be or what I could become. Just me, warts and all. I have love and I am still married.

People are so simple and yet so complex. We will do anything to make a friend and then everything to make them go away when they get “too close” or a conflict develops. Someone I was once very close with recently told me that over the past few years I had become increasing hard to be friends with. News to me. There were no warning flares, no “hey! you are being a bitch”, no “this isn’t fun anymore”…. just avoidance, from both of us. I think we both knew in the back of our minds that our friendship had seen better days. Our friendship started to feel like an old married couple who don’t want to face the truth of their dead love; we dragged our friendship around, until I made that step. I committed the worst deed. I spoke up. I fancied the idea of chasing after her, to make things better, to right whatever wrong I may have done; but, I stopped myself. I am better than that. I have learned how to say goodbye. I know what I am worth, what my time means to me. I am no longer interested in trivial bullshit I had no hand in creating.

In the light of a new day I know I will make other friends. I know I will let others drift away from me and I will be drifted away from but at the end of my days my life will still be better for all of it. The memories, the laughs, and yes, even the tears. I will miss her. She taught me many lessons, some life changing, some soul burning, some life affirming. You can’t make anyone like you. It has to be a gift freely given. No regrets.

In the light of a new day? I am enough just as I am.

Where Are You Going?

March 3,2021 was a tough day. The sky a beautiful blue with sparse fluffy clouds and just the slightest of winds. Funerals are never on anyone’s to do list. This was a funeral I had to do. Once in a lifetime you are fortunate enough to meet someone that awes you. Once upon a time ago I was aging away from being considered young when I started dating my future (still mine) husband. I was VERY against “meet my parents”, “meet my family”. I could barely handle the oddness of my own family without trying to navigate new folks that ultimately had the power of judgment on their side. I was newly entranced by love. I wanted nothing to do with the possibility of losing him to an unhappy relation who felt I would NEVER be GOOD ENOUGH.

Our first big venture as a couple was to the Big E in Springfield MA. Somehow my future hubster convinced me to go to his Grandmothers house after for Sunday dinner. It was to be the last Sunday gathering there. This old family home was being sold. Nana was getting ready to embrace her new journey into elderly housing. It was on this day that I met Debbie for the first time.

I was asked about myself. I was showed into the house. I was welcomed and I am sure judged by many that day but she herself had an easy smile and a friendly way about her that I instantly liked. She invited my hubby and I to her house many times for gatherings over the years. She never wavered in her manner. She was always gracious to me. I will/do miss her. Never underestimate what you mean to someone. Debbie always made me feel like I belonged. She loved her family very much. I am a better person for having known her. When I find myself in front of her resting place I always stop, say my hellos, and I say a silent hopeful pray that she knows she is loved and is missed.

brain pain, migraine, insane and other disparaging words

STOP! holding your breath and exhale! My head hurts. I live with diabetes. I try my best to control it with diet and exercise but some times it still kicks my ass. This weekend in New England the temperatures were Texas-like but with extreme humidity. All Summer I have been waiting for the vibe of summer to arrive. Well, she finally showed up, dumped her luggage on the lawn, and proceeded in making her presence known. Whenever I push myself too hard my body reminds me that I am indeed mortal and not Wonder Woman ( wouldn’t I love that costuming, lol). I know I drank plenty of water. I stayed in the shade as much as possible but I still feel weak in my knees today. I woke up to hit the lav about 3 am and wham! HELLO MIGRAINE! AND… No one enjoys a migraine. It is now almost 1 o’clock in the afternoon and I am still in my jammies.

I have grown weary of this season. I want the comfort of Autumn. Hoodies, pants, Hocus Pocus. Cool, depressing temperatures that make me dread the onset of winter but it’s what I want today. It is what I need today. I should be out shopping, after all it is TAX FREE weekend here in Massachusetts but I could not care less. Since I am still sporting my jammies I think I will climb back into my bedstead, set the AC to mortuary levels and shut out the world.

LOST

I am out too far. I cannot safely return to the shore. I have many more strokes to execute before I reach the other side. Dark thoughts haunt me as I tread water just managing to keep my head above the swirling darkness. I have come this way many times before. I never manage to make it to the other side…

Have you ever wanted to freeze your perfect moment in time? One of my favorite movie special effects happens with time freeze. All of the action is frozen except for the principle player and maybe one or two other key role players, a theatrical aside. Brilliant; until that is how you feel your life is unfolding. I plod along. I feel like I am finally gaining an understanding into why I rely on food so heavily to keep me happy and then I have an aside. I have been on program this time around for almost two years! I have been doing well. I know what I want. I know I can I break that tape across the finish line, and then I have an aside. I pause the action so I can freeze all the good things that I am doing with my life… so I can have an aside and misbehave.

WHY? wHy! whY?!?

It is late at night and in this moment I am LOST. I am surrounded by people I love who love me and yet I feel singular, alone, one. I feel abandoned, cast away to fend for myself. I blew up at my hubby yesterday over nothing and everything. The battle I rage against is mine and mine alone. I create the walls, the monsters, the self-hatred. THIS IS how my ANXIETY manifests itself. I begin to doubt everything that I am doing. I OVERTHINK the smallest of details. I have a difficult time remembering my worth. I feel like people can see the tears in my fabric, that like a prop I am not real.

I feel the rut of sadness fast approaching. I feel uneasy. I just want to have the strength to stay the course, putt through to the next hole. I head back to work, my regular routines in a few days. I know I will be able to do this. I just need to find a way to be honest when I am feeling overwhelmed. As my kid sister would say, “You are not lost. You just haven’t been this way before. All roads lead somewhere. You’ll figure it out.”

For her I will keep on until I figure it out and I am not lost anymore.

Life’s Twist…

of Fate put you on my path. There is this saying about people being in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. One day a window of new possibilities opened and a gentle breeze blew in stirring the stagnant land. YOU were that breeze, an unexpected wonderful surprise. The moment I met you I felt that you landed on the wrong shore. A creature of rare beauty. Sometimes as people we forget that beauty isn’t always about a wrapper. Beauty is as much about the packaging as it is about the gift.

I want to thank you for “seeing” me. You are one of the lucky few that knows me without the façade of protection I throw up around me. You made me laugh, you made me cry, you made me think. You let me worry about you, you let me be your friend, you let me take care of you with a kindness or two. You let me into your world and for that I am a better version of myself. You were never meant to stay for more than a season. This time I found a piece of my soul that I thought I had lost to the sorrows of my past. Smooth now like sea glass the harsh edges refined into wisdom. I am sad to see you leave but it is your chance to spread your wings and fly.

.

I am grateful to the universe for swinging your life’s journey through mine and even though we now travel on separate paths please know that I am always right where you can find me. Once there was a Raven…