Thursday, October 06, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

You guys. The universe is seriously speaking to me. There have been more signs in the last year about how my life is REALLY off track and all this unhappiness and misery I feel can and should be changed. There need to be some changes!

Sad news yesterday about Steve Jobs. Truly the brightest bulbs always burn out the fastest. I have a handful of quotes from Steve Jobs over the years, one of which I posted on FB earlier, here is my other favorite:

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on."

Don't settle.

I'm totally settling and I HATE it. I want to live less for a paycheck and more for a passion. I'm tired of having my dreams called "foolish" or "unsustainable". Money isn't everything, in fact I'm learning more and more that its not even a top contending thing. I'm sick of people telling me I can't do what I want. Be happy for me or get the hell out of my way.

How many times do I have to hear this before I ACTUALLY tell the world to screw it and move on with my life? How many messages from the universe can I ignore?

I'm listening...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Conversations with a ghost

TheHusband and I spent all day yesterday in Roseville, celebrating the life of his step-uncle Dave Brigham with assorted friends and family. I have to say, I can only hope that at my memorial service there are so many amazing stories, so much laughter, so much love. I had the pleasure of knowing Dave for the last 8 years or so (TheHusband and I were a little slow on the whole meet the family thing - especially because his family consists of hundreds of people and complicated "how are we related again" lines) though I feel like the last time I saw him, in Oregon a few weeks ago, was the first time I really had a serious conversation with the man. And man, am I grateful for it.

I used to tell TheHusband that every time I spent time with Dave and his wife Mary that I was in awe of the love and acceptance that just seemed to radiate from them. I would joke that I just wanted to sit in their presence and let some of their positivity wear off on me. Like maybe I could absorb it into my own life somehow through osmosis? The love between them was almost a tangible object, their way of looking at life and the situations around them was amazingly positive. I felt that not only were they constantly working towards making themselves better, but they also wanted you to be better, experience more happpiness and love in your life as well.

As someone mentioned at the memorial yesterday (another nephew - I think) the unspoken code of nature is to "leave it better than you found it". I've known this since the very first camping/back-packing trip I ever took as a child. Dave was a great lover of the outdoors, of the mountains, someone who saw the connection between nature and spirituality every day, in every instance. As a legacy to the type of person he was, I think that every one in that room yesterday nodded in agreement that Dave left each of us better than he found us. I truly feel privledged to have known him and I am better for it.

Needless to say, in the 10 days since his death I have replayed our final conversation over and over in my head. Y'all. I have even dreamed of this conversation. I wish I had asked more questions, paid more attention, given more thought to my side of the dialogue instead of using the same flippant answers I always do when asked about what I want out of life. Because the thing is, I actually got the feeling from Dave that he CARED about my answers, that he wasn't just making polite conversation, that he genuinely wanted me to find happiness. If I had known it would be my last chance to talk with him I think I would have done it differently. But that's the lesson isn't it? You never know if you'll get another chance to say the things you want to say, or ask the questions you need answered, or just sit and absorb another person's personality and love.

Lesson learned.

This morning on the way to work I actually had a one-sided conversation with Dave. I tried to pick it up where we left off, and using some of the insight in to his character that I gained from listening to his many friends and family members speak yesterday, I asked some follow up questions. I know that sounds insane. I do. But y'all, if nothing else, I want to try and reach the idealized place of happiness with myself, my life, my family and my relationships that Dave had. I need to refocus, re-evaluate and shift my priorities to make it happen. But I will. In memory of Dave. It can be my small way of remembering him, of keeping his spirit alive.

Dave's sons both spoke about their father yesterday and the youngest closed his portion with the Bible verse most commonly associated with weddings, 1 Corinthians 13. He mentioned that, to him, his father emulated all of these things in his life. What a powerful legacy to have left behind right?

1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres
.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stress

Lordy folks - it has been a busy, stressful summer! Even though it has only been warm and "summer-like" for roughly one week and its now mid-July (yes, I am complaining about the weather). I can't believe all of the things that have gone right, gone wrong or just gone on. Yes I realize I've left off the 30 days of truth thing in the middle but I promise I shall be retruning to that soon enough. In the meantime let me catch you all up on the things that are taking my time away from writing...

1) Vacation. TheHusband and I took 10 days late last month and spent a couple days at Lake Shasta, then a few days in Oregon for a family reunion (plus our anniversary and my FIL's 60th birthday) then back to the lake for extended birthday festivities and the 4th of July. Oregon was relaxing, the lake is always fun and I REALLY needed the time away from work so all in all it was a good time.

2) Sick kitty. After being gone for 10 days, we were home for roughly 36 hours when we noticed that TheCat was not well (aside from being pissed at us for leaving him) so we took him to the vet and ended up having to leave him there for 3 days. We eventually brought him home for monitoring over the weekend (with a catheter - joy!) and then back he went to the vet Monday for a final appointment. Needless to say he hasn't left my side any longer than strictly necessary since then. Also, I realize that I am obscenely attached to my cat. I seriosuly missed him and worried non-stop while he was at the vet. Its amazing how much his furry little presence adds to my life.

3) Death. One of my step-MIL's brothers passed away unexpectedly last week and the whole family has been in constant memorial planning upheveal ever since. We actually got to spent time with Dave while we were in Oregon for vacay and I'm so utterly thankful for it. Dave and his wife Mary are quite possibly the most positive, encouraging and spiritual people I know. Dave's passion for life and the love between he and Mary was inspiring. The news hit us all very hard and I still can't quite believe he's gone.

4) Super secret planning. Ok I can't really get in to the details here on this one. Lets just say that I've been working on a new project (together with several other people) and I'm thrilled to finally be taking steps to get the hell out of this soul-sucking corporate job and move on with my life. Its going to be awhile yet before I can make the full switch (see: unemployed husband) but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I'll share more details when I can but... Its good times y'all.

5) Soul-sucking corporate job. Busy. Very, very busy. Also, did I mention I hate it? And I have a numbingly long commute? To avoid sounding like a broken record I'll stop there (there are plenty of posts in the archives about how much I hate my job) and just say again - busy. Send wine.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Idyllic Tiffany (extinct?)

Y'all. I'm a little embarrassed to admit this... But last night TheHusband and I were catching up on some old episodes of How I Met Your Mother (I freaking LOVE that show) and one episode in particular really has me thinking about my life choices and wanting to make some changes. It was the episode where the gang all goes to this fancy event at the natural History Museum that is sponsored by GNB and Marshall basically tells Lily that he is NOT going to leave his corporate job any time soon to become an environmental lawyer. Basically Lily walks around the rest of the episode lamenting the loss of "college Marshall" and wishing the "current Marshall" was more like him.

At one point during the show I looked over at TheHusband and said "you know, college me would probably beat the living hell out of current me." (Ok I probably said something less PC than that but you get the idea.) And... there in lies the root of the problem. I MISS college me. I miss thinking that I was going to do something worthwhile, something helpful, something I enjoyed and got fulfillment from. I miss that time when I didn't know exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up but I still believed it would be great. I miss the me before I got stuck in this corporate job that I hate, with a commute that I hate, and no way to get out without landing my family in the poor house.

I don't know if it was that same episode or another one we watched last night also (we tend to go on show benders and get addicted) but there was another story line where Marshall's assistant gets fired (I think he's that guy from SNL?) and he's so excited because with his severance package he can finally afford to start the brewery he's always dreamed of. Y'all - I am dead serious when I tell you that I actually sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out if there was any way I could get fired and some how either get a severance package OR just qualify for unemployment for awhile so I could figure out what my dream job is and pursue it. Not that we would survive all that well with BOTH me and the hubs unemployed at the same time but... you know... pipe dream.

Now before you all (all? who I am kidding? either of you?) start thinking I have lost my mind and am planning my future based on TV shows - I have no immediate plans to try and get myself fired from my current job NOR am I planning on letting college-me mentally beat up now-me. But last nights' viewing DID spark a very real and honest conversation with TheHusband about what exactly each of us WANT out of our lives, careers, futures. Which is a good thing no? Because, as my ever so wise and charming husband said "so long as you and I are happy, together, we could be doing anything, living anywhere, poor or rich and we'd be... happy. And happy is all that matters."

Happy is all that matters y'all.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thoughts on Lent

I was surprised yesterday by how few people I saw with the ashes on their forehead. I really can't recall a time in my life where I didn't note Ash Wednesday and the passing on Lent to Easter since I basically grew up in the church. Long after I stopped attending church services regularly (or hell, who am I kidding, at all) I still think of the Lent period as a time to... reset?

The most profound teaching I ever received at Lent was many, many years ago but it basically said that Lent isn't so much about giving up something as it is about refocusing your faith and removing, or adding, things to your life in that vein. This is what finally made Lent click for me because I could not for the life of me understand how or why God would care if I gave up deserts or carbs for Lent. I believe this is one of those cases where the true message has gotten lost. Now, if deserts or carbs truly come between you and your relationship with God then I apologize, by all means cut them out and become enlightened, however for the majority of us I don't think this is the case.

So for many years now I've done both - give something up and add something to my life. Something to bring me closer to God, something to make me healthier in heart or mind or both, something educational or, dare I say it, enlightening? Giving up something at Lent is a perfect trial run to actually giving that item up on a long term basis so I still do it, but the adding of something to my daily routine for 46 odd days is where I feel the most growth.

Last year I gave up the following for Lent: cigarettes (unsuccessfully I might add), red meat (somewhat more successfully) and Facebook (100% successful!). I gave up all of those things because in one way or another I felt they were holding me back physically or emotionally from some other idea I had for my life. In addition, I added a daily Bible study (somewhat successful) and some quiet "me time" every day (100% successful). The Bible thing I'm still working on (though that's another post for another day) but as I struggle to reconcile the faith of my childhood to the truth of my adult existence I thought adding back in some good old fashioned Bible reading wouldn't hurt. I gave up Facebook because it is a soul-sucking, time-waste and I really should spend much, much less time refreshing my status feed than I do. Interestingly enough, giving up Facebook was the hardest thing I've ever successfully done for 46 days. I am not proud that I missed it so flippin much - more proud that even when I realized how much I missed it that I still stayed away!

This year I'm giving up beer (again) and cigarettes (also, again). I'm giving up beer because I'm really struggling with losing weight right now and I KNOW that the drinking doesn't help but I can't (won't?) give it up all together because in my own little screwed up way I feel like surviving through massive amounts of stress every day entitles me to the evening glass of wine. I just want to limit it to the evening glass of wine, or the weekend glasses if I'm being fair, and stop with the crack a beer at noon cause I'm bored and drink all damn day bit. The cigs... well THAT I am not proud of. I quit y'all - like legit quit smoking - finally! And then the husband lost his job... What can I say? When the world feels overwhelming all I really want is to sit somewhere with some friends and drink wine (see above) and smoke cigarettes. I wish I didn't love it so, but I do. Anyway, I need to quit again (before TheBoy kills me) and I figure this is a good enough starting point as any.

As for the thing I'm adding? This year its daily yoga and meditation. Pretty much the same reasons as last year - just trying something new... I wonder sometimes if I'm destined to always be studying and chasing after knowledge or if I'll ever just be content to "be". Maybe I'll know more in 46 days?

What are you giving up or doing for Lent?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Winning!

So what if, while you're in the middle of trying to rob Peter to pay Paul, Paul calls and says that actually you owe him twice the amount you originally thought due to delayed payments AND THEN Peter calls and is all "where the f&#@ is my money?" Theoretically that could happen right?

Yesterday on the way home I realized that I did not have enough gas in my car to make it to work and back for the remainder of this week. Since we're flat broke this is more of an issue than you might initially think. There is NO. MONEY. None at all. Not to mention... when did gas get so expensive again? Blah. So I got home and brought up my conundrum the TheBoy to see if he had any thoughts on what to do because as much as I would love to, I can't just call out sick for the rest of the week.

In true, head-in-sand, fingers-in-ears, la-la-la-la-la I can't hear you, form since we couldn't immediately figure out a way to get me to work we decided to think about it over some wine and beer pong. (yes I understand that technically should be called "wine pong" but it doesn't sound as nice right?) Sometime during the second match TheBoy looked at me and with a huge smile on his face, said "rototiller!" Apparently my reaction was sufficiently confused because he quickly went on to explain that we could siphon gas from the rototiller in to my car and that it should be enough to get me to and from work for the next two days.

Y'all. My husband is a genius!

Turns out siphoning gas isn't as easy as it sounds but TheBoy did finally manage to get me about a quarter tank by the time I had to leave this morning so off I went. Until my car died. Again. Totally unrelated to the amount of gas I have or do not have in the tank my car has been having other "issues" in the last couple of months. First we thought it was the battery, but no. Then a series of a couple other things, but no. And I am SO bummed because I JUST got my car back late last week from TheBoy who thought it was fixed! I missed my little car!

So now I have a car that needs repairs which will probably cost money that I don't have. Is this what Charlie had in mind with his whole "winning" thing? All I can do is just shake my head and laugh, and then cross my fingers and pray like hell for a financial miracle. :)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Green IS a good color for me...

This writer is blocked.

But! Don’t give up on me dear IIFs! I promise the 30 days of truth will continue, if for no other reason that we are finally (!) at day 13 which is exciting on so many levels because 1) I’ve pretty much been waiting for this day since day one, 2) day 13 may have been (read: totally was) the reason I signed up to do this damn thing in the first place and 3) you’ll finally be let in to my inner crazy and find out how I do in fact think I could be BFFs with a pop star. Oh yes, yes I do.

It’s just that… It’s been hard for me to write light-hearted and fun posts the last few days because I’ve been firmly wrapped up in my own little pity party. See, TheBoy lost his job a few weeks back so things have gotten necessarily tighter on the money front which is no fun for anyone. Gone are my sanity-saving 5 am work outs, gone are my peace-filled yoga classes, gone are happy hours with friends, a mini-vacay planned for May with my mama, plans to finish restoring the new boat and… oh pretty much everything else that isn’t directly related to food, gas, rent or MY job.

And to be totally honest, the worst part of this whole thing? I am so totally and utterly annoyed that it was TheBoy who lost his job and not me. I know right? Someone please slap me because that is just redockulous! But there you have it, the truth, in all its unflattering and ugly glory. I am mad at my husband for losing his job because damn it I’M the one who hates my freaking job and who has been trying desperately to figure out a way to move on! I was counting on the hubby’s job working out so that he could eventually make decent enough money so that I could quit MY job and go back to school! It shouldn’t be HIM who is home all day, planning a new career and taking all the time he needs to get things done around the house – it should be ME!

Le sigh.

Wow I am a bad wife eh? Instead of supporting my hubby through this transition time I’ve been secretly… Jealous? Yes I think jealous sums it up nicely. Lord, I apologize. And I know, when I’m not indulging in self-pity and woe-is-me type thoughts, that this is temporary, that TheBoy was NOT happy in that position and that he’s relieved to be on to something new. I know that he WILL eventually find something and that I should think of myself as LUCKY that I have a job that (for the most part) pays our bills to a sufficient degree that we can afford for one of us to be unemployed. I know that it isn’t the end of the world and we will get through this. I understand that if it HAD been me who had lost my job, we wouldn’t have been able to make ends meet and that I certainly wouldn’t have been able to scrape up the money to go back to school.

Now, how do I kick this funk?

Monday, February 28, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 12

Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.

This is going to sound really vain and superficial but… Well, whatever, it is honest. The one thing I never get complimented on (and wish I would) is being beautiful or sexy. And y’all it has been my heart’s desire for as long as I can remember to be sexy. Not cute (which I occasionally get) or pretty, not funny or smart or laid back, damn it, I want to be sexy! Alas, it seems that will never be.

I recently started thinking that this sort of innate inability to be sexy might have something to do with my lackadaisical attitude towards fitness and diet. Because really? What’s the point of starving myself into a size 0, or sweating out umpteen miles a week on the treadmill, if it’s not going to get me what I want in the end anyway. Even when I was at my thinnest the only compliment I ever got was that I looked “sporty”. WTF is that? Sporty does not equal sexy – I don’t care who you are!

Maybe I read too many trashy romance novels when I was younger? You know the ones, where the heroine is tragically gorgeous and some handsome man is so over-taken with desire for her that they can’t seem to keep away from each other even though they should? Yeah. I know, I know. Fiction!

I read somewhere that Beyonce has a “sexy” alter-ego (because she isn’t sexy enough already?) and I’m thinking maybe that’s what I need? Although, considering I can’t even THINK about my alter-ego without giggling, I’m not sure how convincing I could be. Perhaps because I’ve been un-sexy for so long I no longer possess the skills to BE sexy? More likely I never had them at all!

(yes – this post is tongue-in-cheek – just to clear up any confusion)

*****

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself. - done
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself. - done
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for. - done
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for. - done
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life. - done
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do. - done
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for. - done
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit. - done
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted. - done
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know. - done
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on. - done
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on. - done
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Friday, February 25, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 11

Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

Well. It used to be my hair. I had long, wavy, blonde hair and TONS of it. But then I donated 14” to Locks of Love and now all I get are “Wow! What a big change!” and “Oooh... I hear the bob is coming back!” neither of which sounds particularly like a compliment. Whatever, its just hair, and thankfully mine grows fast and thick. Moving on!

See. The thing is… I am terrible at taking a compliment gracefully. I’m sure there have been compliments over the years which I promptly dismissed and forgot about. It’s a gift.

Lots of people compliment me on my shoes, which I think is a combination of the fact that a) I have an inordinate amount of shoes (shoes are my crack) and b) I wear a size 5 and everything is cuter when it’s tiny. Of course to that I say a) I’m broke and b) its hard as hell to find cute shoes in a size 5. Seriously, check it out next time you go shopping. Unless you wear size 6 through 10 you are S.O.L. at most shoe stores. Thank the baby Jesus for the internets!

TheBoy often says that I am the kindest person he knows. I don’t know if he means it as a compliment necessarily but I always take it that way. He’s not super verbal with his affections (hell, who am I kidding, he’s not super affectionate period) but since he’s mentioned it more than once I think he must honestly believe it no? Good thing he doesn’t listen into the girl talk! But seriously, growing up I felt that so many people in my life were just plain old-fashioned mean to me. I know kids will be kids and all that but really? Why be mean? Life is so much nicer when we’re all trying to be kind to one another.

*****

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself. - done
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself. - done
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for. - done
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for. - done
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life. - done
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do. - done
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for. - done
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit. - done
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted. - done
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know. - done
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on. - done
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 10

Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

Okay I’ve avoided this day long enough. It isn’t that I don’t WANT to write about someone I wish I didn’t know really… it’s that I don’t KNOW anyone I wish I didn’t! And well, that sentence right there pretty much kills this whole post. BO-RING!

pfft

Then, while speaking to TheBoy earlier today, I had an epiphany! While there isn’t someone in particular I need to let go or wish I didn’t know there are several “types” of people I wish I had never met. So! Onwards…

The one type of person that I truly can not abide and therefore have made numerous efforts to remove from my life are those who are overly judgmental. Now I’m not talking about the general judging that folks will do when someone, say, shows up at work in crocs (with socks!) or even the silent eye-rolling that accompanies people who let their children run wild and screaming in crowded places such as Costco. I think everyone, this girl included, is guilty of making a rash, snap judgment about someone based on superficial evidence. I’m not saying its OK mind, just saying I get it and often succumb to it myself.

I’m talking about the seriously harmful judgmental behavior from people who can not possibly understand what it is like to walk a mile in the shoes of someone they’ve condemned. I’m talking homophobia, sexism, racism, and judgments based on economic factors or mental/emotional states. As sad as it is, I’ve known many people over the years that are judgmental in this way. When I was younger (and presumably didn’t know any better) I sat back quietly and watched while people who were considered elder/wiser than me tried to “convert” people out of homosexuality. I’ve heard people actually justify their racist behavior or words. I’ve sat silently while my peers are judged because their families don’t make a lot of money, or drive the latest cars or buy their clothes from the trendiest shops.

Through all of that I stifled the voice inside my head that KNEW this behavior was wrong and sat quietly by hoping to one day understand why these behaviors were considered right. Instead what I did was extricate myself from that entire group and have proceeded to turn my back on any additional behaviors of these sorts that I just can not, in good conscience, tolerate. I suppose this makes me a little intolerant myself. I’ve often joked that I am “intolerant of intolerance” but truly I can not understand. I do NOT understand. How can behaving in this way be “Christ like”? How can people use such a historical and sacred text as the Bible to justify their hatred towards their fellow man today?

Man. Apparently I could rant about this subject for days. DAYS y’all. But I shall not. At least you got a slightly more interesting post than Day 8 though! Cheers to that!

*****

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself. - done
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself. - done
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for. - done
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for. - done
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life. - done
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do. - done
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for. - done
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit. - done
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted. - done
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know. - done
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Monday, February 21, 2011

What size is your "scope"?

I’m taking a break from the 30 days of truth because a) day 10 is looking like it’ll be another snooze-worthy post like day 8 unless someone seriously pisses me off in the next day or two, b) I’m saving writing about my biological dad again for day 14 and c) I got the below quote from the Dalai Lama the other day on Facebook and it really struck a chord with me. What? I’m totally cyber-friends with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the interwebs… If for no other reason than I can now say “my friend, His Holiness the Dalai Lama” in casual conversation. Be jealous. Or, you know, go friend request him on FB. You too can name drop!

The more you think about your own self, the more self-centered you are, the more trouble even small problems can create in your mind. The stronger your sense of ‘I’, the narrower the scope of your thinking becomes; then even small obstacles become unbearable. On the other hand, if you concern yourself mainly with others, the broader your thinking becomes, and life’s inevitable difficulties disturb you less.

So. This is an interesting concept I’ve been thinking about for a few weeks now because, frankly, the little day to day annoyances in my life consume my thinking. In fact, my own personal whiney mantra these days has been “why bother”. I know. But seriously? I wake up ridiculously early every morning to work out but haven’t lost a single flipping pound and I hurt all the time. Then I come home and make breakfast for me and the hubby (possibly my favorite time of day regardless of TheBoy’s inability to do much other than grunt appreciatively in to his eggs) and get ready to go to work. Commuting to work takes me anywhere between 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on traffic and, while I am really quite good at this job and I adore my boss, I really kind of hate what I do for a living. So there’s that – spending the majority of my waking hours doing something I do not love. Then I sit in the car for another 1.5 to 2.5 hours, maybe take a yoga class or go for a run, then clean up the house a bit, cook dinner and (if I’m lucky) spend half an hour or so unwinding with TheBoy on the couch before I have to get to bed early so I can wake up tomorrow and do it again. And I KNOW I sound like a whiney, ungrateful bitch but the sheer… mundane nature and general unfairness of not living a life I love gets to me. A lot.

But I’m not sure that thinking more globally is the answer either. How can I concern myself with the happiness and well-being of others when I can’t even get my own stuff figured out? I keep trying to remember to be thankful that I have a job, any job at all, right now much less one that pays me reasonably well and with a boss I love. But that thinking gets really hard to maintain when I’m stuck in traffic or dealing with a particularly self-absorbed client. Do I just need to stay focused? Is there such a thing as “reverse” blinders so that I can only focus on the world outside and ignore the details of my own personal existence? And is that really the way to go about living? Ignore the parts of your life that you hate and focus on the greater good? Because most days I really feel like life’s obstacles are unbearable… And I HATE thinking like that. My inner Susie Sunshine is rebelling.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 9 (finally)

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

I knew that eventually I’d address this topic in writing; I just wasn’t quite prepared for it to come so soon. The truth is that in the last three years or so I’ve let the vast majority of my girlfriends “drift”. It wasn’t a conscious choice I made, to end friendships with women who used to know me better than I knew myself, but rather just a shifting of priorities (theirs and mine) that drove us so far away from one another that now… Now it feels like there is no going back. That thought doesn’t make me sad really, more nostalgic I guess, for the days gone by and the woman I used to be.

If someone had asked me four or five years ago who the main characters in my life would be today I would have been completely wrong (except in the case of TheHusband, my Mama and maybe one or two others). There are the friends I swore I’d have forever who are now more like strangers, the acquaintances that are now dearer to me than I could have ever imagined, and the new women I’ve met who challenge me to be a better person, just by knowing them. And I don’t regret the change, I can’t regret it, because I am a far happier, stronger, better person today because of the people who stuck around when the going got tough, or met me when the shit was literally hitting the fan and coating everyone and everything in a mile radius of me and pursued a friendship with me regardless.

I suppose if I stop to think about it, that it does make me sad that some of the women who swore I was like a sister to them were nowhere around when I truly NEEDED a sister. But I get that life happens and that we can’t expect our friends to put their lives on hold to help us when the chips are down. I get that we can’t EXPECT that but the truth is that I DID expect it because I had always been the type of friend to drop everything to rush to the side of a friend in need. Which is my bad, I suppose, and not theirs. But now? Now that I’m finally on the tail end (God willing – please, please, please) of the hardest, scariest and plain old fucking most awful days of my life thus far? Now I don’t need them. And all truth be told I don’t want them either. There were too many (unforgiveable?) things done, too many times they were moments away from me and yet never thought to call or stop by to see how I was doing, too many times when I could have used a hug, a text, an email, and none of those things ever came.

Or not that they never came… They just came from unexpected places. Wonderful, new, supportive places, but not from where I had thought I had the right to expect them to come.

When I first moved (back) to California I went to a very small school, attached to a very small church, that became almost an instant family for me. I particularly fell in love with a little girl about 4 or 5 years younger than me. She became the little sister I never had and I loved her to death. I would babysit for her and her brother regularly even though I LOATHED babysitting (some things never change eh?) because it wasn’t really awkward or uncomfortable with her. She was, long before Austin Powers, my mini-me. When I made the difficult decision to leave that church family after almost 6 years after High School, I was particularly sad to be missing out on watching my little girl grow up. Her dad pulled me aside at one point and told me, in essence, how disappointed they were that after all the mutual time and effort we had put in to nurturing this big sister/little sister relationship that I wouldn’t be around. Disappointed didn’t even BEGIN to explain how I felt. Devastated would be closer.

But now I understand a little more the other side. It wasn’t that I no longer loved her or wanted to be a part of her life and watch her grow and fall in and out of love and learn all of life’s million little lessons. It wasn’t about her really at all, which may have been my biggest mistake – not considering her more in the situation. It was all about me… My decision, my life path, my need to get away. The consequence of THAT action being that I missed all of it, and now that my little girl is a grown woman in her own right and we should be the best of friends, sisters even, we are instead more like strangers. Sure, we keep in touch, but I’m not the confidant I once was, I’m not involved in her life in any way, and it kills me. Truly. But it helps me understand that having people drift in and out of your life is a part of it, and life really does goes on.

*****

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself. - done
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself. - done
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for. - done
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for. - done
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life. - done
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do. - done
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for. - done
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit. - done
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted. - done
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 8

Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

Now I don’t know if I’ve lived a charmed life or what but for the life of me I can’t think of a single specific person that has made my life hell or treated me like shit. Granted there were the typical bullies in elementary school or drama with girls in Jr. High and High School but I wouldn’t say any of them made my life hell. Even the worst of the worst break ups didn’t leave me feeling like my life was hell (though enough of them ended with one or the other of us treating each other like shit).

Hmmm… Well that was boring wasn’t it?

Though. On a sort of similar topic, I read a really disturbing news item on CNN earlier about seven teenaged boys who jumped another boy on the way home from school. Seriously? What the hell is wrong with people? Not only did these seven boys gang up on this other kid and beat him senseless, they also recorded it with the intent of posting it to social networking sites AND at least one individual witnessed the beating and did not call 911 even though the victim was crying for help. Are you freaking kidding me? Shit like that KILLS me – it seems like such a sad, sad time to be a kid right now!

And, in other depressing kid-related news, a couple weeks ago (I think) I heard an Amber Alert on the radio while I was driving home from work about a little boy who had literally been ripped out of his grandmother’s arms by his mother’s ex-boyfriend. The ex was not the kid’s dad but the mom is pregnant with another child that IS the ex-boyfriend’s. It now looks like they found the kid’s body this morning in the Delta (where TheHusband and I regularly wake-board during the summer). Can you imagine? I know it was na├»ve but I really was hoping for a happy ending in this case. The mom seemed to believe that, while the relationship ended because the guy was abusive, he wouldn’t harm her son and I SO wanted to believe her!

People wonder why I have absolutely zero interest in having kids…

*****

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself. - done
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself. - done
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for. - done
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for. - done
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life. - done
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do. - done
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for. - done
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit. - done
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Monday, January 31, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 7

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

I have been to some dark, dark places in the last couple of years. Like scared the crap out of myself, thought maybe I was losing my tentative grip on sanity and seriously considering whether life was even worth continuing, dark places. I’ve detoured on the way in to work and driven an hour down a winding country road, wondering if I had the courage to just keep going and never look back. I’ve had complete sobbing, snot-filled break downs in the parking lots of grocery stores, parks and in the driveway of my house. I’ve contemplated, more than once, just holding the wheel straight instead of making the turn at the top of the hill leading in to town. I’m not proud of any of these moments, and frankly wouldn’t mention them at all except for this next part. Always, always when I’ve reached the end of my rope and can’t for the life of me remember why I even am holding on in the first place, I think of my mom.

My mom is the person who makes my life worth living, the one who makes me want to go on living, and the one who gave me life in the first place. I think about how devastated she’d be if I were gone. I think about how unfair it would be to leave her (and more recently, TheHusband) to clean up the utter mess I’ve made of my life, to be responsible for my debts, to have to clean out my belongings. And, even when I can’t come up with a single solitary reason why I should go on living this life that I hate for even one second longer I DO go on, because of her. Because she’d miss me and because I love her and don’t want to cause her pain and because I have tried to be a good daughter (minus some memorable teen angst filled moments in High School) and I don’t want to let her down.

I suppose it is true that a mother’s love is the strongest force on earth.

*****

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself. - done
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself. - done
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for. - done
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for. - done
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life. - done
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do. - done
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for. - done
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Friday, January 28, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 6

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.

Okay I’ll admit it; I’ve sat here for several hours with this page up in the background and cursor blinking with absolutely no idea how to write about this topic. Do they mean something I’ve done and hope to never do again? Or, do they mean something hypothetical that I never hope to do ever? Because being in a plane crash doesn't sound like fun... Or finding myself lost in the wilderness alone with no food or water. And who is this mysterious “they”? These things should really come with clearer instructions for us AR types. How can I be an over-achiever if I don’t know the RULES!

Ahem.

Well if I’m going with the premise that I should be writing about something I hope I never have to do again, I hope I never have to lose another friend or family member at far too young an age. I think I’m not the only one when I say that the grief for the death of an elderly person, who has lived a good, long life, while still poignant, is not nearly as overwhelming and universe-crushing as losing someone who is young with their entire lives still ahead of them. Or even just the entire second half of their lives in front of them!

Recently, I lost a close High School friend to cancer in 2009 and a cousin (to medical negligence? that’s a whole other post) in 2010. Both of these deaths affected me tremendously because in the first case I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH THIS KID! We are (were?) the SAME AGE! I don’t think that is a reality check so much as a cold bitch-slap across the face. And in the second case, while my cousin was quite a bit older than me, she was still far too young for us to be hearing the words “colostomy bag” and “complications-induced coma”. Also, how terrible for my Aunt to have to bury her daughter… For anyone to have to bury their child.

It really makes you think, re-evaluate if you will, about the impact your life is having on those around you. If I die young, will I be remembered? And by whom? Will I be thought of fondly, with many shared memories to reminisce on by my friends and family? Will there be people out there who feel relief when I’m gone? Or worse, feel nothing at all? Have I left a good legacy behind me in these few years? Have I been kind? Helpful? Selfish? Weak? Will my life be celebrated for the achievements I’ve made? Or will people just mourn my loss and talk about “what could have been”? Not to mention the affect on your health – I am now current on all doctor-type things and never miss a check up. Because what if? You keep hearing that early diagnosis is key right? I find myself passing over French fries for salads and going for runs instead of just web surfing these days. So maybe that’s a good legacy to leave behind?

No matter, I hope to NEVER attend another funeral of someone too young to be gone.

*****

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself. - done
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself. - done
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for. - done
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for. - done
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life. - done
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do. - done
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 5

Sorry for the long pause in between posts. I’ve been sidelined with a nasty bladder/kidney infection for the past few days. Y’all. I had no idea how excruciatingly painful a kidney infection could be! Sad times indeed.

*****

Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.

Goodness. There are LOADS of things I hope to do in my life! I hope to start my own business so I can be my own boss because I hate having some arbitrary order giver above me with the power to ruin my life. I hope to be able to work from home so I can wear jeans and NOT commute farther than the guest bedroom/office. In fact, I hope to someday only put a couple hundred miles on my car in any given month instead of thousands. I hope to find something I can be passionate about, something that truly helps people and makes a difference. I hope to find something that is all of those things AND makes enough money that I can live, not lavishly – just comfortably.

I hope to have enough time to volunteer at one of the many organizations near and dear to my heart (and enough money from working for myself that I can take the time away from that to volunteer). I’d like to be involved in the local food banks, or help out at the women’s shelter, or maybe work with animals somehow. I’d like to put some of the skills I’ve acquired to use for good – maybe I can counsel people on how to get control of their finances and buy a home. Maybe I can counsel people in how to shift little things in their diets in order to take control of their health. Do they have a 4H equivalent for grown ups? I’d like to do that. Or volunteer at the library. There are so many things I’d love to be able to do, if only I had the time in the day with my current work/commute schedule or the money to leave this job/commute and move on to something a little more realistic to my life.

I hope to travel, oh the travelling! I can’t even begin to count the books I’ve read based in England, France, Scotland… Places I’ve never been to but can visualize in my head as clear as day. I’d love to go to Italy, to walk among places that are older than I can imagine, to eat fabulous food and drink amazing wines. I’d love to go to Greece, you know one of those places on the coast with the white stucco walls and the amazingly blue waters? Hell I’d even like to travel the US a bit more. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, or to Utah to see those amazing red rocks, or to any of the national parks (except Yosemite – which I’d like to re-visit). I’ve barely travelled at all on the East Coast (with the exception of a few trips to the DC area). I’d love to see Alaska – in the summer – and even spend a bit more time exploring Mexico.

I hope to live someplace where I can have a little land, a garden and a couple dogs running around. Someplace I can afford without having to take out 3 mortgages and ransom off my first born son. (Joke is on them – ha! There will be no first born son!) I’d like to open the windows in my house and not worry about the neighbors being able to see in. I’d like to walk outside and not have the first things I see be traffic and buildings and congestion but instead see trees, wildlife, dogs, and sunshine. I’d like to grow my own tomatoes, veggies and herbs. I’d like to have fruit trees or maybe nut trees or olives. Maybe have a small vineyard… A case or two of wine a year made with love? Dream. Come. True.

I guess mainly I just hope that these days are the worst it is going to get and that eventually I will be able to live a life a little more in line with my dreams. I keep remembering something someone told me at church a long (LONG) time ago – that God would not test me beyond what I could bear. Well either God is angry with me or the Universe is having a grand old time at my expense because this right here? This is pretty much the limit of what I can bear. I’m so done. I’m ready for some good days, some happy times, and some ch-ch-changes!

*****


Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself. - done
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself. - done
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for. - done
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for. - done
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life. - done
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Friday, January 21, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 4

Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.

“Always forgive, but never forget.” – Rootz Underground

Y’all. I am sort of ashamed to admit this. Turns out? I totally hold grudges. I didn’t completely realize it before now… It seems that even though I am able to forgive people for things that hurt me (and I am the QUEEN of seeing it from the other side and justifying people’s actions) it somehow irreparably changes the way I feel about said person. I guess that’s the “never forget” part? But how can I go back to being friends in the same way with someone once I’ve seen how they can hurt me? When you allow someone into your life and give them enough of yourself that they can would you its sort of expected that they will never use those powers for evil right?

Of course the first person that popped in to my head when I read today’s prompt was the sperm donor, AKA my biological father. (My mom HATES when I call him sperm donor – so if you’re reading this – sorry Mama – love you!) But then I realized that I HAVE forgiven him. I’ve forgiven him for never being around because really, we moved around so much when I was younger and we never lived closer than four states away from where he has lived for as long as I can remember. And I know he has never made a TON of money and that regular travel by flight or car and across county is expensive. I’ve forgiven him for not making me more a priority in his life because I understand the man was trying to live a life out there! I KNOW all of these things and so, I am no longer angry with him and I’ve forgiven the pain he caused me growing up.

Except, now that he’s little more than a stranger I have no desire to include him in my life. We could not possibly be more different when it comes to the lives we lead and while he feels some right to judge me or try and change who I am because he is my “father” I feel like I’ve spent enough of my life justifying my beliefs and actions to people and I certainly don’t feel the need to justify them to this judgmental stranger. I wish I could just tell him to remember the good memories that we do have from when I was small. It’s enough for me, and that’s really how I want to remember him, and us. So while I’ve forgiven him, I can not forget and so we can not have a relationship.

And what about various boyfriends over the years with whom I’ve had falling outs, have I forgiven them? Of course I have, life is too short and I’ve clearly moved on and am planning on spending the rest of my life with the man who IS right for me so why waste energy being angry with the past. But. That doesn’t mean I want to be friends with any of them. One ex in particular was quite bent out of shape after having gotten back in touch with me a couple years after our break up when he discovered that I did not ever intend to have a friendship with him again. His arguments that we had been together for so long and had been such a large part of each others childhoods didn’t convince me. Because really, at the end, when he was cheating on me, and lying to me, and purposely trying to hurt me so that I would make it easier on him and break up with HIM, I saw a side of his personality that I can not forget. I told him that I wouldn’t be friends with ANYONE who behaved that way towards another human being and I certainly couldn’t imagine ever truly being friends with someone who behaved that way towards ME. Have I forgiven? Sure. I understand wanting to avoid a conflict and I understand feeling like you want to explore something when you’ve only known one thing your whole life. But I can not forget, so we can not be friends.

Same goes for girl friends. I can only think of one (very notable) exception where I still currently maintain a friendship with someone who hurt me. And it took years and tragedy and a lot of painfully honest conversations for us to build our friendship back. But it’s not the same friendship we had before because neither of us can forget the other’s actions. Instead, we’ve managed to move past them and, I would say, have built a stronger, more honest friendship in spite of past hurts. But like I said, she is the notable exception. Mainly I suppose its an unwillingness on my part to do the work required to repair a friendship that I feel has been broken unless I feel that the other party is equally willing to acknowledge the damage and work to rebuild. And that one time, with that one friend with whom I did rebuild? That shit was HARD! I’m glad I did it to be sure… But it took a lot of time and effort on both of our parts. So I guess it’s easier for me to just let people fade from my life after I’ve been hurt by them. Because while I can forgive, say abandoning me in the toughest, nastiest period of my life (because I didn’t specifically reach out to them) now that I’m on the other side I no longer feel the same about them. I could list millions of examples but I don’t want this to become something where people are reading it and wondering if I’m sending them veiled messages (if you think that – trust me I’m not) but I think I’ve made my point.

Unfortunately, even though I can forgive a multitude of things because I understand the other side (really, I do) I can not forget the way I feel or felt about it and so, we can not be friends. Always forgive because holding on to anger and hate only hurts you more. But never forget, because who is looking out for you if not yourself. Burn me once, right?


*****


Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself. - done
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself. - done
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for. - done
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for. - done
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Thursday, January 20, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 3

Just for the record, I’m REALLY looking forward to getting through the first 10 days... This is a little more “truth” than I was planning on! Anywho. Onward and upward.

Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.

I need to forgive myself (or let myself off the hook a little) for all the terrible decisions I’ve made over the last four years that have contributed, directly or indirectly, to the state my life is in at the moment. (read: life sucks and its my own damn fault) Even though I made the decisions I made, and fully believed they were the right choices at the time, I can’t keep kicking myself for how things turned out. I’m starting to feel like I have a little grey thundercloud over my head like Eeyore.

"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.
"So it is."
"And freezing."
"Is it?"
"Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little,
"we haven't had an earthquake lately."


Bad decision #1 – I’ve known, probably since somewhere around the one year mark, that I wanted to be TheBoy’s wife. I can’t believe that I met someone that I can be 100% honest with, be exactly myself and no more, who is my best friend, whose company I never tire of. And so, in my typical girl way, I figured we should get married and live happily ever after. TheBoy, on the other hand, I’m still not sure he wants to be married to ME even now, two and a half years after our wedding. The terrible secret is that, even after we discussed getting married, after we had bought our house, even after he bought the damn ring that I picked out and added to his shopping cart and proposed (reluctantly?) in the kitchen of said new house, I KNEW he didn’t want to go through with it.

But.

But I kind of ignored what I knew he wanted and went forward with planning our (ultimately disastrous) wedding and (absolutely perfect) honeymoon. Because I was afraid to tell our family and friends… what? That after 6 years TheBoy STILL wasn’t ready to marry me? That he’d changed his mind? I was afraid what it would mean if I called off our engagement. Should I stop wearing my ring? Would I leave him? How could I stay? What would we do with the house we had just bought? Who would move out? If it was me, where would I go? All of those painful questions were running through my head in an incessant loop and all I could think was, but I love him! I suppose I thought I could love him enough to get us through it and once it was over he’d see how wonderful being married to me would be. I promised myself I’d be the perfect wife and that’d I’d work to make him happy every day. I swore he wouldn’t regret making me his wife.

Bad decision #2 – I suppose in terms of the timeline, this was actually bad decision #1 but whatever, this is my blog and I’ll do what I want to. Even with knowing TheBoy didn’t want to marry me, the one thing I knew he DID want was to own a house. I also knew he wasn’t really in a position to buy without me, personally or financially, and I was firm on the fact I would never own a home with someone I wasn’t married to. I also wasn’t prepared to just move in with him in a home he bought with his mother, and he wasn’t prepared to live with me in a home I bought by myself. So for years we rented and waited, occasionally discussing it, sometimes going to open houses “just to see”.

When the talk finally turned to marriage we made a deal. I’d help us buy a house, together, even before we were engaged, on the assumption that we would BE engaged by the end of the year. This conversation happened in June and we closed escrow on our house in August. We got engaged in September. But you guys know what? I think that house was cursed for us. We were never happy there, not really. I think once it was done and we moved in TheBoy thought the house was insufficient trade off for having to get married. And then we started having issues with our neighborhood. First someone hopped the back fence and stole some tools out of the shed on the side of the house. Then someone came back and broke in to the house proper, stealing the entire safe, all of my jewelry (with the exception of my engagement ring which I was wearing and a necklace my mother made for me when I graduated High School which thankfully was over looked on my nightstand), and the last bit of joy we had in that home. It was maybe six weeks before our wedding.

So, pretty much the second we got back from our wedding I started looking in to selling the house. But the market had gone down and our house that we had purchased less than a year before was now worth $100,000 less than we paid for it. So we waited and thought about making the best of a bad situation. Then our house was vandalized AGAIN while we were gone on our honeymoon so we started talking about selling even MORE earnestly. By then the house was worth $150,000 less, then $200,000 less, then it was worth less than half what we paid for it. This isn’t a unique story I know but there is nothing worse than meeting with a real estate financial planner and being told that it would most likely be a decade before the house was even back up to close to what we paid. A decade?!?! The rest is history, tried to short sale the house, bank wouldn’t agree to either of the offers we presented (we had something like 14 offers total), foreclosure auction before Christmas and finally, moving to a new home, a rental.

But in the back of my mind I can’t help but thinking that all of this, the unhappiness, the financial ruin, the stress, the fights, the tears, ALL of it is my fault. Because I just HAD to get married. You know? And the worst part is that even now, knowing how it all ends, I LOVE being married to TheBoy. I’m proud to be his wife, to share his name, to belong to his family. Too bad I mostly feel like I’m married alone. Turns out there isn’t much happiness in that and its all my fault.


*****


Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself. - done
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself. - done
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for. - done
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 2

Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.

Wow. Okay so I think it says something about me that writing about something I love about myself is SO MUCH HARDER than writing about something I hate… Hmm. I’m going to channel my inner Scarlett O’Hara and not think about that right now. I’ll think about it tomorrow!

So anyway, what do I love about myself? I guess I love that I’m normally a positive, upbeat kind of gal. Almost annoyingly so I think. But I do work rather hard to be that way… It is why I don’t watch horror movies or listen to Emo “woe is me” music. I prefer to surround myself with positive people and energy and things that make me happy. Life’s too short and all that right? Plus I always want to be a positive, happy influence in the lives of my friends and family. I’m loyal to a fault and while I don’t have many friends, I’m pretty damn determined to keep the ones I’ve got and who wants to hang out with the girl with the blues all the time?

I also like that I’ve managed to build a life for myself built on honesty because it wasn’t always so. As a kid I struggled with really, REALLY wanting to be liked (changing schools and friends every two years is stressful!) so I would err… “embellish” the details somewhat to make myself seem more interesting. To be honest I can’t even really remember why I did it. I DO recall the moment I finally decided to stop lying about things and started trying to figure out who/what I really am and wanted to be. Unfortunately it also coincided with leaving behind a huge portion of my past life because I realized that most of the reason I was so miserable all the time is because I was trying to make myself be something I just can not be. It was hard, and sad, but I’m proud of myself for learning to be honest with myself. It has helped me learn to be honest with everyone in my life. Now if I feel the need to lie about something, I really try and figure out what it is about that situation or that person that’s prompting me to feel like I can’t be honest and figure out a way to change it.


*****


Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself. – done.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself. – done.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 1

So I initially read about this 30 Days of Truth meme thing back in November and I remember thinking that 30 days of honest blogging would coincide nicely with 30 days in November and NaBloPoMo. Alas, life had other things in mind for me to spend my every waking second stressing over in November (and December… and the first half of January…) so this had to wait. But I still want to do it so here goes! The full list is at the bottom in case you want to play along.

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.

Well they certainly start this off with a bang don’t they? To be honest (since that is, after all, the point) Day 1 almost derailed me from doing this whole thing because… well, I kind of hate EVERYTHING about myself. I don’t mean that in the “poor me” way but in a legitimate “if I could change my entire personality and demeanor I might” way. I hate my laugh, how loud I am, the way my mouth operates faster than my brain and I almost always instantly regret anything that I say out loud, the way I talk incessantly… Frankly, I would be hard pressed to be my own friend and I still am kind of awed by all the people in my life who DO stick around and offer me friendship.

But! Then I slowed down and noticed the object was to write about “something” I hate about myself – singular – which didn’t seem nearly as daunting (or depressing). So when I whittle down the list of things I really hate about myself the thing that pops to the top of the list is that I hate, hate, HATE that I am completely unable to self-motivate. It is SO frustrating to me that I can be completely miserable about any number of aspects of my life and yet nothing seems to spur me on to actually change anything.

For example, losing weight and getting in to shape. Y’all. I can literally not stand to see myself naked. Even when I am home alone and there is no chance TheHusband will see me, I still remain fully clothed until the last possible second when I have to get in the shower and I wrap myself up in a towel and robe the second I get out so that I won’t have to see how fat and disgusting I look in the mirror while I do my hair and/or make-up. Seriously. I completely gross myself out. And yet? That alone does not seem to be enough to motivate me to actually do anything about it. I mean, I’m working out with a trainer and have been for almost two months. You know how much weight I’ve lost? ZERO POUNDS!! I mean come on here! And every time we weigh in and the trainer expresses her disbelief that I have yet to lose a single freaking pound I know exactly why I haven’t lost but I STILL don’t change. I know I need to change the way I eat. I know I need to get more cardio. I know I need to get back into a regular yoga practice instead of this haphazard, sporadic one I’ve got going on now. I know all these things. And I know that if I’m not going to commit to this 100% that I’m basically just throwing money away every month that we can’t afford to waste. But none of those things motivates me to change.

Or, how about the job situation? It is no secret that I hate what I do for a living. I love my boss, I love (most of) my co-workers, I have great hours, work from home on Fridays and I’m really, really good at what I do. But I still hate it. When I was a little girl I never in a million years would have thought I’d end up stuck in a corporate dead end job, helping the rich get richer, and with very little (if not zero) sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Not to sound like a crazy hippie liberal here but I thought I was going to do something worthwhile, make a difference, help people. I thought I’d work for myself, or at least work for a small company where everyone knows each other like family. I thought I’d feel like I was really helping people who needed it – that I’d have something to offer! Instead every day I feel like I am just wasting time, waiting for the financial situation on the home front to improve so I don’t have to stay in this job just because we need to money. I HATE feeling like I’m wasting my life! I’m much more of a “seize the moment because you can’t ever get it back” type of girl and this? This being stuck and not being able to find a way out? But I’m completely unmotivated to find a new job. Because everything I think I might like to do either a) doesn’t make enough money for me/us to live on here in the Bay Area, or b) would require further education on my part that costs a boat load of money that we don’t have, or c) some combination of both a and b. And when I start thinking about it I just get depressed and even more unmotivated!


*****


Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself. - Done
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself