Life’s Too Short

Life’s too short…

to waste time on negative people,

to forget how it feels to dance in your underwear and knee-high rainbow socks,

to not say that cheesy joke you know you’re thinking,

to postpone your dreams.

Life’s too short…

for terrible food,

for fake people,

for fake orgasms,

for fake love.

Life’s too short…

to say “no” to opportunities,

to not ask for what you want,

to pretend to be someone else,

to judge others for their opinions, beliefs, lifestyles, choices.

Life’s too short…

to be unhappy.

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Here Comes The Sun

Today, the sun was shining for the first time in awhile.  I love the dreariness of rainy days, the romance that comes with the gray and dullness.  I love the excuse to stay indoors curled up with a good book and hot cup of tea.  But too much of it drains my energy and good mood.  So, today I got to feel that hopeful feeling again, the one that comes when the sun is cuddling you with its rays.

I crept out of my emotional writing bubble and actually wore my favorite accessory, my smile.  here comes the sun

I spent some time with my best friend, Josh, and that always puts me in a great mood.  It’s really nice to have those equally weird people in your life who can make you laugh…swapping jokes about dinosaurs and making plans to take over the world from your volcano lair full of an army of sloths and crypto creatures.

Life is just funny when you suffer from depression combined with artistic snobbery.  It is literally a roller coaster that you just can’t get off of.  Honestly, I don’t think I would even if I could.  I’m quite unexpectedly happy in my tiny world of fantasy and drama and fictional characters.

So, as I hum Here Comes the Sun, I’ll be waiting for another dreary day spent with a good book, a pile of blank paper and a hot cup of tea.

Just Above

I have been feeling myself sinking lately.  I feel as if my body is doing the impossible and shrinking into this tiny, invisible breath.  One small gust of wind and I will be swept away and broken down into more microscopic particles that the naked eye cannot recognize.

But somehow in this ocean, this enormous, bottomless blue pit of depression, I am keeping my head just above it.  I am kicking my feet and rowing my arms as fast and hard as I can.  I am proud of that.  I am proud that in the midst of emotional destruction, in the midst of this black hole that is swallowing me, I am still here.  I am still forcing myself to wake up each morning, and I am still breathing.

My senses are in an overdose state from continuous Coldplay, Hozier and City and Colour.  I dance in my kitchen, my long, curly, unkempt hair exploding around me.  This is my natural state, the place where I am most comfortable.  Music pounding against my ear drums as an army would pound against a stone wall in an attempt to forge through and conquer.  I am still kicking, swimming, staying just above.

The monotony of my world, the never ending, robotic torture of being responsible is what I have grown to love.  My heart is deep and full of this passion that has become motherhood, but the passion of that which was a writer has been dwindling on a thin strand, ready to snap at any moment.  I count the seconds before I have lost all of me, becoming unrecognizable.

I grasp tightly to my old self, begging whatever God is there to stop stripping me of what I know, what I am good at, what I am proud of.  Just as I feel the dream slipping through my fingertips, I find some sort of strength and grip even tighter.  They are mine again, these words pouring from my fingers onto the keys of this computer.  I can breathe again.  I see me, and I am proud of where I am.  I am proud to be a writer.  I am proud of keeping my head just above.  I am proud of the monotony.

 

Stripping Down

Being human is complicated.  It’s difficult and messy.  Along with our animalistic urges and instincts, we are programmed to feel and make decisions and take responsibility.  Things have always been hard for humans, mostly because we make things harder  for ourselves.  If we really followed our instincts on everything, how many mistakes would we make?

With all of the important stresses we have to take on, we also have a society that puts insane pressures on us…pressure to look a certain way, make a certain amount of money, live a certain lifestyle.  And what happens to the people who don’t fit into that box?  What happens to the musician who doesn’t want to work an ordinary job that he hates, and he doesn’t want to be like everyone else, screwing over others to get what he wants?  What happens to the girl who wants to live off the grid away from the busy lifestyle, away from the “prison” of technology and typical possessions?  What happens to me, the goofy, chubby girl who would rather write books than make friends or sit in a rainstorm rather than lying on a beach getting a tan?  What happens to the people who don’t want to be millionaires or reality TV stars, the people who don’t care who made their shoes or clothes or if their hair is real or fake?

How did everything become so plastic?  Nails are fake, tans are fake, boobs are fake, people are fake.

Sometimes it’s good to strip down to the nudity and vulnerability of who we really are.  Just human.  This may lead to really seeing who others are.  I lost a friend recently who I thought was my very best friend.  It was a very hard loss, but it was a necessary one.  Part of my journey is about separating from the negative and embracing the positive in life.  It’s about realizing I can’t fix everyone; I can’t solve all the problems in someone else’s world, and I most certainly cannot rescue them.  I tend to gravitate toward broken people.  I know how it feels to be broken and to need someone strong in my life.  But it’s not my job to fix everything for everyone.  And fake, drama-filled people tend to gravitate toward me.

My friend was so easy to love.  She was funny and charming.  She could bat her huge green eyes and make everything better, or so it seemed.  I felt I could talk to her about anything until I started to hear the stories back, only twisted.  It turned out that she didn’t really care about me but about what I could do for her.  Our relationship became about me helping her with money and transportation, about guilt where there should be no guilt.  She was a manipulator, and I could see it so clearly all of the sudden.  And it wasn’t just with me, it was with everyone.  I would hear her on the phone playing the system to get a hand out when she didn’t have a job.  And here I was working multiple jobs and helping her buy groceries.  The more books I sold, the more I owed her…until I couldn’t anymore, not financially, not emotionally.  When this happened, she blew up.  She tried to guilt me into changing my mind.  When that didn’t work, she cried and blamed it on other people.  When that didn’t work, she tried to take it all back, full of excuses for her behavior.  But I was done.  I couldn’t do it anymore.  After I deleted her from my life, she still continued to reach out.  Finally, she stopped.

I do miss the fun and the comfort and closeness I felt, even though it was an illusion.  I just needed to strip away the negativity and start focusing on the positive things in my life, the things I really need to get through the storms.  I don’t feel any guilt from my decision to break off that relationship.

I’m not entirely sure why this was on my mind tonight, but maybe someone out there reading this will take something from it.  It’s okay to let go of things if it means you get to be a better version of you.  It’s okay to try to better yourself without stepping on others.  And it’s okay to make decisions that are right for you, no matter what others think about you.

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It’s Just a Bathtub

It’s just a bathtub.  It’s just a bathtub.  It’s just a bathtub!  These are the words I keep repeating in my head as I soak in my enormous Jacuzzi tub.  This is my last night in my current house.

I’ve never been one to put much value on material things.  It’s only stuff, replaceable.  You can’t take it with you, right?  I’ve lived in this house for seven years, and in those seven years, I have cried, bled, laughed, danced.  There are so many memories all over the emotional spectrum attached to this house.  But it’s only a house.

This weekend I have started moving into my new house.  There are many positives to think about.  This new house has more bedrooms and a bigger yard that is fenced in.  This new house is a blank slate of empty walls eager to be filled with new memories, pictures and finger paintings of rainbows and ninja turtles.  This new house is all mine.

But, of course, there are many things I will miss.  My kitchen, for one.  We remodeled this house a couple of years ago, and I got to create my dream kitchen.  Now, I’m downgrading to a much smaller one.  My walk-in closet is another.  A wall of shelves holding a mixture of shoes, old typewriters and many many books.  And finally, my tub.  I have spent many nights soaking in this tub thinking about my novel or the crap that happened that day.  I’ve spent hours sobbing the pain away in this tub.  Tonight was my last bath in this tub.  And that’s okay. I’ll move on, and I’ll laugh at how attached I was to a bathtub.  But the idea of leaving my home to start making a home somewhere else is a little sad.

I’m sad about the circumstances surrounding my move.  I’m sad that one part of my life is truly and officially ending while the thought of starting a new life terrifies me.  I know I’ll be okay.  I know I’ll find the courage to walk through this new territory, and I’ll be proud of myself on the other side of it.  But tonight, I need to be a little sad.  It’s not always easy closing the door to something that is so familiar and comfortable.

It’s All In A Day’s Work

I love my job.  I love everything it stands for, and I love that every day I get to help people.  Fingers crossed, this will turn into something more permanent, and I will be able to continue working with this organization.  However, writing is my passion.  Ideally, I would love to have a stable job as a writer.

My book sales are great, and every penny from that helps.  But it’s not exactly consistent.  So, I’ve been looking into some freelance writing jobs for extra income.  My pride has been my downfall on this task.  I know I’m a great writer, and I know I can be a success story.  But all the logistics behind finding a freelance writing job are insane!

1)  You HAVE to have a portfolio!

There is no getting around this one.  How have I made it this long without having a portfolio?  I suppose I just never needed one until now.  This is a good thing, though.  It’s forcing me to tread into new territory and go back over all my work, really discovering which pieces are the best.

2)  You should definitely update your resume periodically.

I made a resume years ago, but the types of jobs I’ve worked, they didn’t ask for one.  Then I forgot about it and hid it under a pile of dusty papers that should probably have been filed 5 years ago.  So, now here I am completely redoing a resume just so I can apply for these jobs!

3)  I am not the greatest writer in the world.

For some, this concept is a given.  But a creative person has a bit of self-absorption.  This is a must seeing as no one would ever continue to create art after all of the negative critiques.  You have to believe you are great in order to keep going.  But the other side of this is (for me at least) I am usually in this bubble of my own words, and I don’t recognize other’s talents.  Then when the blinders are removed, and I began actually noticing who I will be competing against, I become instantly intimidated.  This causes me to want to tear up everything I’ve written and start again.  I know, I’m dramatic.

So, today my day will consist of piecing together a portfolio and updating a very old resume.  Yes, this girl is a party animal! 🙂

Oh! For the Love of Ignorance!!

So, it is my weekend with the kids, and these are my favorite days!  I love getting to play with them and take them places without the worry of having to rush them to be with their dad.

Well, since I have started my new job, I really never know when I might have to work.  It’s one of those jobs that when they say they need me, I have to be there.  And really, I don’t mind because it’s not interfered yet with my time with the kids.

Tomorrow, I have to work.  So, I ask my ex if he can switch days with me and keep them tomorrow.  I’m not sure why I was so surprised by his response, I’ve heard it many times before over the coarse of our marriage, but I was surprised.

He first decided to tell me that he takes the kids everywhere when he has them, and he thinks it’s funny that I can’t handle my own kids.  Then he proceeds to inform me that if I can’t handle being a working single mother, I should have stayed with him.

Yes, this indeed got my blood boiling.  I’m not much of a yeller, but today I was.  I began my defense by saying something like, “Are you f*cking kidding me?”  Then I continued with, “For years I had the kids by myself with NO help from you ever!  And we were married then!  What makes you think I can’t handle my kids?  I’ve been taking care of them by myself since they were born!”  Yes, people, it’s true.  He was not a hands on dad, and that’s okay, he did his best.  But to try to tell me that I am inadequate!  No sir!  I do not think so!

I called him “the biggest assh*le I have ever met” and hung up the phone.  People who live in denial and the lies that they build for themselves to feel better are completely absurd.  Just for the record, I am a great mom! 🙂

Hello, Strangers

So, I know it has been a few weeks since I have written anything.  I have been on sabbatical in an attempt to find myself.  Does that sound like a good excuse?  No?  Well, my real excuse is much worse.  I have gotten a bit busy with life.  *Yikes!*

I started a new job, which I thoroughly enjoy!  I am part of a program that helps feed hungry children.  Yay for helping others!  Also, a lot has been going on in my home…not anything serious, just the stress of separation and the stress of children and, oh!  the stress of being me.  Yes, if I could run away from myself, I would.

In the midst of all the drama and anxiety, I have found myself strangely at peace with everything.  I am rocking this “one day at a time” bologna, and I am quite proud of myself for maintaining the supermom image.  I’m not saying that I’m actually a supermom, but somehow I am managing to pull off this life (for now at least).  Ask me again in a day or too.

One thing I have been working on is becoming a better person in many different ways…physically, mentally, career-wise, yadda yadda yadda.  But a huge area I have missed is becoming a better writer.  How could you miss that?  That is your number one passion!  Well, folks, I have overlooked it.  It hasn’t been because I think I’m a fantastic writer or anything.  It’s not because I don’t think I can grow anymore as a writer.  It’s simply because I have been stuck in a rut.  I went back and read many of my recent stories/novel attempts, and they all are essentially the same – dark and twisty (thank you Meredith Grey for that term).

But every talent needs a bit of variety, right?  So, I decided to challenge myself.  30 days of short stories!  Every day for 30 days, I am going to try to write a short story…which, if you’re a genius at math like I am, means I will have 30 stories at the end of this challenge.  Short stories are not difficult for me seeing as I write pretty much every spare minute I have.  But the challenge is to make each story different.  *gasp* Can she do it?  I hope so!

As part of my writing style, I use my typewriter.  No, not the cute, antique 1950s style…the giant, clunky, electric 90s style.  Oh yeah, I’m cool!  However, I encountered a problem tonight when starting my story…my ribbon thingy (I have no clue what it’s really called)  needs to be replaced!  So, no sexy nerdy typewriter typing tonight for this girl.  I will have to settle for this laptop.  *boo*  So, in search for a new ribbon, I have come across hundreds, no thousands, no millions of pictures of beautiful antique typewriters!  Google will do that to you.  I think I’m going to start collecting them!  I know!  It’s a marvelous idea!  🙂  I always wanted something to collect and be obsessed with other than dust or juice boxes.  And now I have figured out the perfect collection hobby!  As you can probably tell, I am quite excited about this!  I also have decided that if I am to ever get married again (not likely)  I would like instead of an engagement ring, a 1950s pink typewriter.  1950s pink royalOkay?  Did you all get that?

Well, I suppose that is enough catch-up for tonight!  Hope you all are having an amazing week! 🙂

Tribute

This past week has been a difficult one.  Promoting my book has taken over my life a bit, which is exactly what needs to happen.  The downside is I have been using that as an excuse not to workout much.  My eating has been great, and that has completely saved me!

Red and I took a road trip to Virginia to promote the book, and I must say, I am a huge fan of road trips when no kids are accompanying us.  😉  We sang our hearts out to Adele and learned more than we wanted to about each other while playing “20 questions”, “Would you rather” and “Marry, sex, kill”.

roadtrip

Another event that has made this week extremely difficult is the loss of my dad.  Without going into the complicated details of everything, I will simply say we were not on the greatest of terms.  But still, the loss of a parent is confusing and emotional.  To explain how his death impacts my health, I will start by saying this:  my dad was an alcoholic and extremely overweight.  He smoked like a freight train on top of all of that.  Since he’s lived in Texas, I haven’t seen him in years and updates of him were through my grandmother who I am very close with.  Sunday night, she called to let me know that my dad was extremely sick and refusing to go to the hospital.  Monday his condition had worsened.  I finally got ahold of my stepmother that night, and she reassured me that if he was still sick by morning, she would call an ambulance.

Tuesday morning, my oldest brother informed me that our dad was being rushed to the hospital because he was yellow.  That’s when I knew it was his liver.  His liver and kidneys had completely shut down.  Still, I was optimistic that he could pull through (denial, I know).  At around 9 Wednesday morning, I called my grandmother.  His blood pressure had dropped, but he still had a heart beat.  By 9:30, my grandmother was calling me in hysterics because he was gone.  That’s how fast it happened!

I’m sure there had been so much damage over the years because of his alcohol abuse, but the end happened suddenly.  He was 53 years old.  And his five children, all relatively young (ages from 18-36) are left without a dad.

I don’t want to be 53 and dying.  I’m not an alcoholic, but I’m not the epitome of health either.  I am overweight, and I am an emotional eater.  I’ve smoked for years, even after I’ve watched family members die of lung cancer.  But they were all in their old age when they died.  My dad was barely in his 50’s.  I do not want to leave my children on this earth wondering why the hell I did those things to myself.  Why I chose food over them.

This tragic event has sent my motivation for health even higher than it has been.  I know that any of us at any moment could die, but I don’t want it to be because I’m overweight and didn’t take care of myself.

Bye, Dad.  You’ll be missed by many.

dad 2 dad

 

Life After Divorce

I’ve been getting lots of emails from people asking what life after divorce is like.  From my point, I can’t answer this yet.  I can tell you what I’ve seen from other divorced friends, but I’m not living a life after divorce.

I have a friend who, after her divorce, met and married an incredible man.  He adopted her daughter, and let’s face it, has been more of a father to the little girl than the bio dad ever was.  My friend is happy and successful, and if her divorce had never happened, she would have never ended up with the man she’s with now.

I also have friends that have divorced, and everything fell apart.  They are so broken that even after years of being single, they are still trying to put the pieces together.

Divorce is hard, and it’s different for every one.

I went to dinner with some friends of mine, a couple and their two children.  I didn’t feel like the fifth wheel because they are awesome at making me feel included.  But then the check came, and the waiter asked if we were all together on one check.  Before I knew it, the words, “I’m by myself” flew out of my mouth.  All of the sudden, I realized that this is my life now…picking up my own checks and hanging out with other couples as “the single friend”.  People giving me that “poor-girl-she’s-going-through-a-rough-spell” look and set-ups with guys that have no other commonality with me except they are single.

Why is it that the moment you are single, your friends think pushing you into another relationship will mend things?  The truth is, I’m not looking for someone to glue me back together.  I’m doing that job quite nicely myself.  And I’m not having a rough spell, in my mind.  Yes, some hard things are happening, but most nights, I go to bed with a smile on face because I know that finally I can go for my dreams and finally I can be me.

So, I have thought about what life after divorce will look like, what it will make me look like.  And I think it will make me look stronger, not a victim.  Every day, I am finding myself again, and that is so exciting!  Will there be another man in my life?  Who knows?  But I’m not waiting around for one.  Will I ever get married again?  Maybe, but I’m not planning a wedding anytime soon.  Besides, I will probably go into the next relationship with eyes WIDE open!

But, like we all have to do, I am taking it one day at a time. 🙂