Show Up

Sometimes, life is unfair and downright fucked up. This is something most of us learned as children.

For me, I was in elementary school and had to pull my card for allegedly talking. I actually wasn’t talking, but my teacher did not want to hear me out and I had to pull my card anyway.

The smug little girl who WAS talking and knew full well the injustice that was happening right before her devious eyes just sat there.

While I knew she clearly wasn’t getting into Heaven, I was still upset. In fact, I was so upset that I began to cry and my teacher made me pull my card AGAIN for crying. The satisfaction of knowing that now both of them would be rotting in Hell still wasn’t enough to console me.

This memory stuck with me. Sometimes unfair things happen. Even worse still, we usually can’t do anything about it. It’s a part of life. I get it….but still, fuck that.

I am happy to tell you that the evil little girl who didn’t own up to talking in class grew up to be a woman whose husband left her for another woman. Sad, really. She could have avoided all of that pain had she just admitted she was the one talking and pulled her card. Let that be a lesson to you all.

I know, that’s a silly story and a minor injustice, but what do we do when the really unfair things happen, and we can’t do anything about it? What do we do when we can’t console ourselves or the ones we love? What happens to our hearts and minds when the unfairness is too much to bear?

I don’t have any answers for you. Many of us have faith in a greater power and that brings some peace and comfort, but not always right away and very often we are still left not understanding why certain things happen.

Here’s what I do know…

When times get tough and things are unfair, it helps to have amazing people around you. By amazing, I mean strong people who have empathy and give love. If you don’t already have these people in your life, get some.

I’ll share some of the best parts of the people who keep me sane (sort of) and give me a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen when I need it.

They dance. They dance like fools and like everybody is watching, but they don’t give a shit.

They laugh. Not only do they laugh at my jokes to the point of snorting (you know who you are), they also make me laugh and know how important laughter is. This includes enjoying stupid/lame jokes that only we think are funny.

They sympathize. Even if they don’t know exactly what you’re going through, they listen with compassion and try to understand.

They empathize. Even better, they know exactly what you’re going through, and you don’t feel alone.

They drink. Let’s face it, I’m gonna need you to have a cocktail or three with me because days are hard.

They sit by your side. They’ve seen your ugly cry face. They’ve seen you overreact. They’ve seen you without makeup. And still, they sit next to you.

They don’t judge. There is no “right way” to do this thing called life and they know this. They’ve made the same mistake 12 times, just to be sure it was really a mistake. We’re all still figuring some things out and that’s ok.

They dislike all the same people you do. We don’t wear pink on Wednesdays, but you still can’t sit with us. Like, ever.

They think you’re beautiful, inside and out. They not only think it, they tell you. We build each other up. The world will tear us down, but we won’t do that to each other.

They believe the best of you. Others will assume the worst of you, but your people should always see the good in you and tell you so.

Most importantly…

They show up. At a moment’s notice and sometimes without you even asking because they just know.

To my people who are all of these things and more, I love you and thank you. We have a safe place to go when we need to unwind or vent or cry or laugh and that place is with each other. We can’t always fix each other’s hurt or make the terrible things better, but we can show up and be with each other.

There is something devastatingly beautiful about the pain that makes us vulnerable in life. We become so open and exposed that others have a chance to pour love and healing into our hearts and our wounds.

Even when my heart is heavy, it is full. And that is a gift.

Definitely, maybe

I thought I was clear, but apparently not. Please don’t talk to me for the first few hours of the day. I’m coming to grips with the fact that I have to be awake and it’s difficult.

Also, please don’t wear your Snuggie to work. Oh, it’s a poncho? Umm, no. At the very least, that is a cape and who are you saving? Nobody. Fucking nobody.

I’m trying to be a nice person, but you people are making this hard. I’m staying centered. I’m burning my Sage. I’m hugging the humans I like. I’ve even eaten Kale twice in the last week. Help a sister out and save your words for someone else. Hold that thought, like, forever. Thanks.

I’m about to become one of those people who creates a Facebook event. I know, but it’s for a good cause. It’s so my girlfriends and I can go eat delicious food and drink adult beverages a month from now because we’re all so damn busy and this is what it’s come to.

I guess being an adult means you have to schedule lunches a month in advance and eat a lot of green leafy vegetables. Nobody tells you that when they’re reading you fairy tales as a child, do they?!

“And then the princess picked her boyfriend’s boxers up off the floor every day for the rest of her life because while his eyesight was good, the hamper was invisible to him.”

Cohabitation is fun. This month alone, I’ve watched 13 movies I couldn’t be less interested in. I get to tell him that he’s using his inhaler wrong and wonder if he’s leaving his trimmed beard hair in the sink because, like the hamper, it’s invisible to him. Write a story about that, Disney.

As though that isn’t hard enough, I go to work and PEOPLE TALK TO ME.

I’m not actually upset about any of this. They are minor annoyances, but I might have an attitude problem. Definitely, maybe.

Confession time: There are six stalls in the bathroom in our building. The fourth one doesn’t lock. There is no way to make it properly lock, it just won’t. I see women walk right in and I say nothing. They usually like to give it 3 or 4 tries before realizing there is no way to lock it. I could have told them, but I find it amusing. I might be an asshole. Definitely, maybe.

Here, watch this little hedgehog try to swim. Act like you don’t love the hell out of it. I dare you.

Accepting What Is

I think I have some pretty good friends, but then I see a reflection of myself in a door and notice a piece of my wild, curly hair sticking straight up and realize that I have no friends at all. Thanks a heap, guys. I can’t wait until you have something stuck in between your teeth so I can carry on a long conversation with you, then simply walk away with the satisfaction of knowing I’ve sentenced you to death by embarrassment.

Anywho, I have been listening to a weird sounding German/Canadian man talk to me about The Power of Now and it may be changing my life. Yes, I’m aware it’s very “New Age” and spiritually out there, but if you know me at all then this should be no surprise. Please withhold your judgment. In fact, just pack it away in the box of Hopes and Dreams stored in your parent’s attic. I’m gonna keep listening and then read it old school style, so deal with it. And for the love of God, why does the “Insert” button on the keyboard even exist? WHO is using this button?! And for what purpose? Please don’t answer, I’ve already stopped caring.

As I am attempting not to be so concerned about the future (which is going not great so far by the way), I find myself becoming much more self-aware which actually is great. Sometimes, I think God said, “give Melissa feelings, give her ALL the feelings” and then He did.

I’ve accepted that I just feel things deeper than most people. I know that’s a strange statement coming from me. I’m the sarcastic girl, the anti-social one who would rather talk to your dog than you, but alas I have tear ducts after all. Truthfully, once you’re in my circle of concern, my love knows no bounds. My capacity to forgive is damn near endless (not always a great thing), my loyalty is fierce and I will protect you with everything I have. There is a downside. Sometimes, that same love, loyalty and forgiveness is not returned. Fortunately, I can count on one hand how many times that’s been the case and I have gained wisdom from that pain.

Speaking of pain, let’s get back to The Power of Now. Mind you, I am only a third of the way through and my pal has promised me a book club type of discussion after I read the entire book (which he will soon regret), but I’ve already had some “AHA” moments. One is about pain so here we go…

“The pain you create now is always some form of non-acceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is.”

Wait, humans are resistant to change and things they don’t want? Whaaa? Just kidding and that may seem like a no brainer, but really think about it. When something we don’t want to happen happens, we don’t tend to be passive and just let it be. We fight. We fight for all kinds of reasons. Maybe it’s a painful change, maybe it’s not what we want and maybe it feels unfair or unjust.

What does our non-acceptance and resistance do though? Does it change the circumstance? Does it change the person? No, it changes nothing. It does however cause a great amount of anxiety, stress, unhappiness and disappointment. Yet still, we resist. I don’t even think it’s on a conscious level, it’s reactionary and illogical. I’m so very guilty of this and believe me; it will take quite some time to kick this habit. However, I will try.

I’m aware of the connection between our minds and our reality. I understand the importance of perspective and what we think, but sometimes I still have trouble accepting what is. Damn my humanness.

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”

That’s a tall order, Tolle…but I will try because it all makes so much sense to me. It speaks to me on the deepest level. The place where my soul is at peace and I know what is true.

Everyone’s truth is different and I’m no expert, but I do know myself very well and I know what I need. The hardest thing for me has always been to stop overthinking and listen to that part inside of me that knows exactly what to do. Call it intuition, God, your subconscious, the Universe…all I know is it’s the truest part of me and the best guide I have.

Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..”

“Happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events” – Dalai Lama

No matter what you believe, I think most of us can agree that our thoughts have a great influence over our lives. Those who don’t agree are most likely mouth breathers. Anyway, if you find yourself in a church pew on Sunday mornings, then more power to you and I hope it feeds your soul. You may want to avoid this one though because I’m still confused.

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I never feel the need to explain my beliefs, but when someone is genuinely interested, I do and I’m grateful for the conversation that led me to this book. I’m grateful for people who are open minded and enlightened. I’m grateful every day that I’m alive and have an opportunity to evolve even more. I am far from perfect, but I never want to stop learning or challenging myself and I’ll always be weird so deal with that too.

I’m also grateful for sunshine and music. This gem is from Emeli Sande’s latest album and if you’ve followed my blog, you know I adore her. I love how vulnerable she allows herself to be and the poetic nature of her lyrics. Ok, I’ll stop. Just listen..

I love how much she craves a deeper meaning and connection. I get that, I crave it too. I love that some people are just drawn to one another. It can’t be explained, it just is.

I get that some events and pain are unavoidable and unpredictable, but if there is some pain that we can lessen or avoid by accepting and not resisting what is, I think it’s worth a try. Also, underneath it all I absolutely believe that what’s for me will always be for me.

Wherever your journey takes you, I hope you find what’s meant for you. Choose your humans well.

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Just a tip though, it will never be a pair of Crocs or a man bun. Those aren’t meant for anyone.

The Fierceness of a Woman

I began writing this a couple of days ago. Then, yesterday I learned about a terrible loss. A loss so enormous that everything else seems trivial. There aren’t any words adequate enough nor would they be words for me to say so I will leave it there.

Pain can and will rock all of our worlds at one point or another. I have seen very recently that when it does, we women need to rally around each other. There is a bond, a sisterhood that only exists between women.

A close friend and I were discussing how rare it is to find new friends as women in our 30’s especially because we don’t particularly like many people at all. Actual friends; people you can trust, who you have fun with, who you don’t feel judged by and who will be there when you need them are rare.

There are so many people out there acting like douche canoes that it makes us lose our faith in humanity.

Strength of character, real love, loyalty and trustworthiness seem to be non-existent at times. As I think about the events that have taken place around me and to me over the last several months, I could easily feel defeated, but I don’t. In fact, I am encouraged and inspired.

My faith in God and deciding to have hope has played a tremendous part, but so have the incredible women around me.

Some of us are raising children, pets or both. Some are working full time outside of the home and some are managing a home and family full time. I’ve done both, and believe me, both are full time jobs.

Some are working on relationships, some are flying solo and some are learning how to adjust from one to the other which is no easy feat.

We are all uncertain about what the future holds, but what I see persist in each of us is determination. We have the determination to continue, to get up every day and handle shit. What I have loved most is seeing us protect each other, listen to each other and love each other without judgment. This is who women are.

Don’t get me wrong, I could teach a class titled Petty Bitch 101 and if you cross me or harm anyone I love, you will see that skill set…but that only has to emerge when absolutely necessary. Most of the time, I will simply say a prayer for you; thank the good Lord above that I’m not you and carry on with my happiness.

People will wrong us; treating us unfairly and downright terribly at times. What matters is how we react and that we put ourselves back together in the way that works for us. Sometimes, people take what they want as they tornado through our lives, not thinking for a second or caring about the damage they leave behind. Sometimes, life happens and there is no one to blame.

When a loss is so great or a betrayal so big, you need your people. The people who will stand by you and who will love you through what might be the most difficult thing you’ve ever faced.

And, a note from my Petty Bitch 101 class…you need your people to hate the same people you hate because dammit, they deserve it.

Maybe you need to pack up your ex’s clothes in garbage bags and pour glitter all over them. (The genius behind that one will remain nameless, but is one of my absolute favorite people and should be an inspiration to us all.)

We get hurt, we fall apart and we are entitled to a few cocktails, lots of anger and sadness, but then what?

After that comes the most important part, putting ourselves back together and there is no “right way” to do that.

When someone breaks you or life happens and you fall apart, no one and I mean no one can tell you how to begin again. Only you know what you need and you may not know right away, but one day you will get up and start over. You will laugh again, you will feel inspired again, you will try new things and you will feel genuinely happy again.

I look back at my life and the things I’ve overcome, some things I never thought I would be able to handle or survive and I realize that I am stronger than I ever knew I would have to be.

We will all undoubtedly face even greater challenges and loss, but be encouraged sisters because everything you are surviving now is preparing you and equipping you to overcome anything that is thrown in your path later in life.

As the great Tina Fey said…

I for one am grateful and feel empowered to know that we are not alone and that I am surrounded by amazingly strong women who will continue to get up every day and handle shit. You are doing it with grace, sass and a little kick ass. Whether you are fueled by caffeine, wine, music, vodka, sunshine or all of the above…carry on, ladies.

Let’s encourage each other..

Support each other

Compliment one another

Inspire each other

Make each other laugh

Stand up for each other

And don’t ever lose your fight.

xoxo

Like I Care

I don’t like to be rushed on a Saturday or any other day for that matter. 

That is all.

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You’re Doing it Wrong

Did you know that you’re actually supposed to peel a banana from the bottom? Like so…

If you’ve been peeling it from the stem, you’re doing it wrong.

This way is much easier and apparently the proper way. You’re welcome.
 

Hey, guys hitting on another man’s girlfriend when he gets up to go to the bathroom, you’re doing it wrong. 

Unbeknownst to you, our love is deep and the loyalty is real. 

We are joined together by inside jokes, epic dance off competitions, laughter, tears, beach trips, all night conversations, terrible Netflix movies and the smell of his farts. 

Do you really think that’s a bond you can break in the 2 minutes you have until he returns? Not happening.

So…how do you hit on another man’s girlfriend? You don’t, dipshit.

People parking in the “Burrito Loading Zone” at Chipotle, but actually eating lunch at Eureka, you’re doing it wrong. 

Evidently, Chipotle workers are very protective of these parking spots.

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Prius drivers who are angry, you’re doing it wrong. 

You drive a Prius. You are a gentle giant, a friend to all, a keeper of peace. You are not the guy yelling at the Chipotle employee because you parked in the Burrito Loading Zone and loaded no burritos. I mean, there are rules here. This isn’t Vietnam.

You're Doing it Wrong

Did you know that you’re actually supposed to peel a banana from the bottom? Like so…

If you’ve been peeling it from the stem, you’re doing it wrong.

This way is much easier and apparently the proper way. You’re welcome.
 

Hey, guys hitting on another man’s girlfriend when he gets up to go to the bathroom, you’re doing it wrong. 

Unbeknownst to you, our love is deep and the loyalty is real. 

We are joined together by inside jokes, epic dance off competitions, laughter, tears, beach trips, all night conversations, terrible Netflix movies and the smell of his farts. 

Do you really think that’s a bond you can break in the 2 minutes you have until he returns? Not happening.

So…how do you hit on another man’s girlfriend? You don’t, dipshit.

People parking in the “Burrito Loading Zone” at Chipotle, but actually eating lunch at Eureka, you’re doing it wrong. 

Evidently, Chipotle workers are very protective of these parking spots.

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Prius drivers who are angry, you’re doing it wrong. 

You drive a Prius. You are a gentle giant, a friend to all, a keeper of peace. You are not the guy yelling at the Chipotle employee because you parked in the Burrito Loading Zone and loaded no burritos. I mean, there are rules here. This isn’t Vietnam.

 Anti-Social 

I may or may not be a little anti-social, and by that I mean, I am. Long ago I learned that people are annoying and most lack common sense. 

I was a painfully shy child which I now realize was just me choosing to be quiet rather than tell everyone how stupid they were.

Somewhere in my late teens, I decided that I didn’t have to pretend to like everyone. Nor did I have to pretend that they were even somewhat tolerable. This often translated into me being called “stuck up” or a bitch. I didn’t put bitch in quotations because that’s actually true, but I’m not “stuck up” at all.

I don’t think I’m better than others,  I just don’t like them. Maybe you’re somebody else’s cup of tea, but not mine. Although, I would bet that some of you aren’t even a person’s (who is dying of thirst) drop of water because you’re awful.

Some people like to go through life thinking that humans are mostly good and that’s peachy, but not smart. I think humans are always human which means they can be lovely or terrible, fun or dangerous, intelligent or stupid…it’s a gamble. The truth is you just don’t know until you get to know them a little and that’s where you lose me. 

I don’t really want to get to know them. I’ve got plenty of great friends and my family is the most amazing so, no thanks. 

Please don’t sit near me. Please don’t make small talk with me, I’m not even listening. If I avoid eye contact with you, let it go. This girl doesn’t want to chat. 

As DJ Khaled said, “No New Friends”. 

Also, as the great (and sometimes seizure prone) Lil Wayne said, “I’m too old for new friends, but never too rich for new money”.

There you have it. Maybe I’m not anti-social, but selectively social.

Plus, you probably wouldn’t like me anyway. 

Just kidding, I’m the shit.

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By the way, that corner used to be occupied by another interesting character. I’m pretty sure she took over after beating him in a dance off competition. 

P.S. Hugs not Drugs. 

Attitude Problem

Gardeners, racing a Postman, and the original Spelling. Enjoy the chronicles of April 19th, 2017.

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