Fire Away

We all have our demons and I’m learning to get cozy with mine. Life’s timing often has me feeling like every time I’ve found my balance; the floor drops out from under me. Like, you thought bitch! Usually when this happens, what follows is an evolving to a better, higher thinking version of myself. The scars are there and will always be a little sore, but they are reminders that I’ve survived a lot.

My girlfriends get frustrated with me because I keep a lot inside and suffer in silence. It isn’t intentional. I just need a lot of time to process things and I do it best on my own. Recently, the noise of life has made this impossible. Last night I was able to quiet my mind and have decided that I need to just surrender to the sadness. I’m so busy doing all the time, I don’t allow myself to just be. If you don’t allow yourself to grieve and feel the hurt, it just sits there and brings toxicity to every situation and relationship that follow.

An apology in advance, but this blog won’t be funny. I’m good at funny and I love humor, but it often masks the hurt and prevents me from dealing with reality and that’s not good for me long term.

I think that after my divorce and another break-up, I’ve just been in survival mode. It’s almost like I don’t have time to go through the emotions nor do I want to feel it all. Betrayal is a hard thing. It’s difficult to understand that someone you love would intentionally hurt you. You question EVERYTHING. You try to tell yourself that it’s not about you, it’s them…but if it happens again, it must be you right? I used to think the answer to that was yes, but it is a huge HELL NO. This world is full of a lot of hurting people who barely love themselves and aren’t capable of loving another human wholly. They are often loveable and great in many ways. Oh, but those shortcomings can end up causing you so much pain.

After all of it, I think the biggest loss was my ability to trust myself again. I’ve always been intuitive and trusted my gut feelings, but after being wrong so many times that seems impossible to do again. The question becomes where to go from here. I’m aware, I feel it and I carry it with me every day.

Parenting brings its own heartbreak also. You want so badly for your children not to experience any pain in life, but really, I think we need to prepare them for it. Life is going to dish it out, they will have to be strong enough to take it and heal from it. My kids have seen me survive a lot. In some ways, I am invincible to them, but they have also seen me vulnerable. They have seen me broken and they have seen me get back up and do what needs to be done. Unfortunately, that happens quickly because what Mom has time to be sad?? None of us. That has led to incomplete healing and I have to fix it. Still figuring out exactly how to do that. One thing I know for sure is that right now I have to just feel it. Sad songs are a must. Whiskey helps too. Good friends who are patient, who listen, but don’t pry are crucial.

I need to be kinder to myself. Like, hey that was really shitty and you didn’t deserve it, but it happened and you get to be sad, mad and hurt for a while. You are still worth loving. You are still enough. These are the things I will tell myself and I refuse to spend time with anyone who chooses to see the worst in me or makes me feel as though I’m not enough. Kindly, fuck off. I have no time for that. At 39, I have started what I believe to be the second half of my life. I refuse to live it any other way than fully. I know my worth, I know my heart. I deserve everything that I am willing to give. Nothing is worth my peace of mind. I have fought too hard to have it.

Please don’t worry, I won’t be holed up in my room crying myself to sleep. I will just be more aware of what I need to do for my healing. I also won’t be talking about it with each person who asks. Remember, I’m an introvert when it comes to my feelings and processing them. However, if you want to cheers a shot of Whiskey or recommend a good song that gets you in the feels (you know who you are), fire away.

Telling Stories

If you start telling me a story that you’ve told me more than once, I will join you and we will say it together, in unison. I have a hard-enough time paying attention to anybody at any time for any reason so try to keep it entertaining. A few lovely individuals have shared some real gems with me.

These stories are not only entertaining, but they also explain why I’m friends with these women…

Let’s say you woke up late, quickly got your kid ready for school, got in the car and rushed to the drop off line. Feeling disheveled, but relieved that he made it relatively on time, you run around to his door to let him out and say goodbye. Maybe you got a few side eyes because you didn’t have time to fix your hair. Jeez. You think about how other parents can be so judgmental, then pull into your garage. As you walk into your room, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and then you see it. See through pants. This wouldn’t be so bad if you had been wearing anything underneath them, but of course you weren’t. You have now gone to third base with the Assistant Principal, the Yard Duty teacher, a few parents and their kids.

I advised her that she may need to register as some kind of offender. I’m not sure what category this falls into.

Next up, a gold medalist in embarrassing herself and sharing it with me. Why she continues to give me weapons for my arsenal even though she knows I will use it later, I’ll never know.

Equality is important. When having a gathering at your home and everyone is drinking out back, why should women have to go inside to pee while the guys just walk over to a bush?? It seems unfair so maybe it’s time you took a stand or popped a squat. That is exactly what she did. Dropping trou and wisely bracing herself against the stucco wall in her backyard, she relieved herself like the lady she is. If only she didn’t have to pee for so long. She will forever be reminded of her bravery by the long scratches, blood and bruising she incurred on her backside. Not to mention, splashing into the puddle that accumulated just underneath her. Step aside bra burners, nobody puts baby in a corner! Bless your heart.

The following story is the one I can relate to the most.

Amazon is an addiction. We woman know this, we struggle. Let’s say, hypothetically of course, that you’ve had a few adult beverages and decide to do a little Amazon shopping. What could go wrong? Everything. All the things can go wrong. Sometimes it works out and you get a lovely surprise gift to yourself from yourself and sometimes you buy personalized gifts for your husband with his name misspelled. Hopefully, one day, he’ll stop asking you who in the hell Jafon is.

Now, I’m not saying that I don’t want to hear about how having Irritable Bowel Syndrome has been a real challenge for you, but I REALLY DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT. However, if you crap your pants, absolutely tell me. That’s the shit I live for.

I feel a little hypocritical because I will listen to some people’s stories over and over and never tire of them. I love these humans so it’s ok. My boyfriend tells the story of living in a cave in Spain with a donkey and something about a gypsy and it thrills me to no end. As soon as he says it, people look at me for confirmation that this is factual. I nod and say, “I know, it’s crazy, but it’s true”. Mind you, I was not there and cannot actually attest to it being true, but I oblige, nonetheless. 

This last one is not from any of my people. This is a disturbing story about a woman who clearly doesn’t know the line between just enough and too much information. By some evil twist of fate, she has come into a portion of my life. I assume this is punishment for every wrong thing I have done in life ever. When I asked how she was doing, she proceeded to tell me about her raging UTI. That seemed bad enough, but it did not end there. While making small talk with a pal of mine, she was again asked how she was doing and her response was, “you know, JUST LIVING ON VAGISIL”.

WHY??

This is information that nobody needs. What kind of response should one have to that Vagina Monologue? “Well, you’re in my prayers”? Our Lord and Savior doesn’t want to know that. The angels covered their holy ears. The devil himself is blocking your entrance to hell because it’s JUST TOO MUCH. I need you to never speak about your nether regions in the presence of others.

I’ve taken the liberty of reporting you to Homeland Security because if this isn’t terrorism, I don’t know what is.

You Spelled Dumb Wrong

You spelled dumb wrong.

One of my favorite memories is when my then 8-year-old daughter texted me (yes, she had a phone, blame her father) that her older sister was dumm. I wish a had taken a picture and framed it or at the very least, included it in her Memory Book. It was hilarious to me. It’s ok for 8-year-olds to misspell dumb, but when adults do it, it hurts my feelings.

I have been known to Google some words to be sure I’m spelling them correctly, but they are a bit more complex. There are just some basic words adult humans should know how to spell. I earned second place in the 4th Grade Spelling Bee, hold your applause. Based on these credentials, I think it’s safe to say I’m a bit of an authority on the subject. Before you ask, I lost to a boy named Aaron. The irony is not lost on me, losing to someone whose own name is misspelled. By all accounts, I turned out way cooler than A-A-ron so it’s fine. I’m not bitter at all. However, you can bet your ass that I will challenge him to a rematch if ever he has the courage to cross my path. Side note, why would anyone bet their ass? What a weird saying. Really? There’s no other body part you’d be willing to lose? Not even a pinky?

Misspelling words is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s also the annoyance of misusing words.

For instance, then and than:

I’m going to teach people this, THEN tell them how much cooler I am THAN them. You see? Easy.

There’s also a part and apart:

I wanted you to be A PART of the cool kids club, but we’re sitting so far APART from each other because you don’t smell great.

Another one is damn and dam:

If I have to explain this one more DAMN time, I will throw you on the other side of the DAM and your Momma dresses you funny.

I think that was pretty clear and a few of you may have learned something new today. Shit.

New and knew:

I told you I liked your NEW car before I KNEW you were going to tell me every detail about the process of buying it.

Alright, that’s a wrap. Dammit.

Wrap and Rap:

Everyone knows I can WRAP a present perfectly while I RAP a Lil Wayne song.

Words are my jam, so I realize that I care more about this THAN most. I’m sure there’s something you feel passionately about. Perhaps you get upset when people confuse Star Wars and Star Trek characters. Some of you just felt the force and almost went full Klingon on me. I don’t really know what a Klingon is, but they sound like they just sort of follow you everywhere.

Moving on. I have to tell you that something pretty disturbing happened recently and I feel personally attacked. I begged a friend to save me from what was happening, but she was too busy rapping along to Nelly’s song #1 and could not be bothered. As she was jammin, I was being subjected to what I can only describe as a delusional monologue of epic proportions. A human male described for me in detail his progress digestively speaking and how good he felt being thin. No, no, that’s not all. He proceeded to show me how he likes to look at himself up and down in the mirror and what he thinks when he does it, all the while stating that he doesn’t like to brag. He then referred to a particular area near his hip as “Chiseled” while pointing to it.

My facial expression was pretty much this the whole time..

I have no words. I sat in shock as my “friend” was busting a move to some hip hop. Here were my exact texts to her..

SAVE ME

Omg, I CAN’T

SERIOUSLY

WHERE IN THE HELL ARE YOU??

WHELP, NEVERMIND

I HAD TO SUFFER THROUGH

I’m surely going to suffer long term effects from this experience and quite honestly, I don’t know how I will ever be satisfied by another man. Knowing this humble, chiseled hunk of a man with a healthy gut exists, but isn’t mine is more than I can bear.

Somebody Get God on the Phone

Somebody get God on the phone, I have questions.

Why do bad things happen to good people? I only like six people outside of my family. Can they be off limits?

Tornadoes. Really? I watched the movie Twister 87 times, so I get that they’re fascinating, but they’re destructive and I don’t see the benefit. Unless they only come into contact with people who hurt animals. I’m fine with that.

Why do we have an Appendix if we don’t really need it? Then something goes wrong and the organ you never needed can now cause your death? Cool. Maybe a third lung would have been good or a back up heart. Why not two livers? And did we really need 25 feet of intestines? Now you’ve got all these humans walking around full of shit. Just saying there were options.

Why did you allow the Kardashians to be a thing? Is this because of our sinning? I really would have preferred you smite us with Locusts…again.

Why is everyone focusing on the power struggle between Jon Snow and Daenerys instead of the fact that they slept together and are AUNT and NEPHEW?

Why are they called Pine Nuts instead of Pine Seeds?

Was the boy Monica’s or Brandy’s? I gotta know.

Do all dogs go to heaven? If not, can they come to my house?

Are the beings in other universes as dumb as us or do they call them pine seeds?

Do people who listen to Kid Rock know they don’t have to?

Why are Zingers so delicious?

Why do we lose some of the best humans too early, but the grumpy old assholes live forever?

Is crack actually whack or are people just trying to stop me from living my life?

In the end, what takes us out? Is it Romaine lettuce?

How many days were Adam and Eve alive before he called her “crazy” and said she was “overreacting”? That’s probably why she ate the apple. “Oh, you wanna see crazy?! I’ll show you crazy!” Then, boom. Sin. Now we have the Kardashians. Thanks a lot, Adam.

Is hell just a place where the ground is covered in Legos that can’t be moved and nobody has shoes? Can you smell delicious food all day, but it’s not there, it’s just the aroma coming from Heaven? And every day a plate of cookies labeled “Chocolate Chip” is placed in front of you, but they’re really Oatmeal Raisin? And every person is a mouth breather? If not, maybe it should be.

Before you start answering these questions, don’t. Are you God? Do you sound like Morgan Freeman? I didn’t think so. Go eat your string cheese and leave the big conversations to the grown-ups.

I’d like to end this on a positive note so…

Thanks for:

My Kids – Seriously, top notch. Extra thanks for making them look like me.

Sleep

My Family – Loving, smart, clever, good looking…really, I feel sorry for people who aren’t us.

The Sun (even though it will eventually kill us, nice touch btw)

Memes

Good People – all 6 of them

The “Ignore” button on my phone (and in my head)

Sex – some of your best work

Intuition – no jokes, it saves me

Chocolate (no nuts, obviously)

Dogs

Coffee (except decaf)

Flying dreams

Sea Otters

Humor – I think most days you must roll your eyes at me and maybe even sometimes laugh, but don’t forget that you made me and it’s pretty much your own fault. You chose this life. 

20 Days

I recently took 20 days off work. They say it takes 3 weeks to break a habit. Damn, so close.

It was quite life changing. When you are so used to being “on” and busy, a large amount of free time is a foreign concept. It took about five days for me to stop clenching my jaw and stop thinking about work, but then it was like, “what job?”

I slept. A lot.

My house is incredibly clean and organized. My boyfriend no longer owns any socks with holes and can actually find a matching pair. If I ask my kids to organize one more thing, they may volunteer to run away and join the circus. My dogs are still thrilled with me though, so does anything else really matter? I think not.

I cooked 427 different recipes and have considered starting my own cooking show.  I also learned that Home Goods is dangerous and I need a Sponsor in my life to call when I’m feeling weak…

“I know, Donna, but this frame is the perfect addition to the hallway. What’s that? Yes, I realize it’s the same exact color as the last one, but this one has a more weathered look and it.…uh-huh. Ok, I’ll think about it for another day. Thanks, Donna. You’re a real one.” (Hangs up the phone and puts the purchased frame in the car because let’s be honest, nobody is gonna boss me.) I don’t know a “Donna”, but it seems like a solid name and I’ve been non-stop watching the show Suits. I am pretty much a corporate lawyer now. Feel free to contact me for any legal advice, quips about your character, snide comments or to devise the most underhanded devious plot ever made.

Truthfully, the time off reminded me that my life outside of work is filled with so much LOVE. I genuinely love and enjoy the people in my life; my kids are amazing, my parents are super heroes, my boyfriend is my soul partner and my friends are better than yours.

I listened to and watched the news yesterday. I haven’t watched the news for more than five minutes in over 6 years. Can I just say, holy shit. I can’t believe you guys have been living like this. What even?

Life got really serious for me and I just sort of stopped participating in “reality” outside of the world I created for myself. It wasn’t a conscious decision, I think my soul knew I needed to retreat for a while. It’s fine, you all did well without me. After this break, I feel like I’m ready to know things about the world again. Not too much though. I can’t be that serious and most of you are taking things seriously enough for us both.

Let’s see, what else…

I did finish a couple of books and received a couple more so the stack on my nightstand remains nine books high and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I diagnosed and cured myself of two conditions. (Just prepping for the return of Grey’s Anatomy.)

Definitely ate too much cheese.

Cleaned my pores.

Talked about movies, shows, food, poop and farts way too much.

Also, I decided that in our group this is what it would look like if a few of us planned an intervention for one of us. Enjoy.


Happy New Year.

A Letter to My Mom

Dear Mom,

You are forever 30 in my mind, which is weird since I’m 37. As I was cleaning my house and getting rid of so many things, I saw this photo of us. I framed it about 10 years ago because I just loved it so much.

I put it in my purse because I just wanted to have it on my desk at work where I can see it more often. We have so many great pictures and even better memories, I wondered why this picture means so much to me. Obviously, your hair and sunglasses are amazing, but I think it’s the way that you’re holding me and the way I am holding on to you. My protector, my guide and my nurturer. As an adult, I realize that what you are most is my compass. You will forever be who I turn to when I am unsure about which direction to go or what path to take. I come to you when I am happy, when I have good news or bad news and most of all, when I need to remember who I am. You are home to me.

As I have journeyed through life thus far, I’ve realized that what I have in the way of family is the exception. People aren’t this lucky, this blessed, or this loved. I often joke that I should be better because I have the absolute best parents and you always say, “no, you are so good”. You always lifted me up and made me believe that I could do anything. Thank you. I never doubted that I was capable, smart, strong, kind, beautiful and worthy because of you. Thank you.

I know that right now you would say that it is God in you that I see. His love, His grace, His compassion and wisdom. You are right, and I acknowledge that completely because the other gift you have given me is faith. Thank you.

When I think back to being a child or a teenager, all I can say is, I get it now. I used to wonder why you worried so much, why you cared so much, why you did so much. I get it now. I would move mountains and fight tigers for my kids and I worry far too much.

Even today, you are constantly giving your time and attention to your kids and grandkids. When I thank you, you say that you feel so blessed that you can help. Seriously, the world needs more of you and I think…what a different world it would be if more people had mothers like you. A mom who shows up, who loves unconditionally, who is humble and constantly evolving. What a difference that would make.

I can’t imagine I will ever be an age that I don’t need you. I will always need you. I am so grateful that I can hear your voice in my head. Before you say it, yes, it’s all good things!

A lot of parents give their kids hundreds of reasons to get therapy. Thanks for not doing that and letting me go out and create my own reasons. Ha! C’mon, you know I had to lighten the mood.

I love you with every ounce of my soul. I hope I only get better, evolve and make you proud. Lord knows I am proud that you’re my mom.

Thank you for letting me see you and know you completely. It is by far the biggest gift of all. Because you did, I know that it’s ok to:

Make mistakes

Worry

Love so hard I might actually burst

Force people to eat every time they come to my house

Make a mess

Dance in the kitchen

Have empathy

Get mad when it’s warranted

Have the second glass of wine

Make time for my girlfriends

Pick up a good book in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep

Talk to myself

Laugh at myself

Stand up for myself

Draw boundaries in life

Love myself

Forgive myself

Move on

Thank you for the loving way you held me in that swing and for holding me in your heart every single day.

I am my Mother’s daughter, and nothing makes me happier. I love you.

Love, Dolly

P.S. Pops, your letter is coming ❤

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.

20170627_152612

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.

20170627_161151

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