Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Do It Anyway

They say wisdom comes with age. I’m not so sure that it’s only an age thing, but a combination of that and experience.  Life’s lessons aren’t just lessons learned as Father Time ticks away the years, because I’ve met many older people who’ve led very sheltered and narrow-minded lives, and never learned a damned thing. However, experience alone doesn’t grant us this wisdom either, because I’ve also seen some people who have experienced some tragic and great things, yet still never learned anything, either.

So, what is the key to wisdom?  I think it might have something to do with learning from the experiences we’ve had throughout time.  Not that we can learn everything, because no matter how much we try, we are fallible humans.  Everything we do learn, or are exposed to, is filtered through our level of understanding.  For some that level is higher, more open, and allows more to filter through, while others have smaller holes, and very little gets through.  Our filters are made up of our preconceived ideas, theologies, cultural influences, regional inspirations, religious teachings, parental guidance or lack thereof. Our filters come from the pain we’ve experienced, and the joys of pleasure.  My filter has some very small holes, as well as some very large ones.  But, have I learned anything?

Love is an enigma.  It’s the one thing I’ve pursued harder than anything in my life. It’s also the one thing I’ve ran from faster, and has eluded me more times than I could count.  It seems just when I find it, it’s taken away from me.  It’s like the biggest cosmic joke.  I’m so afraid to be happy, because just when I find happiness, it’s taken from me - first by death, then by cancer, and recently by … well, I’m still not sure what happened. It’s the most confusing of all.

So, what can I do?  Though I’m scared. Though I’m confused. Though my filters are all messed up. Though my faith is weak.  Though my heart is one big fucking mangled mess… I do it anyway.

I dare to hope, when I see no hope.

I dare to dream, even when my dreams are filled with nightmares.

I dare to smile, even when I feel like dying inside.

I dare to sing, even when my voice is cracked or hindered by the big knot in it.

I dare to love, even when I’m not loved in return.

This is the thing I’ve learned.  I could choose to hate, and be angry, and feel sorry for myself.  That’s easy.  I could hold grudges, return pain for pain, be vindictive, and be selfish.  That too is easy. These are the actions of the weak-minded, selfish, shallow, and deplorable.  They only breed onto themselves and cause more of what hurt them in the first place.  These become the ugly monsters in the universe, spreading their disease like a zombie. Once infected, they spread their hate to everyone else that dares to love or get close to them. I choose to be different.  I’d carry pain to keep from causing pain. I’d give everything I had to prevent someone else’s suffering.  I choose to give the very things I need most in my life. Because I know, that I know, that I know – because I’ve learned – the only hope I have is to give love if I ever hope to receive it. Real love. Not this imitation bullshit called passion, chemistry and infatuation.  Those are nice, but only temporary and vain.  Though most of the world accepts that vanity, and never moves beyond it, confusing it for love, I can’t. I’ve felt the real thing, so I can’t accept the imitation.
If I have to sit across the table from a thousand men, or ten thousand men, I hope to someday look into a pair of eyes and see the love I’ve been waiting for, that I’ve been sending out into the universe, hoping and praying it makes its way back to me.  And if not… then I leave this world having sown love, hope, joy, goodness and kindness… so that maybe someone else doesn’t only meet made monsters.

This song sums it up perfectly.

You could spend your whole life building something from nothing, and a storm could come and blow it all away… build it anyway.
You could chase a dream that seems so out of reach, and you know it might not ever come your way… dream it anyway.

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good. And when I pray, it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should… but I do it anyway. I do it anyway.
This world’s gone crazy and it’s hard to believe that tomorrow will be better than today… believe it anyway.

You could love someone with all your heart for all the right reasons, and a moment they could choose to walk away… love ‘em anyway.

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good. And when I pray, it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should… but I do it anyway. I do it anyway.
You could pour your soul out singing a song you believe in, but tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang… sing it anyway.  Sing it anyway.
I sing, I dream, I love ….anyway.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Dragon Point

Well, I'm writing a new story, and I'm really excited about it.
Here's just a snippet to get you started. 

“I saw a dragon today. It’s not every day a girl gets to see a dragon, but I’m not your typical girl and this isn’t your average dragon. Before I get into the details of the mysterious beast and the amazing story of what happened, I must take you back to a beginning. All adventures should have a good beginning, and this one has a most curious one.”

 It was a cold, windy day and not a single cloud appeared in the bright azure sky. Baby cobalt kissed the horizon, while deep cerulean ruled the atmosphere. The golden sun god sent its rays in fat, voluminous beams coaxing thousands of sapphires to sparkle upon the rippled water. Poseidon’s presence was felt as the Renascence cut through the dark waters disembarking from Waterline Marina, slowly meandering around Ballard Park, and then into the beautiful Indian River. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Moving Forward

“Life is fluid, ever-changing, filled with both joy and despair, love and heart-break, it's evolutionary and quite contradictory.”

That’s how I started the essay for my online dating profile. I can honestly say, not many of the men who respond get what I’m saying, but I didn’t expect them to understand. 99.9% are responding to my pictures only and never even bother to read the essay. I’m not complaining because I understand society on a whole and men for the most part. BTW, I read all the essays.

Men are very visual creatures. They will convince themselves how they feel sometimes exclusively based on what they see. They can lie to themselves of their attraction, love, or lack of both depending on their partner’s exterior beauty or flaws. This visual addition is what makes a man overlook his morals and common sense, and in his own lack of confidence and self-esteem, and find himself fawning for a cheap despot and push a beautiful soul into the dreaded friend’s zone.  They honestly desire that beautiful relationship with a soul mate who will respect them, want them, and bring out all the good qualities of being a man, much like they receive from the friend, but they go about it all the wrong way because they try to find those things outward-inward, instead of inward-outward, and end up with a long history of abusive, selfish, and soul-less women. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of women who do the same, but it’s not as common, because the very base instinct of a woman is to nurture and love and see beyond the physical. Well, for most women anyway. There are some women so comfortable with using people because they have that outward beauty, have never had a good solid relationship, they don’t have that natural nurturing character, but that’s from being a selfish vampire. Most women understand a man’s addiction to outward beauty, that’s why many try so hard to fit that ideal or wear the clothes, hair and makeup they do to appeal to a man.  I’ve been there, done that. I’m now at a point of my life that I don’t dress to impress or attract a man, but concerned only with what impresses me.  Could be why I’m still single.

But, that’s not what this article is about.  It’s about being at a point in my life where I’m moving forward. I’ve had some great moments over the last few years.  After my divorce, I started running toward this new life, discovering myself, discovering my hopes, dreams, wants, character, and desires.  Then I ran into a roadblock that knocked me flat on my ass, halted that great forward progression, and pretty much knocked the wind out of me. But, in my darkness, there was a beautiful light that lifted me, helped to inspire me to get up and try again.  Oh, I opened my heart and for a little while… and man, oh man, I flew. I felt happiness, joy, love, passion, and most of all, hope.  I felt the love inside a pair of strong arms and the joy of friendship, companionship, and being able to share a part of myself that I kept inside for so long. But it only lasted for a short time before the difficulties of life interfered and pushed me outside and ripped away that beautiful dream.  And I got the breath knocked out of me again. I still find it difficult to breathe, because of how beautiful that dream was – not the big things, but the little things… the long conversations, the texts throughout the day, the games, the silly moments, the simple laughter… oh, damn.  The part that touched me most and that I realized I missed in my life was those precious moments of being part of a family. I fell in love with that family and will always love them.

I learned a lot about myself and what I want in this life thanks to that experience.  I hate that once again my direction has been changed and another roadblock has forced me to turn again, but that’s life… it’s fluid, ever-changing, filled with joy and despair, love and heart-break, it’s evolutionary and quite contradictory. My only choices are to stay where I am and slowly die or get up and move forward.  So, I move forward.

These last few months, since my birthday I’ve been trying too hard to hold onto broken, shattered pieces, and the only result is a bunch of scars.  I’ve held onto nothing. I’ve washed my cuts, applied ointment, and covered them with band-aids.  I’m healing. At the same time, I’m getting back to myself and picking up many of those things I dropped at my first roadblock, especially my love for adventure.  I’m different. I’m changed. I’m moving like a slow flowing stream. I’ve just fell down the side of one mountain, and now I’m climbing another, but I’m not in a hurry to reach the top.  It’s about the journey on the way.  That’s life. The river, the trail, the wind, the rain, the sun, the clouds, the moon, the stars… that’s life.

For me, that fluidity is in my adventures. Yes, love is also an adventure and I’m trying to keep my broken, crushed, damaged, bleeding heart open for that opportunity, but it’s not my focus.  I’m also not in a hurry.  The world seems to always be in a hurry.  I went sailing yesterday with two men who are just friends I met online, and I can’t express how much being around them was medicine to my bleeding heart. Their friendship is a salve because they expect nothing from me and love and accept me just as I am.  It was so freeing to enjoy the adventure without being on guard. I’ve been on a several dates lately and I have thick armor, because I’m understanding how fluid I am and I feel most of the men I meet have such hard defined ideas of what their looking for in a woman, a lover, a friend, and a mate. While I’m looking for passion, connection, and attraction, I’m so on guard that I bolt at the first inkling of a man that just wants that physical relationship.  I want love.  I don’t feel like I can ever love again, but I will keep myself open to let love in should it happen.  However, at this point in my life, I just want adventure, to be happy, fulfilling some of my dreams, getting back outside and chasing some of those experiences. Some days I’m very lonely and miss the intimacy I had with my last relationship, but I’m finding more and more days being content and breathing a little easier.  I may be alone for the rest of my life, but then again… I may find the love of my life today or tomorrow while I’m out living this fluid life. I’m moving…forward.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Dinner for One

Thanksgiving and Christmas used to be my favorite holidays.  Well, they usually fell right behind Halloween, yet still a favorite.  But in the last few years, I’ve come to dislike all of them.  So, I’ve been thinking why has my heart changed about the three times of year I looked forward to most?  It didn’t take long to figure it out, and part of me just holds my breath as I try to get the huge lump in my throat to ease.  

I loved these holidays because they reminded me of the innocence of childhood, they were some of the few happy moments I experienced, and then for my kids… oh, my God, to see the looks of excitement, joy, anticipation, and happiness on their faces made me try even harder to make those times better and bigger.  Some of my fondest memories are hearing my kids try to negotiate opening presents earlier than scheduled, sneaking bites of the Thanksgiving meal before it was served, and getting a sugar-high from all the candied loot and the excitement from corn mazes, haunted houses, and riding around looking at Christmas lights.

I dread the holidays now because it’s a reminder of the life I no longer have, the children that are now grown and don’t need me anymore, who are located so far away that I’m not even part of their lives. I started crying in the grocery store the other day because I saw all the Thanksgiving items stacked in the center isle… I have no one to cook for.  I used to start preparing a few days before Thanksgiving marinating the Turkey with salt, butter and Cajun spices, and checking off my list to make sure I had all the ingredients to make the full menu.  I’d start the slow prep like cutting the onions and celery, so they’d be ready when I started mixing, and start boiling the eggs, baking the cornbread and biscuits to use for the dressing and stuffing.  I’d be making my list for Black Friday shopping, mapping out a strategy to get the biggest items first before the sun even came up, usually in a divide and conquer plan my ex-husband and I split. Then after spending the first few hours of daylight wrapping presents, Christmas decorating would commence.  While lights were being strung outside, I decorated the tree and the inside.  Which now reminds me… I don’t even know where the decorations I’ve collected over years are.  Did I leave them, did he throw them away, are they boxed somewhere, does it matter? The end of the year was celebrated with Sparkling grape fruit, upcoming wishes, and fireworks.  Then the day after all the decorations would be packed away very carefully, to start again the next year. 

So here I am now… single, no kids, most of my life still packed away in boxes stuffed inside a storage unit being exposed to the heat, cold, and rats.  How did I get here?  I was a good wife. I was a good mother.  The key word is ‘was’.  I don’t know who I am anymore.  I can’t be where I want to be, I can’t be who I want to be, I’m stuck in a life where I’m so lost and very much alone.  Can’t I just sleep until January?  Spending time with friends and their families don’t help… it’s a just stark reminder that I don’t have a family of my own anymore. I know they mean well, but it doesn’t help. How did I get here?

I’m going to try hard to be jolly this season, to be thankful, to be happy during the holidays, but forgive me if the tears fall when I order a dinner for one with food I can’t even eat, or give gifts to others that are not my family. During the holidays, if you see someone else alone, I don’t know what to tell you.  Sometimes reaching out and offering a hand, an invitation, can make a huge difference, but sometimes it can make them feel worse.

Maybe I’ll get involved with some charity organization where I’ll work in a soup kitchen to feed the hungry on Thanksgiving and buy me a new video game to help me forget all about Christmas.

Till next time,