Saturday, July 15, 2017

If You Could Choose...

I've started binge-watching this show on Netflix. It's an Australian show about this family who has their share of problems. In one episode, the family was asked to bring one object that was an example of who they were to stick in a baby's time capsule. This got me to thinking...what would be the one object that is an example of who I am?

I hate it when these things get stuck in my head. I've been thinking on it for days now. In my Women's Studies classes, we have discussed intersectionality and what it means. I am a woman, but I'm so much more. (I'm white with a Native bloodline. I'm a daughter. I'm a student. I'm a canine mom. I'm an author. I am divorced. I am a friend. I am a lover. And the list goes on.) In a day's time, I wear many hats, so how on earth would I choose one object to define me?

That's when it hit me... a patchwork heart!


Let me explain (Thank you, Dr. A and Audre Lorde!): A patchwork heart is my object because while I am so many things to so many different people, I wouldn't be who I am without the experiences and people who have shaped me. My heart has loved and been loved. It's broke others' hearts and been broken. It's been stitched back together. I've talked about my patchwork heart before. How the beings in my life take a piece of my heart and leave me with a piece of theirs in return. There is no other heart like mine. My heart is unique because of the hearts and lessons that have been part of my life. These are the things that have molded and shaped me into the woman I am, good and bad. Love and loss, happiness and sorrow, suffering and thriving...all these things have left an imprint. With my very unique patchwork heart, the design is ever-changing because I am ever-changing. From the moment I came into this world, ass-backwards and determined to do things my own way, my heart has been evolving. I'm excited to see what changes will be made to it as my life goes on.

Each heart is unique. You may have been loved by the same people, but not in the same way. Your experience may be similar to mine, but nobody's journey is the same. Even within the same family. I look at families and the children within them. There could be five children in the same room at the same time being told the exact same thing. However, there are 5 sets of ears, hearing 5 different things. It amazes me how the heart translates words and shapes us.

I have found my object and why it defines me. Tell me, readers, what would be the one object you would choose to put into a time capsule to let the world know who you were?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Saying Goodbye...

I'm a sappy sort so I needed to write this out. Yesterday was a difficult day for me. Way more emotion than I am used to, but I knew this day was coming. I knew this day was coming since I met this young man 2 years ago. I've known it was a definite thing for a year now.

See, yesterday I said "goodbye" to a soldier. It was the first goodbye I've ever said. Usually, I distance myself from friends who are joining the military so I don't get my heart broke or I become friends with them once they return. I've never stayed for the long haul. Unfortunately, this one is the one that is breaking me into a million little pieces.

I met this young man right around his 16th birthday. We've only gotten to be friends in the last year and a half. He has an easy way about him and the woman with social anxiety appreciates that. His quick smile lights up a room and his laughter brightens my day. He is so easy to joke with, yet isn't so silly that serious conversations aren't a possibility. We have had some great times.

I don't let people get too close, but somehow, he burrowed into my cold black heart and settled in to stay. When he joined the Army, he stated he wanted a party. He, then, asked that I stick around to do shots with him before he left. I honored his wish yesterday. It was hard for me to pour that shot of Jack for each of us because this meant it was real. And trust me, at some point, I was hoping this was all a dream.

In a very short period of time, this young man will be leaving and heading in the direction of his dream. A dream he's held since he was small. So, I ask that you keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he journeys on in this direction.

You'll never see this, Matthew, but know that you are loved and missed with every breath that is taken. Dammit, Kid, you've left big old cowboy boot prints on my heart! Take care and come home! I love you as if you're one of my own! 10 weeks, you said! It's only 10 weeks! I'm crossing off the weeks on a calendar until you come back to us, Kid :)

So for today, (and those who know me understand) I will be:


Love ya, Kid!


Friday, June 23, 2017

I'm Sorry

I had a blogpost written about love, but something happened in my day and I needed to deal with it.

Lately, I feel like I've spent most of my life apologizing. I wasn't the perfect child. Back in the day, words like "introverted", "depression", and "anxiety" weren't used as easily as they are today. It's taken me all my life to find words to explain why I am the way I am.


I wasn't the daughter my parents necessarily wanted. I was mouthy. I had an attitude. I didn't date. I preferred to lock myself in my bedroom. I wasn't the most beautiful girl in my class. I didn't have the most amazing social life. I didn't want to be involved in sports. I was simply me. It was as if I was never satisfied.

I wasn't the most popular girl. I had a few close friends, but that was it. I kept my nose in a book. I wasn't thin by anyone's standards. I was plain in so many ways. I didn't want to be noticed.

I married someone I liked well enough, but that's all that can be said. I tried my best to be a good wife, but, if I listen to him, my best wasn't good enough. There was always something to find fault with.

I am not the best student. I work hard for my grades and they often fall short. It's not because I don't try. I try so hard, but I have professors who tell me I need to try harder. I work 40 hours a week plus go to classes plus have to clean my house, etc. plus a ton of homework to do. When I tell you I'm doing my best, I promise you it is the truth.

I'm a shitty dog mom! I buy Diesel the best food I can afford. He has toys and treats, though the treats are no longer homemade like they used to be. I have time to walk him around the yard and snuggle with him at bedtime, but that's it. We live in a fucked up house with a landlord who refuses to fix things, yet constantly brings up when I fall short of his mark.

Which brings me to: I'm not the best tenant. When I ask you to work with me so I don't have to live in my truck and you say, "Sure, not a problem," I take you at your word. When I have a lawn service all set to mow the grass to keep my end of the month to month lease that was signed (with my former roommate) three years ago and you proceed to mow of your own accord, I think you are doing it to be kind. My yard service cancelled my account because I had to cancel them too many times and now you complain?

I'm not a size 2 or supermodel pretty! I take up space and maybe it is more than I deserve, I don't know. I try to be more than pretty. I try to be kind, supportive, friendly (as I can stand), generous, loving, and happy. I try to make the world a better place every day. You'll never understand what it takes for me to get out of  bed some days.

I'm not writing. Believe me when I say, I try. My characters want their stories told. I've hit a rough patch with the next Cedar River book and I don't want to write what I know must be written. My dragons aren't "dragony" enough. My goal was to write about special people not have them embody their animals. I'm so unsure of myself, my writing, and my life that I have no idea when I'll put cursor to Word again.



In a world gone mad, I know I'm not everyone's cup of tea. That's fine by me! I don't fit into the mold most people have for me. I'm just trying to be the most honest version of me I can be. I'm not one who pretends to be someone I'm not. My house is a mess. I have a laundry basket of dirty clothes. There is a stack of bills that need to be paid. I have boxes that need to be gone through and stuff to get rid of. I need to plug up the mouse holes with steel wool to keep them out of my closet, kitchen, etc. My hair is a mess. My dog needs a bath. My truck needs an oil change and a bath. I'm running on fumes. And I'm tired of apologizing for that! I'm doing my best and that is truthfully all I can do.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Kings and Daddies

There's a meme out there that tell us that you can tell when a man was raised in the arms of a Queen. I was a daughter, raised at the knee of a King.

I've been having a lot of conversations lately about why I am the way I am. I've always been blessed by the men in my life. They are the standard by which I measure the men I date. And trust me when I say that to date me, you've got some pretty high standards to achieve.


To me, my grandpa was Superman! He could do anything! Leap tall buildings in a single bound, save a neighbor girl from certain danger, melt a Tupperware bowl with butter in it on a hot toaster. *G* He and I had such a special bond. I was his only granddaughter.



He was determined that I would grow up to be a lady. He taught me the proper way to hold my silverware and how to wear my hats so I didn't get "cauliflower" ears. If it had an engine, he could fix it. His grease-stained t-shirts and green pants stick in my memory. Every time I had a chance, I'd make him cherry pie and take it to him. It was his favorite. What I wouldn't give to make him one more cherry pie and sit for a Sunday afternoon visit...


Some girls are lucky enough to be raised by their heroes. I know I was. This happy boy in this picture had more demons to deal with than he ever imagined. However, he taught his daughter what it means to be strong and to play the hand that Life deals you.


His teasing ways taught her to take a joke and enjoy the little things in life. He worked hard. I don't remember a time when Dad wasn't busting his ass for something. He, like Grandpa, could fix anything with an engine. He might have to cobble it every now and again, but he'd make it work. I can't begin to count the times when he'd call me and say, "I'm changing oil in the cars today. I may as well do yours while I'm at it." His knuckles were often scraped and bloody, his hands calloused. It couldn't be said he took the easy way out of anything.


And his sense of humor knew no end. One year, he made a "sponge" cake for the minister's wife. He frosted it with Cool Whip and made it quite pretty. We were having a dinner at the church that day and Dad carried it in with pride, telling her how he made it himself. The poor woman felt so bad as she tried cutting it with a butter knife. I remember Dad sitting there laughing so hard with tears streaming down his face. The minister's wife was so relieved to find the sponge under the whipped cream! She didn't want to hurt his feelings. Then, there was the year of the balloon cake. He blew up balloons, coated them with Cool Whip, and refrigerated it for his girlfriend's daughter. He was damn proud of himself! The girl cut into the cake and whipped cream flew everywhere! When it was all over, Dad was on the kitchen floor, laughing so hard he couldn't stand. (Yes, he did clean up the mess!) He loved to make people smile. 



I've been told that I'm a Queen because I was raised at the knee of a King. Actually, I was raised at the knee of a couple of Kings. They were my heroes. They were the center of my world, even when they didn't know it. They were the first men I ever loved. They have both left this earthly realm and I miss them so much! They taught me what it means to be loved and to not accept anything less than I deserve. They were men among men and I am so blessed to be able to call them mine! Happy Father's Day!!





Thursday, June 8, 2017

Step into the Mind of an Overthinker...

I had a blogpost all set to go entitled "It's Not Easy Being Me...", then I put it aside and thought about it. Okay, I overthought about it and pressed the delete button.

This is my problem: I tend to overthink. Every. Single. Thing. I'm talking about things that happened back in high school. Things that happened 10 years, 10 months, 10 weeks, 10 days, 10 hours, 10 minutes, 10 seconds ago. I replay every little detail and pick it apart, telling myself that I am an idiot for the things that I've done or said.



Truthfully, very few people from high school remember me and those who do only remember the quiet girl who always had her nose in a book. If I knew you 10 years ago, then I am a much different person than I was then. I behaved much differently and was more unhappy than I have ever been. I know people rarely think of the things I've said or done, but the introvert in me believes she is the most awkward person out there.

Let me give you a shining example of my awkwardness: Mr. Charismatic Smile (from my math class?) sat beside me one day and said "I'm not getting this." It was a pretty basic algebra problem so I attempted to explain it. Now, I could have said simply "What you do to one side, you have to do to the other", then showed him the way to do it. Instead, what came out of my mouth haunts me to this day. I said, "Think of the problem as a menage a trois. What you do to one, you have to do to the other." Yup, that's me! Don't ya just love it?


This is what led to this blogpost. I'm an overthinker. I tend to second guess every move I make until the moment has passed. (Now, I can tell you that the above explanation led to a very interesting conversation that went WAY off the algebra trail and probably told Mr. Charismatic Smile more about me than he needed to know, however, I keep thinking that he had to have thought I was an idiot. He didn't, for the record, but still...) 

I have received the rights back to both of the books in the Cedar River series. I've been re-designing the covers myself. (Are they good enough? You aren't talented enough! You're an idiot!) I've been re-reading the books, deciding what needs to be fixed/added/removed. (You're a hack! You'll never make it as an author! Give up the dream!) With the books being removed from the various online book sellers, the reviews have come down. (No one will ever want to review those pieces of trash again. You're lucky they reviewed them the first time! HACK!) I had some very lovely reviews written about these books. I've had one horrible one. Care to guess which one I dwell on? Bingo! The horrible one!

My ability to overthink everything has me second-guessing every move I make, every word I say, and every path I take. I'm beginning to think of this particular "gift" as a talent. I know people who overthink, but to this degree? This has to be a special talent in and of itself.

I try my usual tricks when I can't shut my brain down. I meditate. I burn candles. I light incense. I walk barefoot in the yard (which is dangerous with an English Mastiff). I attempt to write, then delete every word because it isn't good enough. I cry. I rage. I decide to never write again. I open my journal and write it all down, then I cry some more.

Commiserate with me! Are you an overthinker? How do you cope? Any secrets? Better yet...wanna share your awkward moments with me? Let me know that I'm not alone? You can even email them to me. I won't tell a soul, I promise!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Woman of a Certain Age...

This posting was going to be funny and silly, but I've had something on my mind lately. It has to do with age and I'm tired of holding back.

I'm celebrating a birthday this week and it's a milestone. I've fussed over it. I've cried over it, but no matter what, it is going to happen. Honestly, I'd rather have that than the other option! However, someone said something to me the other day and it pissed me off. They hurt my feelings! They said, "Remember how old you are. You aren't 20 anymore!"

You know what? I know that! I look in the mirror every single day and I know I'm not 20! I feel the aches and pains in my joints. I know I'm not 20! I don't need your reminder that I'm older than I want to be!



I was talking to my darling sister the other day and actually said the words, "I thought I'd have more time!" When I was younger, I wasted time. I gave time to people who didn't deserve it. I allowed people to take from me without giving back. I let people take my spirit, steal my thunder, and break me until I was less than I wanted or deserved to be! I made mistakes that cost me more than I should've allowed! And, trust me, I'm paying the price now.

I'm not a woman who regrets the decisions she's made. There's no point because I can't change the past. Every decision has led me to the spot I am now. I was beat down and degraded. I lost my voice. I still have a few issues to work on, but I'm trying. And I love the woman I've found under years of breakage and hurt. People buried my fire until it was almost out. Unfortunately for them, the ember still smoldered. I've been digging through the wreckage of my soul for a while and the fire is back to roaring.

I know I'm not 20! I wouldn't want to be. Being 20 would put me back in a place I wouldn't want to be with people I don't like all that much. I don't have to "act my age" or be reminded that I'm not a teenager. I color my hair whatever fucking color I feel like. I wear whatever fucking clothes I want. I wear as much or as little make-up as I want. Most days, I'm mistaken for 28-35. I'm okay with that! Hell, I'm ecstatic over that! When someone asks me how old I am, I love watching their mouths fall open because they think I'm so much younger. And that's on a college campus! After a lifetime of being the geek who has her nose in a book, I've had some students actually tell me I'm the "coolest chick" they know. I've been told I inspire them.



So here's a piece of advice: The next time you get the urge to remind a woman of their age or say "Well, a woman of a certain age would...", shut your damn mouth and blow your opinion out your ass! Why? Because women of ANY age can do whatever the hell they want and they don't need  your permission to do so!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

"All That is Gold Does Not Glitter,


Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king."

If you know me at all, then you know this is one of my favorite quotes. It comes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.

I've had a rough week. Something fell into my lap at the most opportune time, but for what ever reason the universe has, it didn't work out. It would have been a dream come true, but alas, it wasn't mine to have. I fell apart. I posted on my personal wall and got the normal "Keep positive," "When one door closes...," and "It will be alright," from people. The words help because they came from people who care about me and want me to be happy. But the ache in my chest was of sheer disappointment. Truly, I was disappointed in myself. Maybe I said the wrong thing. Maybe I didn't look right. Maybe there is merely something wrong with me. My overthinking was destroying me. So, I paused for some reflection.

I found this quote on the internet one day and it struck me to the very bone.


Then, I remembered Tolkien's words. This fulfillment of my dream glittered like a lake on a sunny day, but it wasn't golden. It wasn't perfect. It merely was. And as lost as I felt, I'm not lost. I'm wandering on my journey. (I'm going to mix my stories here, bear with me.) The yellow brick road is still beneath my feet. Toto is still faithfully by my side. Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow are walking with me, even if it is only in spirit. After all, they have their own journeys to take. The flying monkeys are trying to get to me, but they will only succeed if I allow them.  

This dream is mine and mine alone. The fulfillment will happen when it is supposed to and not a moment before. I need to improve myself and be the best me that I can be so that when the perfect opportunity arrives, I'll be ready. I've got some plans in place and I'm working on what I need to. Unfortunately, it will mean saying my goodbyes to places and people who are a major part of my life. It is time for ME to be the major player for a change. I've let others take over the spotlight so I didn't have to worry about it. I hate being the center of attention, but in my own life? How sad! This is my life and I need to live it for me! Not for my friends and family, a job, or anyone else. I've been so focused on others that I've lost track of myself. I've let others dictate how things are going to work and while I've been so busy helping others with their journeys, I've gotten lost in the shuffle. 



I'm taking time to get things adjusted and to focus on what matters. My passion has been pushed aside to make room for other people and that just isn't right. The smoldering ember is there, I've just got to find it under all of this rubble. Bear with me, please! The phoenix isn't reborn from the ashes into the vision of glorious beauty we envision overnight. It takes time. And time...well, that is the one thing I still have.