Sunday, August 21, 2016

No Time For Regrets...

I'm one of those weird people (oh shuddup! I can hear laughter ringing through the interwebs). I try to live my life sincerely and without regrets. I try not to look back and overthink why I made the decision I did and how it may be right or wrong. I often joke about what would have happened if I had taken that right at Albuquerque (huge Bugs Bunny fan) instead of the left, but I truly wouldn't change anything.

When my grandma passed away, I heard people saying "Oh, I wish I had listened to her stories when she asked me to" or "What I would give for just one more day." Funny enough, I always took the time because I had it. I listened to her stories even if I had heard it a million and one times. She would call me at least twice a day to see how I was. I took the time to visit with her and spent a lot of time with her. I was devastated when she died, but only becauseI lost one of my best friends. I often wonder what she thinks of my life now and how vastly different it is from what it was, but never a regret for words unsaid.

My dad died suddenly and unexpectedly, but still no regrets. We would talk often and 3 days before he died, we spoke for over 2 hours. We said everything that needed to be said and probably a few (funny) things that didn't. Like Grandma, I wonder what he would think of my life today and the changes I've made, but I wouldn't change a thing.

I divorced my husband of over 20 years. I did what I could and it wasn't enough. I got tired of the crap and gave myself an amazing birthday gift...I filed the necessary papers. Do I regret it? Nope! Not in the least. He's happy with his new life and I'm happy with mine. We're still friendly, but things were left too long to be fixed,

I followed my then friend to a new campus in a new city in a new state. Not a regret to be had. It was the best decision I could've made. I got a new chance at life. We had fun while it lasted. Experimented with things that made us both happier than we had been in a while, but shit happens and friendships fade. Still no regrets.

Dated a man who harmed me and did more damage to my psyche and body than anyone should endure. Any regrets? Not a one. Because of him, I found my strength and determination to walk away. I needed him for his part of my journey. He taught me more in 4 months than I'd learned in a lifetime. Not one single regret.

I guess my point is that, if at any juncture, I had made a different decision, I wouldn't be here. Something as simple as lifting my head and looking up brought me some of the most amazing people to walk this journey with. If I had chosen to buy the orange juice instead of the apple juice one day or taken astronomy instead of geology or dropped that creative writing class instead of trying it out or taken math my first semester instead of waiting or taking a math class that started later in the day, I may have missed out on so much. But I didn't. I'm exactly where I need to!

So today, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

You Can Take the Girl Out of the Country...

But you can't take the country out of the girl. At least, that is what the old saying says and I have a feeling that it might be right.

See, I was a farmer's daughter and granddaughter. I was expected to work. Fun was something you did after the work was finished. I wasn't the kid who hung out at the mall with her friends. In fact, my friends seldom wanted to come over because I had chores to do. I was raised with this whole work ethic that you rarely find today. I've got to be doing something or I feel like I'm being lazy. And I HATE being lazy. 

Then, there is this whole country way of thinking. I love those quiet nights of sky watching. The stars filled the skies and shone around the beautiful moon in all the phases. Spending nights inside seems blasphemous to me. However, city living makes it impossible to simply enjoy the stars. When I take Diesel out for his evening walks, I get to observe the stars through the filter of street lights, but I'm also having to listen to the cars drive up and down the street, the buses running past the house, and deal with the neighbors who live too damn close.

I will admit there are  benefits to living in the city: my favorite is I can call for Asian food anytime and it will arrive at my door. (So far that is the only benefit I've on demand.)

The other day, I had to take a drive. I was off to look at a different space for Diesel and me to live. I had to leave the big city. On this drive, I left the city limits and hit corn fields. CORN FIELDS and I literally cried. That is when I realized that I had lived in the city way too fucking long. This year is my second year and I am worn out, depressed, and so much less than I used to be. This new space was in the city, but a much smaller, quieter city. I drove across the bridge into this small town and took a deep breath. It felt as if I'd come home.I didn't get it, but I have decided to keep up my quest for new place in this small town. I would not be far from those back roads when I need to recharge my batteries. And I'd get to take that drive every single day when I return to the big city for work.

I'm a country girl, tried and true. I love being outside in nature. Taking walks through fields or forests is sooooo much better than the city parks. I would trade the smell of bus fumes for cow manure any day. And the country men are better, too, at least for me. They hunt, fish, play in the mud, know how to make things grow, and aren't afraid when their woman orders whiskey neat. 

Once upon a time, I had a boy tell me that he was going to add a level of sophistication to me. I tried. I tried hard. I'm not a sophisticated kind of gal. I don't drink martinis or Cosmos. I drink my whiskey straight, no ice, no water. I had a man tell me that I was his kind of woman because I come from a country background and I'm not afraid to put on some blue jeans and get dirty. He understood where I came from.

I'm a hard-working, hard-playing, hard-loving woman who loves to take a back road drive down a dirt road. And I'm not afraid to admit it! Give me a bonfire with a good bottle of whiskey over a club any night of the week!

What kind of girl are or city? Tell me the benefits from your point of view!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Perfection is Highly Overrated...

I am more than a bit of a perfectionist. For me, the attention lies in the details.

If you come to my home, I am apt to provide a meal that is delicious with a dessert to make your mouth water. While you may not notice it, I will have spent days cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, mopping and scrubbing counters, sinks, bathrooms, etc. Everything will shine. And the menu will be planned and executed with precision. While you are in my home, I will be extra diligent with every day tasks like sweeping my floors of dog hair or crumbs. My dishes will be done and put away. And I will not ask for any help. In fact, I will insist that you put your feet up and relax. After all, this is your vacation, not mine. I will have had lists made of what needs to be done by what time and date. I will never make you feel like you are a burden or that your needs are silly.

But what you won't see is how tired I am or as much as I want you here, I can't be comfortable because I'm waiting for something to go off schedule. I'm not a "roll with the flow" kind of person. I need things to be perfect...or at least I used to.

Then, something shifted in my universe. I learned that it is more important to be present in the moment than for the floor to be swept and mopped daily. That all that is required of me is to love and be loved and that does not require the dishes to be done after each meal. That an hour or so of snuggling is more necessary than making sure the housework is done.

Being perfect is highly overrated! After all, the beauty lies in the flaws.

I have tried so hard to be perfect. Or at least what I thought everyone's idea of perfect was. When this shift in my universe happened, I saw that I don't need to be perfect for the world or even myself. The beauty of me lies in my imperfections. I've been told that my flaws are what makes me unique and the more unique I am, the more beautiful I am. 

I wish I had realized all of this before. When I was told how horrible my smile was or how guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses or how much prettier I'd be if I lost weight or how women my age don't color their hair with fun and funky colors and (more recently) how women my age shouldn't wear jeans like this: 

I love these pants! I wear them as often as I can simply because they are fun and funky! I dye my hair blue black with blue and green streaks. I recently added purple and pink to the mix. Why? Because I like being different. I don't do these things to stand out. I do these things because they make me smile and feel beautiful. If you don't like how I wear my hair, dress, or smile, that's your problem! There are people in this world who love me for my imperfections, my quirkiness, and my funk! 

So today I am encouraging you to embrace your imperfections! Wave your freak flag! Be the most genuine version of you! After all, none of us are getting out of here alive! Might as well have one helluva ride instead of worrying about what society says! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Little Girl, Big Dreams Lost

My mom sent me this the other day:

I cried because I feel like I'm letting the little girl, who had such big dreams, down. She was determined to get out of that "one horse town" and become somebody. She was going to make a name for herself and change the world. I wanted to make a difference and I'm feeling like I haven't done half of what that young girl hoped for. Her dreams were so big...she wanted to write books and make a name for be her own woman, independent and strong. She didn't want to need people. She wanted people to be in her life because she wanted them there, not because she had to rely on others.

It's funny how Life can take our hopes and dreams, twist them around, and make them seem impossible. I mean, c'mon, I don't remember wanting to be a princess. I wanted to marry a man just like my dad. I was gonna be a woman just like my mom, except with the addition of the writing thing. I was going to have a big house in the woods with 5 kids and 20 dogs. My author name was going to be HUGE! 

And this is where I feel like I'm disappointing that little girl in the big farmhouse who had dreams of making her way in this world. My muse has left me and I have no idea how to start writing again. I'm afraid I will never write another word in any of my works in progress. And if I do finish a book, publish it, etc., no one will ever want to read it. My anxiety and fear take over and I can't catch my breath.

A while back I wrote a quick poem/story about searching for the little girl who was still inside, suffocating on the lack of dreams the adult version refused to believe in. I cried as I wrote it because I had laid all of my dreams aside for others. I pushed everything aside in order to make sure others got to pursue their dreams.

 I do remember her: she splashed in mud puddles, danced in the rain, played in the fields, sat under a willow tree and dreamed of the future. I still see her idealistic idea of what love and relationships looked like and how they lasted forever.

The adult version is so far off from that little girl's dream. The craziness and monotony of life has a way of stripping away the rose hue that colors our world as children.

Maybe it is time to go dance in the rain again, splash through a mud puddle without worrying about ruining my shoes, and believe in that forever love. (I'm told it exists!) And get back to dreaming those BIG dreams again! Maybe even make a few come true!