Dreams of Apple Juice.

I don’t typically remember my dreams.  I know I have some really weird ones because I usually fall asleep to the wife watching Discovery ID and whatever murder show happens to be on.  Lets be honest, Keith Morrison’s voice is like a lullaby…that’s weird, right?

LAST NIGHT, LAST NIGHT, was o-so-different.  Last night involved a former co-worker/friend/biker knight in shining armor, apple juice, rednecks, a mugging, AirSoft pellets and Luke Bryan…

Allow me to explain.

In my dream, wife and I apparently live in an extremely small town.  Apparently, we only have grape juice in the house for visitors.  Apparently, Luke Bryan is visiting and only drinks apple juice.  Here’s where things start to get weird.  (this isn’t weird enough, right?)

Out of nowhere, my wife volunteers my buddy Matt, to drive me to the Sip-n-Shop to get apple juice because it’s late and nothing else is open.  Small town living, amiright?

We are leaving the Sip-n-Shop and two fat, sweaty redneck thugs decide to mug us.  While Matt is wrestling the gun away from the thugs in the most unskilled, WWE way known, I reach for MY gun in my purse, ’cause we made sure I had my LTC and can actually use it.  I realize, as I am shooting the gun at the thugs, something is “pinging” off their shirts and it’s not stopping them…at which point I realize that my wife has loaded my gun with AirSoft pellets. This still isn’t the weirdest part.

We are finally victorious because Matt “kicked some redneck ass!!!” (even in my dreams, my eyes rolled back in my head so hard, I saw my brain) and we head home.

After being asked why we took so long and responding that we got mugged/shot at/why did you load my gun with AirSoft pellets?!?!?! What would you think happens next?  Was there concern for our well-being?  Was there comfort?  Well…no.

The very next thing, is Luke Bryan making sure the apple juice was bottled, NOT in a can.

*cue the alarm, I wake up before I choke Luke Bryan out…*

 

I relay this dream in the morning to my wife.  Because that’s what I do, I share.  After listening to me, staring at me, agape, no less…she asks one question…

“Why was Matt in your dream?”

Yep…that’s my wife.  I am almost mugged, because she sent me after apple juice IN A BOTTLE for Luke Bryan and she wonders why random man was in my dream…I probably deserve a present.

Sidenote:  I will always make sure to have apple juice, in a fucking bottle, in my house…(not really).  Haven’t talked to Matt in months but saw he got a new vehicle on Facebook, and I ignored/listened to American Idol before bed.   I didn’t take any medication/drink alcohol/smoke crack before falling asleep.  I didn’t sleep on the wrong side of the bed nor did I get too hot or too cold.  I don’t know why any of this happened.  It’s.just.my.brain.

You’re judging me right now, right?  Well deserved, I might add…

Sweet dreams

 

Tenderness or Indifference.

I keep trying to get back into this blogging thing. Lord knows, there’s a bunch of mess rolling around in my head most days. I try NOT to indulge the self-serving ways that many think a blog is, but this helps me, get my thoughts to stop banging around in my noggin and I have, at times, put down a word or two that helped someone else. So if in my own, self-serving way, my words have made an impact that helped you, I am glad. If I hurt you, pissed you off, made you laugh, think, cry or roll your eyes, then I hope you forgive or enjoy. My whole goal in life is to leave this world with my mark on it.

I’ve become indifferent in many ways to this world that we have created for our next generation. I guess it’s a “they don’t care, why should I?” mentality. Only, I hate this indifference, this apathy. I have it about certain things in my life and it makes me angry, it makes me sad, it scares me.

I’m not sure what it will take in my lifetime to get me to stop caring about what others think, others do, others say. I honestly don’t know. I’m so indoctrinated into taking care of everyone before me that it’s hard, it’s fucking hard to stop.

It was thrust upon me almost two years ago, to stop taking care of my family, because of the dynamics of my family and the way it has splintered. I’m no longer the person in control of anything other than myself any longer and I find that I flounder. I’m not the person everyone comes to for help and advice, so I don’t know what to say to people when I can’t be bossy. No one seems to want to hear from me, so I don’t bother any one. All of this sounds very “boo hoo, poor me” but it’s not. Quite the opposite. Because I haven’t had anyone else to pick up after, steer the course for, advise or boss around, I have used this time to direct it all inward. hooooo, boy. This has been FUN!

I have become indifferent to the bullshit of others. Which is peaceful and terrifying.

Peaceful, because it’s brought serenity and focus to my own mind. All the different paths I could have taken, the words I could have said…I have played them out in my mind THOUSANDS of times and always come to the same conclusion. Always. There’s no change to what the end game is, and that I could not/can not change the result, brings peace to me, because I have done what is best for me. Each time.

This indifference terrifies me as well. Because I am so indifferent to the BS of others, I am terrified of what will happen should it come my way again. Do I fall into old patterns, revert to that door mat of a person? Do I avoid the people who put drama and bullshit in my life to begin with so I miss out on life and the adventure it brings me?

The anxiety I have everyday about reconciling with people who I have hurt or have hurt me is immobilizing. How do I show love when I still feel hurt and anger? How do I get to tenderness while guarding myself?

I haven’t always made the best decisions. I have tried to convince MANY that we had to do things my way to be happy. That to be happy, we had to all be one big happy, all at once, like on our favorite TV show. I forgot to let things grow organically. I thought I could bull doze my way through my personal life, like I do my work life and it would all be okay by the end of the month, or the end of an episode.

I forgot that life isn’t like that and because I forgot, I have forever changed me and my relationships. It’s life, I own that I am a mess, but I am a mess, because of every choice I made. Good or bad, it’s me, it’s my mess and I have to love it.

I have reached a point that it’s no longer up to me to make amends to most. I have done my best, I have apologized and asked for forgiveness. In asking others for forgiveness, I forgot to get forgiveness from the most important person…me. I let others chew on me, say horrible things to me, wish me dead or maimed or God knows what else, because I forgot to forgive myself and give myself some tenderness. And when I did forgive me, when I did show me some tenderness, I got centered and I got peace.

And I got angry. Who are any of these people, far and wide, to make me feel like shit? Where do they get off thinking they can be cruel and unkind and get same old Stephanie sitting there, waiting for a kindness crumb like some kind of junkie? Why are they allow to thump their chests and tell me how I have wronged them and yet, when I start to speak up, they tell me I am wrong, or mean, or stop communicating? see? it’s better when I’m indifferent. Because this will go on and on…

I accepts I can’t change anyone’s mind. I am who I am. I’m not that bad, actually…I’m kinda funny. Quirky. Definitely structured. I love big. I trust few. I will always have a kind word or a hug for anyone. I try to remember to always be tender. With my actions and my words. Sometimes I fail, but I have hope that tomorrow is different…

That’s not bad, or indifferent, right?

Daddy Knows Best.

It’s been a minute since I could ask my dad for advice. Actually, it’s been 11,037,600 minutes, give or take a minute or two…I think about him everyday. This time of year, it’s more. I guess that’s expected.

Dad taught me many things; how to love, how to work hard, how to take care of everyone, how to dream and how to forgive. There’s many lessons I learned, either through his words or by his example.

“Have no regrets, only lessons learned.”

“Don’t judge a book by its cover, some beauty isn’t on the outside. Get to know someone. You’ll always be surprised. “

“Take care of those who need it most. “

“Say your prayers.”

“Give all your love, you’ll get it back”

“Always use your manners. Say please, thank you and bless you.”

“Remember I always love you.”

Then there are the lessons I learned from his example. When he thought I wasn’t watching him, I was. And I learned about the kind of person I wanted to be. And many of these lessons didn’t impact me until later in life. And once they hit me, he wasn’t here for me to tell him…dad, you were right and I hope you are proud.

Work hard, then work harder. This man had three jobs. THREE. to raise two girls almost completely on his own. The sacrifices he made are staggering. I see them now and they make me ache. I’m ashamed for how petulant I was, or how I took it for granted. As a parent, I get it, but damn…I get it.

Never stop learning. When I was young, he went to night school to better himself. He used to take me with him. I’m contemplating this path, heading back to school to better myself. I don’t have young children at home like he did, and I’m still hesitant. He wasn’t. He always wanted to be better. I wish he knew that he was the best.

Home isn’t a place, it’s the people. Dad moved us around a lot. And each place was home because of him. It was the love that he brought to those four walls. It was the genuine happiness that he felt because he loved us. He was happy to be around us. That’s all that mattered.

Be a lady. Act like you think you should be treated and don’t let anyone treat you like less. Leave something to the imagination and don’t be a whore.

When you find your love and passion in life, hang on tight. This one, he taught me, only it wasn’t because that’s what he did…it’s the opposite of what he did. He let the love of his life slip out of his life because he put me and my sister ahead of her. He thought they’d make it, but they didn’t. And when he died, he died loving her from afar. He died alone. And this hurts me in my soul. Because he was “Daddy” all the time, he lost who the man was, he lost the focus on the future, of who would be with him when we grew up and got our own lives. Who would hold his hand in his golden years. I will NEVER forgive myself for taking that from him. Yes, I was young, but fuck…we knew better. I knew better.

Dad, I know I’m not living the life you saw for me. I know you would be shaking your head, smiling and shrugging your shoulders, but you would be proud of me. Things would be so different and yet, the same as they are. I wish you were here with me now, so I could tell you, so you could share this with me. So I could take care of you, just like you took care of me. So I could tell you I love you and I’m sorry.

I get it. I see it. I heed your advice and know how right you were. I miss you. I’m trying like hell to be the woman, the person, you thought I would be. I stumble, but I do what you taught me, I pick myself up and try again.

I am my fathers daughter. Proudly and unapologetically.

Wanted: Common Decency

The holidays are hard on many different people for many different reasons. It’s not mine to judge, nor is it yours. I want one thing this year from folks, it costs nothing, it’s easy to come by and you don’t end up hurting someone else or in the long run, yourself.

I want common decency.

In a year that has seen the politicians and religious folks reign down all kinds of BS on us, to a year that has seen more hate, more derision, more discourse. A year that has folks alienating those dearest for desperately held opinions. A year that has honestly brought the absolute worst out in many of those I know and have held in high regard. I no longer think of many in the same positive light that I used to. This hurts me to my core.

I want common decency.

In a year that has seen the #metoo movement go from something protective and supportive of those hurt in unimaginable ways, to something that is incendiary and damaging without fairness. Not that anything about it has ever been fair for the person that has had their life destroyed, but it has certainly turned into something obscene and unjust. There’s no justice for someone who is telling the truth and there is no justice for someone accused of actions that may not have happened. We’ve become people who believe the worst thing said, without stepping back and giving people a chance. As a survivor, it hurts to see how people have taken this movement, this platform from survivors to use it for their own agendas.

I want common decency.

There are no winners in this day…we hurt each other, without thought to consequences. Without warning, without provocation, folks will hurl accusations at one another. Over BBQ’s, over swimming pools, over parking spots, all of it…nonsense.

We have taken the worst of humanity and elected it into powerful positions, we have legitimized the hate and the hurt. We have applauded bad manners, uneducated information and power hungry people who honestly don’t care about you or me. Or our needs.

When I say “we,” I mean ALL OF US. To some degree, we all are responsible for where we are. None of us are innocent in perpetuating the ill feelings, the hurt, the anger. We scream to rise up and resist, we scream things are great, we scream that it’s God’s law, martial law, anarchy, etc…

No one gets it.

Yes, resist what is unjust, resist what is hateful. Remember that as you resist, as you speak against it, you need to do so with love. Without love, your speech is no better than the person you are fighting against, because you are both fighting from hate.

Find passion in your beliefs, stand tall for your beliefs, but do it from a place of decency and love. Show folks that you are better than the hate, that you are better than the pettiness and the finger pointing. Just be better.

I want common decency.

Treat everyone like you wish to be treated, speak with respect and speak honesty. Don’t buy into the negativity, shower folks with smiles, with positivity. You want to win, prove you aren’t like every other screaming jerk with an agenda. Be the example. LEAD by example.

In the end, light always beats out the dark. Every time.

*steps off soapbox*

Basically, stop being an asshole.

There.

Just in time for the holidays.

So, it’s been a minute, hasn’t it? After allowing anything and everyone dictate my life for the last few, I’ve decided to knock the dust off this ol’ bloggy thing and emote.

Aren’t you the luckiest?

Let’s see…

Still gay.
Still a democrat.
Still a control freak, barely hanging on.
Still working at self care and love.
Still crazy, probably crazier.

However,

Stronger than I’ve ever been.
No longer dependent on anyone.
Smaller tribe, more quality.
Learned hard lessons. About me, about others.
Allowing myself to feel all the feels.
Peaceful, righteous, angry, sad.

Yep. I love writing, the creative stuff that goes on in my head. The joy I get from sharing my thoughts, my adventures. THE RULES. All of it. Not for any reason other than this saves me tons on therapy that I, probably, definitely, need.

I used to dream of writing a book, to see something bound and on a shelf. I got really close to it, to getting it all in one cohesive place. Then my life took a deep dive and I pushed it so far into the back of my mind, I can’t access it right now, so this will have to do. Maybe someday, somehow, I’ll get inspired, but now, I just opened this back up. Baby steps.

It’s coming up to the holidays. These days are alternately lovely and heartbreaking. I love the holidays, the joy I see, the energy in the air. The lights, the music, the goodwill we all seem to find. I miss my loved ones and drown myself in my memories. They make me smile, they make me cry. I’m going to be okay.

I’m in charge of me. Just me. We are all adults here. No one gets out of this experience alive and it’s up to each of us to live our best lives. If folks don’t want to share that with you, then you pray they live their best lives and experience love and joy each and every day.

Love out loud. Forgive daily. Yourself and others. As my father taught me, have no regrets, just lessons learned. And to love unconditionally.

That’s good emoting, right?

Go out, create joy, love and laughter. I wish this for each of you.

These Dreams. 

I don’t know how to interpret dreams, I suppose it’s for the best most times…then there are these…
We are moving my sister (again. lol), I don’t know where from or where to…I just know she’s moving.   Kris and I decide while we wait for my ever-late sister, we are going to go get donuts. 

On the way back, baby sister calls and says she’s on her way.  We get back to wherever we are supppsed to be and see my sister carrying the front end of a dresser. Kris pulls forward to park and as I glance out the window I see…him.

My dad.  Carrying the other end of the dresser.

My.dad.

“Kris! Kris!!!! Stop, stop!!!”

I get out of our vehicle after fighting with my seatbelt, I run to him. My dad.  

My.dad.

I grab him around the neck, I’m hugging, I’m crying.  I’m never wanting to let go.  

“Dad! I’m sorry, it’s been so long!  I miss you, I love you!”

He hugs back, I can smell his cologne.  I can feel his big warm hug.

“Hello baby, it’s okay.  I love you.  I miss you.  It’s gonna be okay, it’s gonna be okay.  I love you.”

And just like that, I wake up. 

I alternately love and hate my dreams. 

Birthday Wish

It’s my birthday.  47. When I was a child, this age was ancient.  I mean cryptkeeper old.  

Now, I’m the best me I’ve ever been.   

I have had some of the worst experiences of my life in 2017 to be tempered by some of the best.  I have been in the darkest place of my life and am slowly, SLOWLY coming out of it.  It’s been months of soul searching and hard truths.  It’s been months of realizing I’m not all the horrible things I have been told that I am and realizing that my life has value.  That through the tears and anger, I also have laughter and love.  Lots of love.  

Yes, I’m 47.  I am an adult child of a mother that doesn’t give up.  She has taught me we all make mistakes and we have to stand against the roar of negativity and find joy. 

Yes, I’m 47.  I am the adult big sister to a baby sister that has fallen down more than most and has shown me that she will persevere, she will get up, be humble and learn the lesson in her own time.  

Yes, I’m 47. I am the mother to two adult children.  Two children that I love with every fiber of my being.  Two people that I grew, delivered, nursed and nurtured.  I taught them to read, their phone number and how to tie their shoes. (The most painful lesson ever!). They look like me, have my stubborn streak and sharp tongue and wit.  I hope, with my last breath, they remember I taught them unconditional love and forgiveness.  

Yes, I’m 47.  I am the wife of the most incredible woman to walk this rock.   She has taken care of me and my family without a second thought and very few thank yous.  This woman, makes my days better and makes me safer than I can put into words.  To say it is an honor to be loved by her is an understatement.  To share my life, my days and nights with her is a gift. She will be next to me when I take my last breath and that gives me comfort. 

In forty six years, I have loved and lost.  I have made mistakes and reached for the stars.  I have laughed and I have cried.  I have sinned and I have been forgiven.  

I have lost amazing people that I carry in my heart everyday.  That have given me a taste of morality.  I have to embrace every day.  To honor them.  To honor me.  

I have reconnected with people I thought were lost to me.  And that is a gift greater than words express.  

I have embraced people in my world that have become part of my chosen family and they are irreplaceable in my heart and part of my soul. 

Yes, I’m 47.  My birthday wish to love, to laugh, to remember my history, to honor myself and to live everyday to the best that I can.  

I’m going to spend my days and years, finding a blessing in each day.  

My birthday wish…to find joy.