Turn the Page, Own Your Stuff.

I’ve been wrapping my brain around how I can snap out of my funk. To get around my mental block and just deal with my own stuff. I have been told, and have thought, “hmmmm, I need a therapist.” but see, conventional therapy doesn’t seem to grab me. I literally don’t have the energy to sit and talk to anyone about what’s going on with me, without giving them 18 months of backstory. Well, maybe it’s gonna be 30 years of backstory. Because I am a mess. I claim it’s part of my charm. I don’t think anyone else agrees with me about that.

So, let’s get into it…shall we?

I am not in contact with 80% of my family.

There. I said it.

Whew.

It’s been a solid six months of mostly radio silent, preceded by 12 months of bullshit from all sides. Understand, I am fully involved in the current situation. I am not at all blameless. BUT I am not willing to be the only contributing member of my family.

To know me, is to know first and foremost, my family means everything to me. If any ONE of them called, right now, and said they needed me, I would be there. and 100% of my family knows this. So for me to acknowledge that I am not speaking to or communicating in any way with any of my family pains me in such a way, that there are times, I find it hard to breathe.

I have spent my entire, I mean, ENTIRE adult life catering to everyone. Everyone that is, but myself. I have put family, friends, significant others, jobs, everything…in front of myself. It’s how I function. And I have never thought twice about it.

However, my wife, when she walked in…did think twice about it. She wanted to know how to help me, how to make it better, what she could do to help me to put me at the very least, in front of a few others. ME. She wanted me to think about me.

And so I did…I literally told her “you handle the kids, I’m exhausted.” Well, that didn’t last. Simply because, I realized…nope. I can’t do that to her or to them. I shouldn’t expect them to adjust to each other, new relationships and now new rules. I can’t expect to just “quit” being a parent because mommy got a new girlfriend. So, we backtracked, we adjusted. Bottom line, I learned that yes, I need to think about me, but I always, ALWAYS need to keep others in my vision. She would be there to support me and have my back, to always remind me, I need to pay attention to me too.

I am way more laid back than the wife. And unfortunately, folks in my life took absolute advantage of this. And the wife, she saw my frustration and tried to help me. This has over the years blown up colossally in her face. I have been her biggest defender against many over the years, and will continue to do so until I draw my last breath. She is my protector and my safe place. She is also the one who asks, “why won’t anyone take you seriously? why won’t anyone help you? why won’t you hold ANYONE but yourself accountable for ANYTHING?”

Doesn’t take away from the fact I would give anything to my family – my kids, my mom, my sister or niece…it just means there’s one more person I would give my life for. My wife. And here’s the “extra” to this.

She would give her life for any of my family.

So with this newfound inner strength, this newfound “I need to take care of me,” I have learned a few lessons.

LESSON ONE
Not everyone is going to like change. No. Not most. Change is inevitable. Everything changes, all the time. As I have gotten older, I have had to change. I have lost a job, friends, a parent. It has all shaped me. It’s made me stronger. And it’s made me different. As you mourn the loss of something or someone…you don’t get over it. No, you get around it. It’s something that will change you forever, the way you move through it is how you get adjusted, how you get around it. And that will be the change.

I thrive in change. New jobs, new homes, new situations. I dig in, figure out how to make it work and just do it. It’s inevitable, might as well get used to it, make it work in my favor. Others completely freak out and shut down. Or lash out. I’ve done it all. Time to throw back my shoulders and meet it head on.

LESSON TWO
Change scares people. We have long heard the adage “change scares people.” It does. And that’s okay. I lived in misery for 3 years, because I was afraid of change. And when I finally took my proverbial head-out-of-the-sand, I figured out I could make a change that would impact me and my whole family. But I had to. I couldn’t do what I had been doing for years, I had to make a change, no matter how scary it was. Let me tell you, I was terrified of doing this and doing it alone. But I was more terrified of who I was becoming and what it meant if I didn’t make a change.

As much as it hurt so many I knew not making a change would have done so much more damage that I was willing to be responsible for.

LESSON THREE
Not everyone changes at the same pace. I am the least patient person I know. I’m a “rip the bandaid off” kind of person. I just want it done and I want it over with. If it’s going to hurt, I need to know the level of pain, so I can get it in my head and I can manage it.

Others, they want to tip-toe into the change. A little bit at a time. I don’t get that, but I have to learn how to respect it. It’s not easy. And I am still a work in progress.

I am a terrible trainer. It’s true. I expect everyone to walk in to work, knowing what to do and how to do it with very little from me. It’s why I don’t train people. I don’t have the patience to show you 15 times how to do the same thing. I’m constantly amazed I taught two little people how to tie their shoes, use a spoon or to go potty.

That’s just it. I go fast. In every aspect of my life. I zoom around. Unless SVU is on and then everything slows down. As I get older, the days go faster. I want to cram as much into my life, my days as I can. I feel like 2017 was a whirlwind, I barely remember 2016 and have no recollection of anything prior to 2014. It’s that fast. So for me, if there has to be change, it needs to happen NOW, or the moment is gone.

I have to be aware and respectful of others and their need to be a bit more cautious.

I’m still working on this one.

LESSON FOUR
Not everyone agrees. With me. I am a control freak of the highest order. I have long admitted that. This has been the hardest part of learning in the last few years. That just because I want something one way, doesn’t mean I am going to get my way.

As my kids have gotten older, they have gotten their own views on everything…the world, politics, me…and very little of what I had to say or have to say changes anything in minds. And I have had to learn it’s okay to allow them to have their own opinions, their own thoughts. And just because they aren’t the same as mine, doesn’t make them wrong. It makes them different.

As I have gotten older, my opinions, my own thoughts have began to sound like that of an older person. Like my dad, or my mom…even my grandparents. I think about things like retirement and healthcare. I think about the loss of modesty and common sense. Then I realize, I am my grandpa. God.help.me. But I think more like my parents, that I want to continue to protect my kids like they are three, but I have to let them go.

I have to realize that, like my parents, I have to have patience, that I have to have faith the lessons they learned, directly or indirectly, were retained and they will be okay.

My poor mother. She sits, watching with those old “knowing” eyes. I should probably apologize more for the stunts of my younger years…but no…I think she knows…just as she probably thought the same about her mom when that moment of clarity hit her.

LESSON FIVE
I don’t have to apologize. I have spent my life apologizing to anyone who didn’t have something “go their way” for whatever part I may have played in it. If I had a penny for every time I have uttered the words, “I’m sorry” to someone, I’d be a billionaire. but get this…

I’m not sorry. Not anymore. I didn’t do it.

I’ll apologize for my mistakes, for my bad judgment or being chronically late…I will no longer apologize for any of the following:

that donut you ate this morning, your lack of job, your lack of a date, your waist size, your in-laws, your credit score, the time you went to bed, the fact you can’t cook, whiten your teeth, do your own taxes, laundry, dishes, that you can’t potty train your dog, cat, squirrel or hamster, the fact you forgot to mail anything, pay your bills, take the trash to the curb or brush your hair.

this is all on you. I’m not responsible for ANY of that or more. In fact…if you aren’t under the age of 18, living in my house with a genetic link to me, I am literally NOT responsible for anything you have done, will do or are poorly planning to do.

I will be your biggest cheerleader if you let me. I can laugh with you, cry with you, mock you until laugh. I can TP a house or bring you cookies. Or beer. Point is, I will be there to support you, but you aren’t going to hold me hostage for your decisions.

LESSON SIX
Yesterday is over. Tomorrow isn’t here. In following with no longer apologizing for EVERYTHING, I am no longer in the business of looking in my rearview mirror. I am learning to look forward, head up, tits out. That the only way to NOT miss the life I’m trying to live is to stop looking back at things I can’t change. I can’t change the fact I am divorced, or I didn’t come out earlier, or that I never skipped a burrito during pregnancy. I can’t change the fact that I made stupid decisions, but I don’t have to allow anyone else to make me feel like less for my decisions. I also can’t change a single solitary thing that I did. I can only take the mistakes, learn from them and change my future decisions.

You will miss your entire blessed life and all the beauty in it if you spend your whole time looking back and wishing it were different.

Pointing out to me all the mistakes I have made only holds US back. You don’t have to tell me. I already know. And I know the mistakes I made that only I know. that are in my darkest moments. There is no need to tell me again and again how I have hurt you, because the memory of it crushes me.

Acknowledge the past, it made you who you are now. Learn from the mistakes you and others made and face into the sunshine, it’s how you will grow.

LESSON SEVEN
Opinions are like assholes. My dad’s motto, “opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one and they usually stink.” This is the truest thing ever…I have an opinion, you may not agree with it. We can either remain friends and agree to disagree, or we can part ways. That’s the only way to get around this. If you think just like me, this is going to be a boring relationship…and I like to be challenged. Some of my favorite times are sitting on the patio with my wife and my daughter, listening to my daughter tell me her outlook on anything…and proving to me how much she knows about the world in general. To hear her views on politics, people, celebrity, how to heal the world, making her mark, whatever…listening to her and the wife go back and forth always, ALWAYS taught me something about me, her and the world. I have always said I am a better person because of my daughter. And that is a true statement.

You can’t force anyone to change their opinion. Like mine…Trump is woefully in over his head. I think net neutrality and universal healthcare are good things. I believe in global warming. I believe in Christmas and the better good. I think if I extend kindness it will be like a ripple in water. I believe the Earth is round and that there is a heaven. I believe in equal rights and equal pay for an equal job. I think sports stars are overpaid and teachers and first responders are underpaid. I think we should end the war and take care of our vets. I don’t believe in handouts and think that welfare should be provided on a temporary basis. I believe in term limits and the people learning their voice. Nothing you will say will change any of this. We can be friends, or if you wish, you can go on your own way and I will go my own.

You can’t make me wrong for a difference of opinion.

LESSON EIGHT
Love is love. Is love. I love a girl. Get over it. It doesn’t involve you or harm you. Her love makes me safe, makes me feel beautiful. Her love takes nothing away from the love I have for my family or my friends. It enhances everything around me because I have someone beside me that supports me, no matter what stupid thing I do or say. And at the end of the day, this person, will be there, holding my hand when I’m sick, when I need to cry, she will make me feel better when I’m angry or scared. She will do or say silly things to make me smile. It takes nothing away from my ability to be a friend, mother, daughter, sister, or aunt.

I will NEVER begrudge anyone finding love. I don’t care who you love, as long as you love. As long it isn’t my wife, then we are golden. Find your own person that completes you.

At the end of the day, I will always respect the fact that that person loves you, that they are your person. You need to respect the fact that I have my person, no matter who or what they are.

LESSON NINE
End of day, I am me. For the past several years, I have heard “you’ve changed.” as either an insult or a compliment. Here’s the rub, I have changed. I will agree 100%. Some for the better, some for the worst. But I need each of you to understand, that the changes in me are reflective of the people and the world around me. If I am more bitter, or more gentle, it’s based on the actions and inactions of others towards me.
I have to protect me, my mind, my heart because I can do this better than anyone else can. In the last few years, I have taken an absolute beating from those that I have held closest to me. I have allowed people who are close to me say the worst things to me. The absolute worst. And I have excused it because of love, because of respect, because my chosen friends and family are my life. And then they want to make me wrong. It’s hardened me, it’s made me quiet, sad, more introverted and lonely. I question my own motives, decisions, habits and many times, my own sanity.

Then every day, something reminds me…I am me. Scars and all…I am me. I am loving, trusting, joyous. I am a sinner, I am forgiven. I am loved and sometimes, hated. I have the ability to walk, to think, to breathe and I have free will.

I choose to use that free will, in faith. Faith that I can make a different choice with each moment. That I can love and forgive others when they hurt me. That I can put down my pride and ask for forgiveness.

LESSON TEN
Don’t mistake my grace as weakness. Never think that I am weak. Or that I am easily led. That’s your lesson to learn. I have chosen my battles very carefully for years. I am no longer in the fight and am not going to engage in battles that will leave wounds that won’t heal. I’m becoming more observant, learning to listen…watching. I will always know more than you think, I will always speak my mind. The moment you underestimate me, that’s your learning point. From then on, all the lessons I would have given to you freely, you will learn the hard way…because abusing my grace, my trust, or my respect will only lead you to lose it, then you have to earn it back…

I will always, and only be, authentically me.

It’s all the rage.

I’m having a hard time expressing myself lately.  Actually, I’ve had a hard time expressing myself for the better part of 2016 and it seems to be rolling into 2017.

I could blame Trump and the rabid close-minded shrewish Republicans, but I don’t think it’s all them.  I mean, it’s mostly a general sadness that has enveloped me since November and I am to this moment, STILL trying to wrap my head around anyone actually justifying how he is the right choice.  I am trying to STILL wrap my head around the fact that I have family that voted for him.  VOTED.FOR.HIM.  my family/in-laws/cousins/folks close to me.  yup.  I’m gay, married and they voted for someone so vile and hateful.   I’m obviously not over it, I’m obviously hurt and stunned.  AND that sonofabitch got a mention in a holiday prayer I was involved in.  Good.times.

Nope, it’s not all Trump.  And it’s not all sadness.  There is a distinct air of rage that is right under my edges.  I feel it, like an extra 10 pounds on my frame.  It just sits there.  It’s been there so long, I feel lost if it goes away for a moment.  Isn’t that strange?  I feel lonely without my rage?

I have, for so long, allowed everyone and everything to overtake me.  To come first.  It’s been my life for as long as I have known it.  When my dad made me promise to look after my family before he died, I promised and I meant it.  Right now, I could punch him in the nose.

How dare he strap me down to people!!!  Does he think that I would be strong enough to do this and not have it exhaust me?  Did he not think me taking care of people would extend past my natural family and include my friends and sometimes complete strangers?  He knew how literal I would take this and I have.  To the point that I am pissed at everyone all the time.

All because I rescue.  Because I try to be the bigger person and look past the bullshit.  Because I have kept my opinions to myself for so long, they no longer matter or are relevant.

I had a friend tell me I needed to desperately get some therapy for myself.  I agreed, the wife agreed…then people happened.  I had things and folks pop up in front of me that needed my attention more than I needed it for myself.  At least that’s what I am telling me.

I think my rage is this…I have allowed others to make their issues and problems more important than my own happiness.  I have allowed every other person around me to demand my attention and use it all up so I have nothing left for me.

I rage because I am held responsible for other folks, for decision made that don’t include me.  I’m responsible for the happiness of friends and family and I can’t tell you one person that actually gives a complete shit about my happiness.  INCLUDING me.  what the f*ck is that??!!?

I rage because for years, I have heard “you’ve changed.”  Yes.  I.  Have.  you say it like it’s a bad thing…but what anyone who says that fails to realize is because YOU have abused my good nature, my trust, my friendship, my loyalty…YOU CHANGED ME.  and then you blame me for not being the same person before you sucked the life out of me.  SO congratulations…I am who I am because of YOU.

I’m thisclose to a nervous breakdown and that pisses me off.

I firmly point that pissed off finger at myself.  I’ve done this.  Now I have to figure out how to get out of it.  I know, as this process starts, I’m gonna hurt a lot of folks because they aren’t used to be not being this way…this “fix it” person.  Folks, you are on your own.

I talk a good game, about being different.  I don’t know HOW to be different and I have to figure out how to be.  That’s where I guess the therapy is gonna come in.  I’m going to have to pay someone to teach me how to put me first. 

That is the stupidest sentence I have ever heard/read/written.

So, Future Stephanie
*will no longer be dealing with your shit.  You screwed it up, YOU fix it.  She’s out of the repair business.
*will no longer care about people who have shown her over and over they do not care about her.
*will no longer put anyone else’s needs before her own.
*will eat ice cream for dinner.  and go to bed at 7:00 PM if she wants.
*will wear white after Labor day.
*will spend a ridiculous amount of money on foundation and not be sorry.
*will order dessert or shoes with no guilt that she is  not taking care of something/someone.
*will no longer apologize for who she loves or how she loves
*will no longer make excuses for who she is friends with nor will she hide that fact.
*will no longer, never ever, walk on eggshells to spare feelings when hers are never spared.
*will apparently speak of herself in third person…which is funny…she thinks.

Seems like 2017 is gonna be the year of the Golden Rule.

This could be fun.  This could be a bunch of hot air.  I hope not.  I could stand to lose 10 pounds.

Centered.

Wow…I’m a whiny bitch.  Truly.  I actually had to take down my previous post because it got misinterpreted and what should have been about me and my thoughts was taken out of context.  It’s never what I intend.  I use this blog as my “diary”…the place where I can spew my shit and just let it lie there.  I use this forum when I’m sad, when I find something funny, when I’m pissed or self-righteous.  I use it as a form of self-expression, of self discovery and of digging into my own psyche.  I don’t use this to hurt anyone.

I never, ever, want to hurt anyone.  Ever.  That’s not who I am.  So here goes the pseudo-apology to all of you…for being a whiny, self-involved asshat.

I need to quit being so butthurt about everything.  I have a good life.  I honestly do.

I will, for a while, continue to contribute all of my butthurtedness (it’s a word) to the loss of a 20 year friendship.  I won’t continue to whine about it, but the truth is, I don’t talk about it.  I don’t THINK I do…others might be rolling their eyes right now saying “dear God, here she goes again,” but I don’t try to inflict my own misery on others.  I try to keep it to myself.  It’s WAY easier than it used to be, but it pops up…because, why not…right?  I said previously it was like a death  And it is, always will be.  I get that it sucked the life out of me, that I put so much into that relationship that now…well, now…I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know how to grow these existing friendships into something more.  I feel like I come across needy and emotionally stunted.  It was easy, being her bestie.  Now, I have to figure out who I am, without a best friend.  But it’s something I have to do…I can’t expect others to do this for me.  I haven’t acknowledged how socially inept I actually am…and well, it’s in my face.  I’m a complete mess.

I am not the best wife, mother, daughter or sister.  I haven’t been for a while now.  It’s shameful to actually type that and re-read it, but I have been a shell.  I have lashed out at the wrong people and I have said and done things that aren’t actually in my nature.

After my last post, one of my dearest friends reached out to me because it affected her.  She told me I wasn’t alone in wanting and desiring love and respect.  I should expect happiness.  She did clarify it wouldn’t happen overnight and it wouldn’t happen without help in a safe place.   She said I deserved good things in life and good people were part of that.  But I needed to get centered, focused and I needed to NOT expect my family or friends to do that for me, that I needed to do it for myself.  It would be hard work and it would be worth it.  And for the first time in a year, I knew that someone outside of my daughter, my wife or my sister had my heart and my head in their hands.  For the first time in a year, someone who wasn’t related to me said something to me that hit home, because she cared.  And she.was.RIGHT.

The same day…another dear friend, texted me…just to tell me I was a badass and she loved me and to not let the darkness consume me.  Now, it goes without saying this chick is badass on toast, so her taking the time to reach out to me, also meant more than I can convey.  Then I think, why do I not expect that someone would find me worthy of a text?  I love this chick to pieces and would do anything for her, why is it so hard for me to accept that she would do the same for me?

I find it hard that someone like my wife loves me.  She is the best person I have ever met and I haven’t met anyone that wouldn’t agree or say the same.  My kids are the best part of me, I hear it all the time, how wonderful and amazing they are.  Why do I continue to question my abilities as a mother?  Why do I always push at these three people most dear to me?  Why do I expect them to always rescue me when I am a giant ball of need?

Who made it their job to take care of my feelings?  well…you guessed it…I did.  Damnit.

I tend to get wordy, which is both a blessing and a curse.  I have a temper that I lose control of and with that loss of control, I develop verbal diarrhea.  It’s usually not pretty and I usually end up apologizing because I got in my own way.  I own it.

I don’t know how I got here, how I lost me to the noise in my own head.  I think it’s time that I have someone help me understand the noise and turn it into something more beautiful.  I want to hear music, I want to hear laughter.  I want to not cry at the drop of a hat because I feel that helpless.

I really, REALLY hate that I have somehow allowed a person to take the best parts of me and make me question it.  I can’t begin to tell you enough how much I hate that I allowed anyone to control me like that.  And it’s shocking that a year later, I am still giving anyone that much power over me.  Then again, I did admit I was a highly emotional person.  That my “id” was being empathic to a fault and that my moods were always, ALWAYS wrapped up in the emotions of everyone around me.  I won’t apologize for that, instead, I will celebrate that.

I am proud of the fact that there are people in my world, that by merely thinking about them, I smile.  That I have people I will text, out of the blue, because they popped into my mind and I smiled.  I love that about me.  I love the fact that my favorite place to be is surrounded by my family and friends.

I need to find my self-worth.  I don’t know or claim to understand WHY I don’t think I am worth someone thinking I’m awesome.  I don’t know why I continue to test the people in my life, to make sure I am as important to them as they are to me.  I do it, mostly to those closest to me…I don’t understand it and I don’t even know when I do it until it’s too late.  I need to quit needing constant reassurance that I am worthy of love and friendship.  I need to see what others see in me.  I need to believe them when they say nice things to me.

Getting centered is paramount.  I have to throw away all the negative bullshit, the stuff I heap on myself, the stuff I heap on everyone else.  I need to focus on the fact that I have many blessings in my life.  I have MANY things to be happy for, to be grateful for.  I need to remember this stuff as soon as I wake up, and as I fall asleep at night.  I need to remember I am a good person, I have gifts to share and I have love.

There is a place in my soul…it’s like I fire I can feel burning in me.  It’s my passion for life and for love and for laughter.  I can feel it, but it’s been buried so far and for so long, I tend to ignore it.  I don’t know why.  I need to learn how to embrace it again.

The toxic in my world isn’t what’s right in front of my face…it’s what’s in my mind.  I have chipped away at the good things and allowed the hurt to turn toxic and take over my heart.  It’s time to say good-bye to the toxic and burn it down.  It’s time that I let that fire roar inside me, to share it with those that want to be part of it and to not hold grudges, hate, hurt or sadness with both hands.  I am better than this.

So, WorldWideWeb…here’s my promise(s)…I plan to find someone who will tell me that I am either not crazy or I am indeed crazy, but in the best ways.  I plan to love out loud and in big gulps.  I plan to find happiness in myself before I find it in others.  I plan to share that happiness with anyone who wants some of it.  I plan to hold close to those dear to me.  I plan to love me, to find out exactly how badass I am.

I plan to believe in me.

I will be centered.  I will be strong.  I will be Stephanie.

Finally.

Now I’m me.

At dinner the other night, the question came up “are you doing what you always wanted to do?”

Then I answered, “no, I wanted to be a nurse…”

I’ve thought about it and I want to change my answer…

Yes.I.Am. 

When I was 8, I wanted to be a Barbie.   When I was 13, I wanted to be a teacher.  When I was 18, I wanted to be a nurse.

At 20, I wanted to be a mommy.

At 21, I became an office manager/accounting/bossypants person. 

At 35, I became a single mommy.  I also became my true self.

At 41, I became her Mrs.

I realized that things in my life made me take different roads, to change who I was, so I could adapt to a situation.  I learned early in life to always be pleasing.  To always accommodate whatever someone else wanted.  It defined me for my teenage years and my early and middle adult years.  I don’t think I actually ever did anything FOR ME, until I hit about 40.  

Let me tell you, it’s been empowering and uplifting.  It’s been terrifying and at times aggravating.  I find it easy to slip back into accommodation mode to avoid conflict, to make others happy.  And to be honest, I feel yucky when I do it.  

I can look back at significant moments in my life when I reached a fork in the road and took the road that I felt I was supposed to take, rather than the road that my instincts told me to take.  Eventually, each time I took the road that I wasn’t 100% about, it blew up in my face.  Most times, spectacularly.  Only thing that I could do at that moment was pick myself up and dust off.   

As I’ve gotten older, I have learned to trust my instincts.  The last time I didn’t trust them, it cost me dearly and I still feel from the fact that instead of trusting my “gut”, I kept it to myself…and it blew up.  

I’ve spent a lot of time not talking, not blogging, not journaling, just being alone in my head, trying to figure shit out and heal. And re-learning what I’ve spent years practicing…to just listen to my instincts.

At 20, they told me I could handle being a mommy.  They were blessedly right. 

At 21, they told me to take an office job that has led me to a career filled with people and experiences I wouldn’t trade.

At 35, it led me to independence and a new found strength. It also led me to my coming out and eventually my wife.  

No, I’m not a Barbie, or a teacher, or a nurse.  But I’m the best me I can be. Loud, bawdy, quiet and shy.  I’m all of that and more.  
Soon, it will lead me to finally do something I have dreamed of since I was 12, I will become a  writer, hopefully a published one. It is the most terrifying thing ever, but it’s my dream and I plan to do what I always wanted to do…I don’t know what I want to say, but surely, I have plenty to say, right? 

Then the next time I’m asked if I am doing what I wanted to do, I can say  without any hesitation “yes I am!”

Don’t tell me until I’m ready. 

I’ve learned I’m not always in the right frame of mind to receive news, good or bad, and when that happens, it takes me days to process how I feel.   I like structure in my life.   I’m not a person who is spontaneous in the way that everyday is unplanned.  I have moments that are like little surprises and I like them, mostly. But the control freak in me is more structured.

I hold my emotions much like this as well.  I don’t have a poker face, so I hold as much as I can as close as I can for as long as I can.  I let things simmer inside until I’m ready to deal with it.  Sometimes this works out well, sometimes it doesn’t.  It usually tends to end up here, with you, my therapists…

I found out a few days ago that someone I shared many years of my life with had died.  Not recently, but three years ago…about the time I started searching for them on the WorldWideWeb.  I’m not sure how I am dealing with this, as it’s a mix of sadness, bittersweet, guilt and shock.  I don’t like how this feels.  

She was a person I met through a friend.  She quickly became part of the family and we spent every holiday together.  I chose her child’s name when her and her husband couldn’t decide.  We spent weekends together.  She helped me move, I helped her move. We weren’t soul sisters, we weren’t besties, but we were good friends that felt like family and somehow through two divorces and my coming out, we drifted apart.  

I was at a big box store and the cashier recognized me. She was a mutual friend.  She then told me about our friend, how she had died, how the last of her life had been and if you had walked up to me, in the nude and peed on my leg, I would have been less shocked.  I’m still trying to figure it out.  

I walked away, I didn’t think twice, she moved on to a new life as she divorced about 18 months before me…I got it, she was single and had single friends.  She had every other weekend to be free to go out late and sleep in; I was married mommy of two that had recitals, weekend sports and laundry.  I didn’t make time, neither did she.  Our lives that had intersected ended.

I didn’t think of her for years, then around 2012, she popped in my mind and since then, I’ve looked for her, to reach out and catch up.  Now I know I can’t.  That moment has passed and it feels like an empty spot. I’m not sure how to get around it.  Or if I even need to.  

For some insane reason, I now miss her.  I want to tell her I’m sorry for being too busy to stay friendly. I want to hear about her life and her new husband.  If she was happy.  If she ever thought of me because I need to feel less guilty.  

I think I really wish the cashier hadn’t recognized me.  That I could have not thought about her.  Or her child.  Or those bittersweet memories.  That I didn’t sit and wonder how her life had been.  That seems so selfish of me, so self centered.  Her death has become about me, someone she hadn’t talked to in over 10 years.  I’m crazy, right?

I wasn’t ready to hear that news.  I wasn’t ready to have something that close to home. I’ve had other friends die, I don’t process it well at all, but this one had been closer.  This one was family for a time.  

In the end, she’s at peace, she was the person who would be grateful to finally be Home and she would never want anyone to be sad that she was gone, but happy because she had been a part of their life.  

Godspeed my friend, Godspeed. 

Not so fat days.

It’s been a while since I updated you on my progress…and I know you are on the edge of your seat waiting.  So here goes…

30 pounds, 6 1/2 inches. I have gone down 5 sizes in pants.  FIVE SIZES!!!!  Lowest blood pressure in 20 years and cholesterol getting lower all the time.  It’s still not as low as my doctor wants, but I refuse to take ANOTHER pill.  There is no more pre-existing diabetes diagnosis and I feel GREAT.

I sleep better, I have more energy. I am more positive and happier than I have been in forever…

I love me.

It’s not all easy.  I have gotten lazy a time or two, but I haven’t had a soda or burger in 6 months.  I eat cleaner and try to feed my family the same way, they don’t love it so much, but they love me, so they dig in.

Now I get people who can tell, who stop and say things to me.  I’ve been told I look great, that I am disappearing, that I am beautiful.  I no longer dismiss a compliment…I thank them.  This is a huge step.  I believe them.

So instead of fat days, I have wrinkly days.  Like I see new wrinkles all the time.  I had to quit using my mineral makeup because by the end of the day, I look like a map of the nations highways.  I’m assured it’s all in my mind, but I have to have something to not like, I suppose this is it.

I don’t feel fat.  I still don’t like full body photos, but I don’t hide any longer.   I don’t see the changes, I just know they are happening by the way my clothes hang now.

Fat people will tell you, they don’t dry their clothes.  They hang everything so it doesn’t shrink.  I now wash everything in hot water and dry it, hoping it will shrink.  I dream of exercising.  My knee no longer renders me immobile and I haven’t had a headache since August.

My doctor and nurses have began taking before and after photos.  She calls me “Skinny” when I come in.  I don’t dread my checkups. I plan to be one of their success stories. I don’t want to be anything more than I can be.

My friends, my work peeps and my family have been incredible.  I have the support of many and I keep that close in my mind, as inspiration, to not let them down. I won’t let me down.

When my kid tells me that she wants me to play with my grandchildren, it pushes me.  When my son tells me that he can tell and when the dress I just bought online is a little snug, to wait two weeks and it will be perfect, it pushes me. When my wife tells me how proud of me she is, it pushes me.

So folks, clean eating, it’s easier than you think…it takes commitment.  It takes loving yourself to push on.  If I can do this, you can join me.  I’m still chubby girl, but I’m happy, determined chubby girl.  I am empowered by my own success.  I want to share this with everyone.  I want to inspire others, to join others in their journey. I want to encourage you, everyone.

I have a goal…I have inspiration…try to stop me.

30 days of highs, lows and an inappropriate observation. 

In no particular order, the following has happened in the last 30 days…

  • The wife and I realized we were hosting Thanksgiving and had seating for FOUR.  five, if you rolled the chair in from the computer desk.  
  • Found a table we fell in love with, then when the time came to purchase it, it was $200 cheaper than we initially planned for. 
  • The wife and I put that bitch of a table AND six chairs together.  It took 5 hours, but we did it and didn’t kill each other or the Boy. 
  • I proceeded to cook dinner for 15 and rendered myself damn near immobile by end of the day. 
  • Slept for 15 hours and woke up with the flu.  Or something else closely resembling death. 
  • I quarantined myself to the bedroom for 36 hours and the wife and Boy still got sick.
  • I have not watched a single episode of SVU in 10 days and I now know what withdrawal feels like…I don’t know how much more I can handle.  
  • I tried to watch Blackhat and thought I was losing my hearing…and my mind.  
  • Codiene cough syrup sleep is the best drool inducing sleep, ever.
  • Spent an evening with two of the most important friends I have and was allowed to finally rage and weep and mourn the end of a friendship while reigniting another one.
  • I have reconnected with a few dear people that I let my pride pull me away from.
  • I have realized that you can teach this old dog new tricks. 
  • I haven’t had a soda or junk food in 5 months and I feel incredible. 
  • A 46 year old gay man and a 17 year old boy will have the same reaction to a conversation that involves a vagina. 
  • That soul mates aren’t always romantic and I have several people who have filled my soul and made me whole. 
  • The wife and I have changed shower heads.  Twice.  We are waiting for our butch cards to arrive in the mail. Any day now. 
  • Our Christmas decorations are displayed before December 20th. 
  • We have lights on the outside…and they all work. 
  • I will find a nutcracker to buy in every store I walk into.  Including 7-11 or Petsmart. Don’t judge me.  
  • I am a magnet for all sorts of bullshit.  And that I handle said bullshit with amazing patience.  
  • I had to explain what “going HAM” was to the wife after I had used it correctly in a conversation.  
  • Used “on fleek” in the correct context.  
  • Have not yet had my freak out about the Boys upcoming surgery. But   we aren’t there yet.  
  • Have created a “to do” list with the wife of projects that are impressive and massive. 
  • Have learned I am inpatient about these projects. 
  • Had in depth discussions about vinyl vs. aluminum windows, gutters and landscaping.  
  • I watch too much HGTV. 
  • I need to play AND WIN the lottery. 
  • Bordered on a deep, uncomfortable conversation about tithing and God if I was to win the lottery. 
  • My hairdresser is convinced that my Vitamin D deficiency is due to my entry into menopause. Like I am joining a club…
  • Had an extremely awkward and hilarious conversation about panties with someone I was shocked to have such a conversation with.  
  • I have come to accept the fact I will not be seeing Star Wars the opening weekend.  And I’m okay with that.  
  • I have fallen in love with me again. Finally.  It feels wonderful. 

Here’s to more highs, more lows and more conversations about vaginas, panties and household improvements.

What’s been going on in your world???