Somebody Else.

There are days when I don’t think I can bear any more hurt in the world, any more pain in my heart…then I remember…
Someone else is thinking the same thing, only theirs is worse than anything I am feeling right now.
Someone else is figuring out how to get through one more moment, take one more step, one more breath.

Someone else is battling. And someone else is winning, while another is losing.  Yet they are doing so, with all the grace they can muster.

Someone else pulled themselves out of darkness, into the light.

Someone else feels like the darkness will consume them.

Someone else fell in love, while another had their heart broken.

Someone else said “hello,” while another said goodbye.

At the end of my day, as I head into my 46th year,  I will remember a tiny voice, in the dusty corners of my mind, whispering…

“you can always be somebody else…”

You have my heart.

It’s been a brutal week.   I don’t think there is an end in sight for hate, hurt or blame.  Yet somehow, in all of this muck, we, as humans, have to find a common ground.  We have to find hope. We have to find forgiveness.

I’ll be the first to admit, when I read Dan Patrick’s tweet, or heard about Pat Robertson’s comments, I was filled with anger, I was filled with despair.  I was hurt, I was angry.  

When I heard about Orlando, I felt as I did when I heard about Aurora, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Benghazi, 9/11…all horrible, tragic acts, perpetrated by hate. I felt fear, sadness, hopelessness and despair. 

We have to be better.  We have to find hope.  We have to forgive.  

See…it’s like this…you can’t have peace, you can’t have hope until you put down the blame, you put down the fear and you put down the anger.  If you have blame, anger, fear…the darkness wins.  The bitterness wins. There’s too much amazing in this world to be left with nothing but bitterness.  It’s time to let love win.  

I’m tired of hearing about Muslim this or that, I’m tired of hearing about automatic guns, I’m tired of hearing about bathrooms and the elections.  I need a moratorium on the bullshit and the negative.  It’s a reality that we are giving our children, it’s the future we are handing to them and the legacy we leave behind.  A legacy of ego and self righteousness.  It leaves me weak…

Dan Patrick, your tweet…was ridiculous.  And your explanation was deplorable.  You’re an asshat and don’t deserve to speak for any Texan. Ever.  

But let me tell you…I have had worse said to me…by my own family.  And in the end, I chose to forgive and to love.   Because words only have power if you allow them to.  And I don’t want you to have any power over me or my brothers and sisters.

Orlando and every other victim, family or friend of a senseless act of violence…you have my heart.  You have my hope, that in the days to come, you find love and peace. That you take joy in the moments you had with your loved ones…that you find comfort, that your loved ones are held up with honor and there are many blessings laid at your feet. 

This violence, sadly, won’t end soon…I fear there are more despicable acts to be had because we can’t get it together.  

I love the way I love, because it is right FOR ME. I pray the way I pray, because it is right FOR ME. I don’t need anyone else’s permission or acceptance.  If you don’t like that, pound bricks.  And at the end of my days, whenever that will be…I will be judged by Him.  It’s the only judgement that matters… 

I believe in the 2nd Amendment.  I believe in God.  I believe in prayer in school and that we should say the Pledge of Allegiance.  I believe that a woman has a right to choose and I believe we should help our neighbors.   I believe that there are many religions and many opinions.  I believe that manners and  chilvary are a thing of the past. I believe that you shouldn’t get a trophy of you didn’t win and if you fail, you try again.  I believe that we have gotten lazy. I believe everyone should be accountable and I believe excuses for anything are bullshit. 

I have read the Bible and the Constitution.  I know the Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights.  

I am an American, I am spiritual, I am gay and I am a human.  I am a sinner and I am forgiven.  

Whomever you are, walk in peace.  Love in big gulps.  Forgive the unforgivable.  

May you find peace in your days.  

Gimme a minute.

Ever wonder what a thunderbolt feels like?  Well, I just had it happen and let me tell you…now, I just feel alone and wanna cry.  Just cry until there is nothing left.

About a year ago, my best friend decided that she would do something that would forever and irreparably change our friendship.  And by change, I mean blow it apart.  I’ll take my responsibility in it’s demise, because I thought to save her, from herself, from the unknown.  Only it got twisted around on me and now I am best friend-less.  I mourn it like a death, which is fitting, because she did text “you are dead to me” on that fateful night/early morning.  I have more good days than bad.  I no longer dwell on it.  It is what it is.  I can’t go back, I can’t fix it, I can’t change it…or her.  It’s definitely changed me and I honestly wish her well, but away from me.

I have people that surround me and love me fiercely.  I have found this to be truer in the past year, than ever before.  I have strength and lightness, I laugh, I breathe…I’m okay.  I’m better than okay…life is sweet and I am blessed beyond measure.  And in reading the texts and emails over and over to get my head around what happened, I realize there is more in my world than the bestie and just how much energy she soaked up in the last 8 months of our friendship.  Good.God.  Doesn’t take away from the fact that she is part of my history and I miss her ALL THE TIME, but I didn’t realize that the darkness had crept into our friendship until I could see it afterwards.  And had people tell me I wasn’t crazy, that I wasn’t wrong…that they loved me.

I have also realized I will never have another friend like the bestie.  That the milestone events in my life have for the most part, happened (birth, death, divorce, coming out, etc.) and she shared them.  That there were no events like this on my horizon and nothing to take a friendship to the level that ours was.  I told the wife “I don’t have the energy to start over again.  I have you.  I have my kids, my family, my friends…it has to be enough.  I can’t do that again.”

There have been two occasions lately where I really needed her.  I needed that bestie that just “got me.” someone to talk to me, to make me feel a little bit better about choices I made, to tell me if I was wrong in the best way possible.  The wife has tried to help me through both.  The daughter has weighed in…here’s my problem with this…

One is my wife.  One is my daughter.

I know, I know, the adage…”you should always marry your best friend!”  I have.  This woman makes me laugh until I pee.  She holds me when I am sad and pisses me off to a level that not many others can.  She is my protector, my comfort, my laughter and joy.  But there are times that even she gets testy at my neuroses, I mean really…who wouldn’t?  There are times I need to hide my insecurity and show her how confident I am.  I need to have someone other than my wife tell me “no, she’s ugly, you’re way prettier!” or “you’re right, she is a total bitch!”  or “you’re a great mother/wife/sister/daughter!” Because my wife is supposed to tell me such things, it’s in the vows (somewhere!) so, I need an outside opinion every once in a while…because I am such a needy mess of mascara, the wife needs backup sometimes.  Sometimes, she needs a break, even if she won’t admit it.

The Daughter…God, I screwed up so much as her mother, I am grateful she talks to me.  She was my firstborn, by starter child, the one I made 99% of my mistakes with.  That she is as incredible as she is, is a testament to her fortitude as a human.  And she is wise beyond her years.  Which has made her vulnerable to mommy being needy.  And that’s not fair.  She’s trying to learn her own way, she doesn’t need to spend her time comforting or affirming that I am a good mommy or a good person.  She doesn’t need to see behind the curtain and realize her mommy is neurotic and a mess and not nearly as put together as she wants everyone to think she is.  No…she shouldn’t shoulder the weight of this bullshit…but it sure is easy to talk to her and that makes it way too easy to involve her in things that she shouldn’t have to worry about.

Anyway, twice.  this second time, I actually texted the Daughter, “Sorry you’ve become my best friend.  There was an opening.”

I then burst into tears.

Damnit…I am stronger than this.  I don’t need a bestie.  I can do this alone.  right?

That thunderbolt literally made my head swim.  I have to do this alone.  I no longer have a choice.  By saving someone from themselves, I no longer have a choice to have my bestie.   I made a choice to save her, sacrifice the friendship…thinking “oh, we’ll get through this, we always do.”  And I have never been more wrong about anything in my life.

That thunderbolt made me realize, I don’t know that aside from the aforementioned souls, I don’t think I have ever had anyone just “pick my side.”  And it alternately pisses me off and renders me immobile.  I left it all on the table with the bestie.  That it was me and her, and anyone else was just someone we let in. But never as close as we were.  No one else gets the fart jokes, or Stoogle, or the years of tears and laughter.  Now, I got no one.  In my tunnel vision of loyalty and love…it was the bestie and I…and I didn’t leave room for anyone else and that has been a rookie mistake.  It’s my own doing and I am gonna sit here and be pathetic.

I’ll be okay in a minute.

 

Obsevations from the Cheap Seats

So I went to my first ever country music festival this weekend.  I knew one artist.  In fact, I had several of his songs on my iPod.  He didn’t sing any of the songs I knew.

Another artist sang a song I knew, but it was a cover of a pop song.

I truly went to spend time with friends…and people watch.  God help me, the people watching.  Wife told me I had resting bitch face for 6 hours and did it hurt?   I had to explain I had a great time, I was simply in a trance.  She’s afraid my face is going to freeze like that.  I assured her, I am almost 46, if it hasn’t yet, it’s not going to.  Then she pointed out a wrinkle across my nose and now, I deserve a present.  It just better not be Botox.

Anyhoo…let me present my thoughts, not necessarily in order…

  • Why does anyone make the fat girl carry all the food from the concession stand?
  • There sure are a lot of high heels here…at an all day musical festival.  Someone is gonna end up with “grocery store feet.”
  • There are A LOT of tight shorts here.  Like, A LOT.  These women look like sausages.
  • Why is everyone wearing cut off jeans and why are they cut SO SHORT?!?!?  it’s awkward.  Crap, eye contact. 
  • Oh, the leggings…so tight, I can see through them, tucked into the boots…oh, and she isn’t wearing underwear. Crap, we just made eye contact.
  • How many of you twits decided to forgo the bra?  Is that a country music thing?  No bras?  There’s so much side boob.
  • Speaking of boob…those are HUGE!!!!  seriously…my back hurts for you…they look like they need stilts like the houses on the beach. Whups…she bumped into me with those things…well, me and three others, I think she knocked a child down.
  • Is she REALLY pole dancing on the row sign?  Because, awesome and bad.
  • Damn…drunk guys can’t hold their beer.  Seriously, I have seen more drunk dudes spill beer than drunk girls.  Guess we ARE the superior gender…INYOFACE!!!!
  • Did they just break up?  I think they did?  She is pisssssed.  Cool. Wife has told me for the 4th time to quit staring.  Doesn’t she know me?
  • There is an astonishing amount of fake tanner.  And bronzer.  Hope no one sweats, this could get ugly.
  • Are those two dancing?  Dry humping?  Both?
  • I didn’t know they made jeans that tight.  For guys…I can coun- nevermind.  Wife needs to quit telling me to stop staring.  I can’t help it. 
  • Oh, that’s nice, they cleared an area OVER THERE for line dancing and two stepping, so please, just stand in front of me and dance…
  • Oh…that’s cute…for the 15th time, they are going to try to two step.  neither of them has rhythm, but never give up…just move OVER THERE.
  • DAMNIT, how do I not have my phone handy for that EPIC 15 second dance routine???  Because it’s soooo common to see a 65-year-old woman with a cane and a sturdy buzz getting jiggy with it in front of me to ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man?!?!  Damnit all!!!
  • I am spending an inordinate amount of time watching those two guys work on those three girls.  It’s sad and they can’t dance. (side note: they never got digits, never got laid, BUT the ladies did get free beer, lots of free beer)
  • There should be a clothing drive at music fests to replace all the ripped jeans.  That can’t STILL be a style, right?  Who said the 80’s is dead…????
  • Should I tell that man that no man should ever wear white jeans, that tight.  With cowboy boots.  and a tank top.  never.  ever.

I am still using my eye drops because I was afraid to blink and my eyes dried out…or just seeing all….that…requires much washing.

when’s the next one?  cause I.can’t.wait.

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.