August 20, 2012

My Once Upon A Time...And Coffee

Once Upon A Time a girl sat down to enjoy the most perfect cup of coffee on a beautiful day, not too hot, not too cold, closed her eyes and listened to the breeze whispering in her ear.

“What governs your life?” said the wind.  “What influences you to make the choices you do?”

It was quite apropos that the wind should be asking this, as the girl was meditating on her current circumstances; reflecting on how she arrived at this very place in her life.

When she was a child, love controlled her.  Her need to feel loved, special and seen dictated her every action.  For as she was only a child, no other commodity was of any importance, love was the only thing she craved.  She wondered why she was a burden not a blessing.  She made it her mission to be seen at all costs, for if they really loved her, they would never turn her away.

When she was a teenager, greed provoked her.  She wanted so much to fit in, that she overlooked the wonderful person she already was.  She became a social chameleon for the sake of others, cared for status over what was sacred, would forsake those that truly loved her for just a moment of popularity.  Greed for status enveloped the girl, and she lived in the shadows, reaching for the unreachable.  And later learning the hard way all she had lost while she was blinded by shiny people.

In her twenties adrenaline consumed the girl.  She now felt comfortable in her skin, she also felt invincible.  She loved the thrill and did indeed live like there was no tomorrow.  And fun she had, and she often smiled.  The twenties were filled with much laughter.  But live as she may, tomorrow did come, and the consequences of irresponsibility were weighty.

In her thirties, society dictated the girl’s desires.  She looked back on her life and felt a great something lacking.  She turned a corner and did what she ought to do and settled down.  This was after all what she was supposed to do, was it not?  Spinning carelessly on the carousel of life was lonely and dizzy-ing and she needed someone to steady her.  At last now she felt like she could catch her breath; and the girl found peace outwardly, but not inwardly.

As she blinked, she was married and had two babies.  Now every action, every breath was for them.  All that was vain for self now vanished.  She had indeed found true love in her children.  She found healing in providing them unconditional love.

But soon great tragedy struck the girl’s life.  She found herself weeping and sobbing, blaming and yelling into the wind, to stop it, to explain it, to fix it, to make it go away.  And the girl was broken.  One thousand pieces lie there in her hands and the girl did not know where to begin; how to put everything back together.  The girl just did not know how.

After the howling subsided the girl lay silently on the ground, now tears streaming down her cheeks, and she heard the wind. There broken and undeserving, for the first time, she heard it. Only when she silenced her mind, let go of the control and relinquished reason, did she hear it.  And the wind said this:

Get up girl.  You have been given a great chance.  A chance to begin again.  You are not broken; you have not drowned, get up and live girl. What have you lost?  Everything that is really important, you still possess. 

 People only hurt us if we allow it. 
 Words only have power if we give them power.   
 Grace is yours for the taking if you only hold out your hand and grab it.  

And the girl did.

Now the girl was almost 40.  She had less than she had ever had.  And she sat having a perfect cup of coffee, and for that she was grateful.  Now life was not about possessions, or puzzles, or being controlled, or figuring it out; it was about seeing that one perfect moment and holding it dear and thanking the creator for it.  Her story was never about the lessons, her story is not about her loss; her story is about the quiet she found along the way.  

This post is dedicated to the creepy dollar store clerk who called me "milady" twice, *shiver*.  What started to be a once upon a time post about a creepy cashier organically took on a life of it's own.  I suppose I should curtsy or something.

August 12, 2012

Thanks for screwing up relationships, Jerry McGuire!

Unless you live under a rock, or have been incarcerated for a long, long time, you would be familiar with the movie Jerry McGuire, sports agent gone rogue (Tom Cruise) with single Mom love interest (Renee Zellweger) which gave birth to THE, in my opinion, most irritating quotes of all time.  Actually, having that movie on an 18 hour loop in prison would be punishment enough.  I once was stuck on a cruise ship during 911 and the only thing on the television for 7 straight days was that dumb Mel Gibson movie where he hears women talking, but I digress.

I like the preface of the movie, guy goes nuts, woman supports him, he kind of falls for woman out of guilt (yeah, you know he did), woman realizes she is the only one in love and oh yeah she has a kid, enter break-up, guy says he's not a quitter but not sure he loves her, love her or lose her, buh-bye heart throb, and fairy tale ending crazy dude magically comes to his senses and realizes he loves woman and her kid.

"You complete me".

"You had me at hello."

"Show me the money."

"Show me the money."  No qualms, irritating yes, but bring it.

You had me at hello I can deal with.  That doesn't sound the least bit romantic to me, it actually sounds kind of stalkerish and freaky.  Really, if a dude said that to me in real life, I'd probably give him my squinty eye and go home.  All I have to say about that one is that some things sound better coming out of two gorgeous actors mouths when they are knee-deep in totally unrealistic circumstances.  Jerry McGuire isn't based on a true story is it?  Should've done my research.

My main concern is "YOU COMPLETE ME".  Women swoon over this line.  I don't get it.  I like romantic gestures and sweet nothings, sure do, but that line is a load of crap.  I will go as far to say that line has totally and completely destroyed what people are looking for in a relationship and their expectations of what a relationship should be. 

I'm not scarred and bitter, okay, only slightly, but I felt this way even when I was married, just to clarify.  To need someone to complete you, would mean that you were void of something, empty, not enough?  Why are we looking for the "other half" in a relationship?  That is a ton of pressure on the other person.

Sorry Bill, I have to break up with you, you don't complete me.

That would be an unacceptable reason to give someone when breaking it off, why is it an acceptable reason to move forward?

When dating, or in a relationship, shouldn't we find our complement?  I find in friendships, my best friends are my opposites, sure we have a lot in common, but I'm drawn to their brilliance, or frugality, or fantastic ability to decorate and organize.  They are the Ellen to my Oprah.  We can have so much fun together because they can talk me down from going all Thelma and Louise and I can get them drunk when they've had a bad day.  My part of the friendship is way easier than theirs.

Perhaps it's my independent nature.  But I don't want to feel lost when I don't have my other half.  Lonely okay, sad, sure, miss them, yeah whatever.  But my partner should build me up, be there for me, and love me for who I am without them.  I know I'm already enough, totally imperfect, but perfect for someone.  I am already happy and content; a relationship is just the icing.  Nothing is lost without that in my life; there is only something to gain. But I will tell you now; you don't get to content without being willing to do the work to get there.

Inevitably almost always in marriage we reach points of disconnect.  We grow despite a marriage, and rarely on the same time table.  So if someone completes you, yet we keep growing, it's only a matter of time before they have no place.  We wonder where does everything fit?  Marriage and relationships need on-going re-examination.  We have to look at our partner and say, what do they need?  That is a two way street.  A connection or goose bumps only last so long before we have to decide to put in the work or walk away. 

So I wonder are we waiting for the person who will make us feel whole?  The person who will fix us?  The "one" who will heal all of our hurt?  In my mind that person doesn't exist.  I fear that is a dangerous way of thinking.  When we convince ourselves of that, we are taking a shortcut.

 No road is easy in life, this is for certain, there are hills and there are valleys. I don't want someone to carry me, just someone to walk beside me.  There is no benefit to either of us if he carries me.  He gets weary, I get bored and fat.

So please, America, let's lay "you complete me" to rest.  We are far too good for that nonsense.

So talk to me.  What say you, "you complete me", love it or hate it?


August 03, 2012

What Do You Stand For? I Call B.S.

If you have been reading my blog for any period of time, you know I tend to have fits of rants.  Not rage, rants.  Best to let me unload and get if off my chest. Don't worry I'll be back to blogging about my normal crap in no time.

Today, all day, this post, these words have been swirling around in my head.  What do you really stand for? Do you know?  I mean really know?  We can "say" we stand for a lot of things, but those are words, and what we stand up for is not the same as what we stand for.  Yes, I know that is as confusing as it sounds.  Good thing I'm going to elaborate.  People and I think this is just a trait of human nature, see themselves so much differently than how they are.  They convince themselves they are what they want to believe. 

 Actions speak louder than words.  Your actions are what you stand for; your actions make you who you are. 
Happy place, happy place, happy place.

Standing for something, doesn't mean getting as big and loud and asinine and as preachy about it as we can.  All that means is you're loud and have something to say.  If you want the world to be a different place, a better place, shut up and change it!  Stop yelling and blogging and arguing about it and do something.

As I've said many times in this blog.  My pet peeve in this world is people who do nothing because they think they won't make a difference. Making a difference does not mean doing something big; sometimes the smallest measures make the biggest impact.  A smile could be worth a million dollars.  Acts of kindness change people's heart, not hatred. Loving through the bad times makes love stronger.

Here's my nickels worth, because two cents isn't nearly enough:

If you want to blog about controversy all the time, look scary, and constantly live defending your views because you put it out there (yet you wonder why everyone's mad at you or doesn't like you), you don't stand for what you write stand for drama.

If you want to preach your beliefs to anyone that will listen or won't, provoke fights, spar people on the interwebz, you stand for jack until you walk the walk, dude. 

Let me say to all of you people fighting on every social media site available over chicken sandwiches, and I realize it's not about chicken sandwiches, neither side stands for anything by fighting someone on Facebook about it.  When you can say you have done something in your life to help a  person that has nothing to do with a status update, then you stand for something.  Be an example of what you would like to change in this world, because saying it is not enough.  Saying something is a start, and sadly almost always, the end.

I'm so far from perfect and I love it.  My flaws make me who I am.  But I do know, to the depths of my soul what I stand for:

Courage- because I live it, because I take risks in my life that will make me happy and make those that I keep close to me happy.  I am not courageous because I get into a fight with my neighbor over property lines, I am not courageous because I tell someone exactly what I think of them (that's my arrogance), I am not courageous because I take unnecessary risks.  I am courageous because I have walked through a little bit of hell and back and that shit was hard.  I am courageous because I do not give up, I will not let someone else's attitude defeat me, and I will not let life defeat me.  I am courageous because I allow myself to be wrong, sad, mad, hurt, scared and I let those things improve me, not rule me.

Loyal- I am loyal to a fault.  If you are my friend I will rise to the occasion and I will love you fiercely.  If you hurt me, you're out, but I'm a patient person, it takes a while to get me to unfriend you..  I am loyal because I learned loyalty from the examples of some amazing people who were loyal to me when I was a terrible friend to them.  For them, I will forever live my gratitude through my actions.

Family- I stand for family.  It is the most important thing to me; it will always be the most important thing to me.  My kids inspire me and I live my life in a way that no one could ever dispute that. I will fight the injustice and stigma that comes with the diagnosis of a disability, because I know it makes a difference. For my son to have a better future, pushing forward for change, will give him a fighting chance.  I could win verbal battles all day long, but guess what, that changes nothing for him by me trying to prove you are wrong and I am right.

I'm human. I'm wrong, a lot.  But I can admit when I am wrong, and I'm not ashamed of it.  I have nothing to hide, or prove, or pretend.  You get what you get with me and I'm pretty transparent.  Compromise is the only thing that will ever change the world, not being right. 

So do you know what you really stand for?  Do you stand for: God, kindness, respect, fighting injustice, gay rights, equality, etc.  But how far have you walked to prove any of that?  Not even prove it to anyone, just yourself.  What have you done to make a difference, to stand for something?   

Posting something on your wall doesn't mean you stand for anything anymore than wearing heels makes me a super model.

Okay, end rant.