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I am

Someone special put this on my Facebook wall today – and made me feel like I was not ‘less than’.

imageI don’t think people ‘refuse’ to grow – I think we’re all on our own personal paths and even when it’s not evident that we’re growing – we are.  Perhaps it dawns on us later.  Much like our parents wisdom and love, we don’t realize it or appreciate it until we’ve become parents – much like the advice they gave us, we can’t understand it until we’ve unfortunately made the mistakes.

A post by Jeff Brown resonated with me earlier in the week:

“I used to judge people who didn’t want to work on their ‘issues’ and patterns. I questioned their emotional courage, their fortitude, their depth. To be sure, many of us myself included could do a better job of dealing with our stuff head on. But, at the same time, I now recognize that we cannot know how courageous someone else is by looking at their lives from the outside. Perhaps they are carrying around so much unresolved emotional material their own, even that of the collective that they do not have any energy left over for process. Or perhaps they are working in the deep within in ways we cannot begin to imagine healing their unresolved, quietly building the egoic foundation necessary to take on the next level of inner work. It’s so hard to know where courage lives.”

Never the less, the quote made me feel like she got me.  That I was compromising myself a little here in order to ‘fit in’.

Let me qualify my feelings.

I have never ‘fit in’.

I moved from England to the US when I was to enter 6th grade.  It was not ‘cool’ to be different.  I knew nothing about ‘cool’.  I did not fit in.

Our community in England was about handmade clothes & no cliques.  And … the metric system.

Imagine for a second, seeing for the first time (like I did when tested to figure (no pun intended) what math class I should be integrated into) a number and a line and another number.  A fraction? WHAT?

Needless to say, I was ‘integrated’ into a remedial math class.

I also wore skirts and knew nothing about ‘labels’ or ‘designer’ clothing.

School sucked.

I was bullied for my differences – and in an effort to ‘fit in’ I tried to lose my accent.

This was the era of ‘Dallas’.  I mimicked the accent and found myself caught between sounding like an English ‘J.R. Ewing’ – then I was in limbo for a while and ended up losing my English accent.  (Oh how I wish I had held onto it until High School!)

It still rears its head with words like ‘Been’ (pronounced ‘Bean’) and a few others. I also pronunciate every letter (I pronounce that with every ‘t’ not ‘d’) and so I have not completely lost my origins.

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Dork me, cheerleader me, graduating me and college me.

All me.

Always has been.  Always will be.

I had an imaginary friend in England – her name was Suzie.  We rode horses together.  My horse was named Ice Diamond.

I sang in an imaginary band (and still do in the car) – it was called “Silver and Gold”. (I was Silver).

‘Gold’ was an imaginary brunette.

Mostly they were Abba songs.  I loved Abba growing up.

The point is – I’ve always been into ‘imagination’.

I’ve always written, drawn – created.

Never did I shrink myself.

I was published at 9 in a newspaper – during college I had several poems published in a book (in the library of congress no less) that are cringe worthy now.  I was listening too much to ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe.  I went on to write for a local magazine – critiquing restaurants.

The point is – I’ve always written.  I needed to.

Still need to.

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I’ve shared with you my son growing up, me growing older, my hopes, my fears.

Jobs lost, careers gained.

Life at it’s best and life’s downs.

Aren’t they beautiful?

All the ups and downs.

Truly.

No sarcasm.

I feel so blessed to just BE here.  To appreciate when things are good – because I’ve felt when things are bad.

I find myself thinking about trying to save my son the effort and pain of the ‘bad’ – but to what end?

How will he know when life is good if he hasn’t seen the under carriage of it?

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I remember pork belly dinners with my mum (in the first picture) when money was tight – and now it’s an expensive delicacy? (Laugh Out Loud.)

The point is – I have never been what you would call ‘normal’.

And after reading that quote on my page – I am SO grateful for it.

I almost ended this blog.  I will share with you some of that ‘goodbye’:

I considered ending this blog.

Then it occurred to me …

This blog is about me being imperfect.

Saying the things others can’t or won’t.

Throwing confetti some days and shedding tears others, all over the keyboard.

Living life and figuring out who the hell I am.

I realize a lot after these past years – a lot of the seeking I was doing was not to understand ‘evil’ – but to understand myself.

I am the unspectacular human.

Was I looking for forgiveness? Yes. And I STILL am my own worst critic, but finding bigger evils does not help.

I need to stop.

Looking for good … I always will. But I need to BE the good I seek.

Every post is me in some way.

Throwing stones at the dysfunctional neighbors, sharing the wisdom that I only have come to be in possession of by making awful mistakes.

Wishing I could spare someone the pain of going down a wrong path by describing it. Not just in my stories, but others.

This blog – is about me purging all the toxins from my deepest, darkest parts. It’s about me figuring out how to push past the ghosts and fill myself up with light.

I never could just talk about something. Published at 9 for the first time, I have always needed to write.

And after years of secrets, I also have a need for unflinching honesty.

The only way I can see a good path ahead of me, is when it’s illuminated with truth.

And sometimes I am too truthful.

And sometimes I share too much.

But I can’t see that changing.

So I either end the blog – or forgive myself and embrace the girl who thinks too much and puts it out into the internet world.

I’m not ending the blog.

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No, no I’m not.  But Butters is shedding in Winter – *see above picture

and so I’m reminded – that we can grow and remain our inherent selves, and still share – all over the f%$&ing place – even when it’s not the appropriate time.

I love that you read me – I love that you know me (and if you read this blog, you DO know me)

A special thanks to Austin and Ksbeth for always ‘liking’ my posts.  You put a smile on my face. And to Alyce, who became my friend and an ever supporter .. THANK YOU! Even when I couldn’t back myself up, you did.

To all my Facebook friends (who, I can TRULY call friends, thank you for always clickin’)

x

And Nic, thanks for letting me use your actual name and not cringing when I write about you. 😉  Y’all need to know that I only write about my son because he lets me.  And I am also grateful for that.

And shout out to Beck – who put up with me reading this, and helping me with the title – and trying to remember the name of the song below.

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Musings from the Laundromat: Catch Up edition

Everything I said that I would do while Nic was gone, I did not do.

I did manage to accomplish getting hooked on two shows.

Not only did I watch all the episodes of the Orange Is The New Black first season – but I decided to out do myself and see what all the fuss was about with regards to Breaking Bad.

54 episodes on Netflix.  3 episodes on ‘On Demand’.  And the series recording is set for the new and final episodes.

dingding

Where WAS I for this show??  I think everything happens for a reason, so the reason I wasn’t watching Breaking Bad in ‘real time’ these past few years, was probably to spare me the agony of having to wait for the next episode every week!

breakingbad

I’m caught up now – and will be anxiously waiting for the last few with the rest of you.

I have interviews coming up that I’m excited about.  One was going to be conducted today, but I asked for a delay.  Not only is the topic one I have to research at length before ‘sitting down’ with my subject, but I knew I needed today free.  (More on that in a paragraph or two. )

The other interview will be the long-awaited ‘Part II’ with Rainer.  Just not sure which direction I want to go with it.  I told him it’s time – but he gives me such freedom that it’s almost as hard to write as it is to pick something off an expansive menu to order!

So I took the cowards way out and put the decision in his hands.  Then I’ll take it from there.

(At this point finding part I will take clicking on the ‘Interviews’ category on the right hand side of the blog, or using the search tool at the top right hand side.)

It’s been a long time since part I.  But, Rainer and I have stayed in touch the whole time – so I promise there will be an amazing read coming up.

Now, the reason I wanted to have today free (other than doing laundry of course) …

My boy is back!

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I was so excited yesterday!  Couldn’t wait to get to the airport.  I did the mandatory “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?” the entire trip to Vegas.  Of course, I knew we weren’t there yet … but it’s fun to say. 

I watched as person after person came through the little corridor – and then!  My boy. 

Yes, I cried.

The first thing Nic wanted was ‘American Cheese’.  That bite of burger was almost as satisfying to watch happen as I’m sure it felt eating it.

Now, as exhausted as he was – after a ten and a half hour flight, and an hour and a half car ride back to ‘home’, we had a concert to go to.  I gave him an out, but he assured me he could handle it. 

After I quickly changed and swiped my lipstick on – he wanted to change his mind.

There is no cancelling after lipstick has been applied.  (Especially if you’re me and don’t wear a lot of make-up.)

Write this down men.

There is nothing worse than ‘wishful make-uping’

So we went.  But, knowing how tired he was, we didn’t stay for the whole thing.

I have taught my boy well – I KNOW how to ‘concert’ and he does too.  Once the music started, he found the perfect spot at the stage for us to be. 

My ear drums are well-trained, so there was no danger of having them blown out considering the fact that a speaker was right next to me – but I was in danger of having my hand stepped on by the singer.

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Took some amazing video that I wish I could share with you.  One day I’ll upgrade to have that capability.  Then you’ll wish I hadn’t.  😉

So here I am,  the laundry is done, and my bird is back in the nest and I’m drinking banana milk!  

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Nic not only knows how to ‘concert’ he knows how to ‘gift’ very thoughtfully. 

These are just a few of the things he brought back to me from England.

Someone has been paying attention for the past 18 years. The Mr. Men book … and Alice – such huge parts of my childhood.  The banana Nesquik – my favorite milkshake.  He also gave me a Monet print of the Thames (I have a few Monet’s) and Beefeater chapstick.  (I always have a chapstick next to my bed.)

Thought FULL! 

Then came a letter … written in this card – and when I read it, I was undone. 

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I’ll keep the words to myself – except for this sentence, because when I read it I had to giggle. 

I also felt awful – imagining him about to write an amazing, sweet, heartfelt letter and because he knows how I am, inserted this line:

“Before we go any further, I’m sorry for any poor grammar that might ensue.”

LOL!

grammarjoke

Of course, the above funny picture is only partly accurate – I would have spelled ‘you’re’ right.

What he hasn’t figured out yet in 18 years, is that I completely abuse the rules for punctuation marks.

I’ll put that on my list of things to work on next time I’m left unattended for a length of time.  And then I won’t get that done either.

Musings from the laundromat: We have contact! Edition

Best laundromat time EVER!

I was thinking about what to write about, since I purged my creative stomach this morning in my awake and naked post … when my Facebook IM dinged at me.

NIC!

Not only did I get to chat with my baby – but he posted lots of photos.

Photos AND interaction – LOVE IT! I walked around the laundromat, smiling – with tears in my eyes.  SO happy to talk to him.  🙂

*Told you.  Us girls – we are bundles of emotions that need human interaction.  And if that human happens to be someone we love, we are undone.*

In return, I sent him a photo of me holding a sock.  With the caption: I’m a free elf!

I am a nerd.  And if you understand that caption, you have a little nerd in you too. 😉

So far, Nic’s favorite thing has been the pub food.  I’m sure as he does and sees more, that will change. I hope so anyway. LOL!

Without further ado – here are some of the photos he shared.

The house I grew up in!

The house I grew up in!

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Windsor street

Windsor street

Swans. They look so innocent, but they'll attack ;)

Swans. They look so innocent, but they’ll attack 😉

OMG. Cadburys!

OMG. Cadburys!

It figures! LOL!

It figures! LOL!

Departure day

Back from Vegas.  The morning was filled with a lot of Nic pacing and being eager to go.  My morning was filled with a lot of watching Nic pace and not wanting the morning to end.

We took some more photos together.  This is what I do.  If the dog were to sneeze adorably I’d be looking around for my camera.  I drive Nic crazy, I know I do – but he was a good sport about my many picture requests and video requests – until we reached the airport and by that time he was giving me the celebrity glare.

From the morning session - before he viewed me as paparazzi

From the morning session – before he viewed me as paparazzi

Then I became the annoying photog at the airport

Exhanging boarding pass info for 'real' ticket

Exchanging boarding pass info for ‘real’ ticket

Exhanging some dollars for pounds

Exchanging some dollars for pounds

Could have sworn that thing was over the 50 lb limit when we packed it. lol.  Well under!

Could have sworn that thing was over the 50 lb limit when we packed it. lol. Well under!

Told you, I photograph everything

Told you, I photograph everything

The last one he'd allow of us together

The last one he’d allow of us together

The airport ‘people-delivery’ is a lot different than I remember. There is no drawn out ‘good-bye’ time as non-ticket holders are not allowed past the security check points anymore.  No hugging as they board. No watching the plane take off from the boarding area.

So it’s say “good-bye” and watch your loved one approach the x-ray machine and strip search/body cavity probe area. Okay, I exaggerate, but there WAS a full body x-ray machine thingy!

imageYes, at this point, and after the last photo together – I was crying.  Not as much as I thought I would. 

It’s hard to be sad when you know something wonderful is awaiting the person you love.  I’m too excited for him to be sad.

Then I get home and my boy posted some photos of his own.  One of food, lol and then this one:

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The caption he put was “Our plane! :)”

I think he’s excited.  And considering his plane took off almost an hour ago – I’m sure he’s already acquainted himself with all the buttons, gadgets, bathroom locations and has already had his tray in the upright and down position. LOL. 

I said to Nic on the way:

“Isn’t it funny?  Months ago we were on this same road, but going the other direction – talking about how you wanted to go to England and how amazing it would be if you could go.  And here we are on our way … you with a passport and a ticket.  You see, anything is possible.”

From this POST <– click here

To reality.

Dreams come true.

**Update!** I forgot to mention the most important part!  I snuck a little something in his case … He can’t possibly go to England without a naked mole rat.  Debauchery Soup is represented!  😉

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‘Twas the night before England …

And all through the house, the A/C was stirring …

I’m not even going to try – because all I can think of right now to rhyme IS actually mouse, and I don’t think we have one.

We did it.  Nic boards the plane tomorrow for his adventure.

So, tonight, we’re sitting in our pajamas, all washed up for bedtime – neither of us wanting to go to sleep.

Doing what we do best – being complete dorks together.

Watching funny YouTube videos and me … snapping silly pictures of us.

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This next month or so … prepare for my descent into madness as I document life in the house sans Nic.

I’ll share his photos, his news and my increased bonding with the dog.