Strawberries, Scandals and Cloud Punching
It’s been a long productive week at the new office. Punctuated by singing along to awesome songs, random dance breaks and lots of laughter with my bosses. The new business I’m so fortunate to be a part of became official last week and my desk is amazing and stocked and I am now the Operations Manager of ‘Company X’.
This is one of the parts of my life I don’t share here. No last names, no addresses, no personal identifying information.
Seriously though, if anyone did some minor sleuthing, the gig would be up.
Still, I try to maintain some anonymity for the sake of others more than for myself.
This has been very difficult lately. I want to burst I’m so full of scandals and hypocrisy that I can’t share.
I mean, I COULD, but then I’d have to live with myself.
This is occurring more and more often by the way.
The live with myself part, not the scandals and hypocrisy.
I’m still without my son. He’s spending his weeks staying with my mom across the river and his spare time with his first love who will be leaving the state next month for college.
It has been weird without him.
Okay, I have been weird without him
I’ve taken talking to myself to a whole new level. I’ll have internal dialogues, then out of no where, verbalize a portion of it.
Example: I’ll be having a conversation with someone in my head (please tell me I’m not the only one who does this) then say something like “because it’s blue” out loud.
I’m one more week alone away from shopping cart mumbler.
Oh, and I can’t be still. I’m not reading anymore, not sitting outside listening to music while looking up at the stars – I’m not drawing or painting or taking my camera out on adventures.
I am back in my little hamster wheel of ‘wake up – bathe – dress – tend to animals – exit house – work – return from work – eat something unhealthy – prepare for bed’.
Here’s me on the couch trying for a serene look – mostly I just liked the light and since the dog now leaves when I start to put my ipad in camera mode (how does she know???) – and since NO ONE else is in my house, I have become my subject.
So fake though. Which is not how I am. It’s a snapshot of the shell. Inside I was still hurting and thinking and not serene at all.
The point is – this past year has left me so spun and undone that I can’t seem to find the energy to do the things I used to enjoy.
I put so much effort and faith into a person and project that I lost a bit of myself.
I put myself on the back burner and looked forward to promises of such an amazing future that I was okay with that.
Of course, gullible me believed what was never to be.
There are two people on my shit list right now. They need to be very cautious how they proceed because I’m not above doing a public service and sharing what I know and supporting it with evidence.
I would do this in case any other gullible person might have either of them on a pedestal and be naive enough to trust.
That just came out of nowhere.
Still, I have not named names.
Just watch it – you both know who you are. So ‘good’ and selfless in public and so not in reality.
Let’s talk about sandwiches for a moment.
With Nic gone, I haven’t really been shopping for food. I have made random stops for ice cream, but I don’t think that counts.
It has been enlightening though, pretty sure this allergy free girl might have a touch of lactose intolerance. Although, the quantities in which I’m consuming said ice cream may render anyone intolerant of dairy.
I was making lunch last week – and since I was out of greens for my cheese and veggie sandwich, I decided on peanut butter and jelly.
I got as far as the peanut butter and realized there was no jelly.
Okay, there sort of was jelly … it was in the pantry in a container and had liquified to jellorage status (Jelly/beverage – does that work? Might that catch on?)
It sure as hell wasn’t going on my sandwich, I knew that much.
I had some strawberries that weren’t getting any firmer, but hadn’t reached ‘throw me out!’ stage yet – so I got creative and chopped them up and placed them on the peanut butter.
(This may already be a thing. I’m reminded of when I opted for flour tortillas in lieu of bread when making a grilled cheese and meat concoction – ‘savory crepe’ I called it. Then had the embarrassing moment of my friend Micah pointing out ‘did you just invent the quesadilla?’ Groan.)
Anyway it was amazing!
And life is like that too.
Improvising when something is lacking in life – coming up with a solution that turns out to be better than the norm.
I actually did sit outside yesterday at sunset – and saw the most amazing cloud with sun streaming through it. I snapped a bad photo of it on my ipad (Butters fled) and shared it.
What I was thinking was it was beyond silver lining status – it was light and goodness breaking though the dark cloud with determination.
And that’s my next plan.
Stream through the dark clouds with truth – and sunlight and metaphorical chopped strawberries.
Still looking for good. Still believing in light and love.
But not afraid to call ‘bullshit!’ either.
Gullible girl is gone.
The truth of it …
It’s been a rough few weeks.
And because I must always be honest in order to feel any serenity at all – I’m sharing an ugly part of it with you.
Last month I shared that I lost my job – since then my son gained one. He’s been away a lot, staying with my mom in a neighboring State to cut down on his commute.
I on the other hand, had been home a lot, and his absence filled every room with a palpable foreshadowing.
I then received an urgent call from my landlady.
She was warning me that she had finally presented my nightmare neighbors with paperwork, and that it did not go well and they were angry with me apparently.
The truth of it was that after all the traffic, drugs, domestic violence and general disregard for the community – the community had had enough.
She tried to tell them that it was more than one complaint from more than one neighbor. But they had decided the closest to them was the snitch.
I knew what they were capable of, so to learn this was in short, terrifying.
My routine had to change – I feared they might harm Butters, my dog, in my absence. I feared another attack on my car during the night. I wasn’t so concerned about them breaking in and doing me bodily harm, but still had a hard time falling to sleep – and am keeping weapons at my bedside.
Add to this that I found myself in the middle of a triangle of toxicity when it came to matters of the heart.
I was lonely. Scared. Had too much time to think and had too many things going on – my serenity was shot and my stomach cramped with emotional discomfort while my heart ached.
Night after night I looked across at an empty couch.
It isn’t so much that Nicholas wasn’t sitting on it. He’s spreading his beautiful wings and while I miss him, I’m proud of his ability to fly.
It was that nobody was sitting on it.
Problem is, I know myself well enough to know that I don’t want anyone constantly on the couch across from me – and yet I was lonely.
I walked around the house in a fog.
One night – as I was taking my medicine, I had the thought ‘I could take ALL of my medicine.’
This thought didn’t hang uncomfortably in the air – it blended into the room as if it belonged there.
I could take ALL the medicine and cease to be.
At that moment of time, I was terrifyingly okay with that.
I felt I’ve seen and done more than 100 lifetimes. I felt my role in my son’s life was shrinking to nonexistence. I felt I would never be loved the way that I loved. I felt so completely depleted of all my hopes and energy that I had nothing further to do here.
And God how I love life!
I have SUCH gratitude for my humble shelter – the food in my kitchen – the pictures in clouds and the beauty of weeds. I seek out good everywhere I look – I love to the nth degree and I cherish every friend and loved one in my life.
And still I stood staring down thinking ‘I could take ALL of my medicine.’
It breaks my heart.
But at the same time, there was a beauty in letting myself feel that pain and hopelessness – I knew I was being what I always strive to be. Authentic.
I wasn’t brushing the thought away like an annoying gnat with a ‘Don’t be silly.’
I KNEW I would not do it. I knew this. But I knew the thought was very, very real and could not be discounted.
It forced me to look at, then let out – all my pent-up emotions.
It forced me to stop for a moment – without flitting from dishes to dog and errands to emails and look myself, literally in the eyes.
I stood at the mirror, leaned over my bathroom sink and noticed myself.
There she was.
A real person who had been wearing herself so thin and worrying herself physically sick.
Miss independent – unsure if she could provide. Miss solitary – needing company. Miss brave – afraid to go outside.
And as Butters looked sadly at me, missing her boy – and not understanding why she had to be locked in the house all day – I felt completely lost and vulnerable.
But I felt.
And I always do – so deeply.
And though sadness overwhelms me – so does joy. I love in vibrant color with a panchromatic heart.
And I am content with ‘enough’ and I do not want ‘ALL’.
I could poetically end there – but that would not be honest.
Things are looking up, they always do.
There is always hope waiting for those who can look at their lives and choose to live it.
I have an amazing job opportunity just around the corner, although, I’ll probably always have a healthy fear of not being able to provide the necessities.
I’m still sleeping with several weapons at my bedside, but so far so good as far as the neighbors go.
I’m still lonely, but this is a good thing for me! I used to think I didn’t have the capacity to need anyone. Craving human interaction is definitely a step in a healthy direction.
I have incredible friends that love me and show up.
I have a loving family that I can count on.
The world is so beautiful – and the universe is carving new paths all the time.
And I’m willing to walk them.
Incapable of mad?! (And someone who wasn’t)
Ironic that I was about to write this post and had the following interaction with my son. I told him a little while ago he’s got to take a shower – and if he didn’t I would be sad – and mad. He chuckled. “What?” I asked. “Nothing” he said. He finally just caved and said he was laughing because, and I quote, “you’re incapable of the emotion mad“.
Suppose I should take that as a compliment. I try not to let things get to me. And I’ve never truly lost it with him. I’m glad he doesn’t, and hasn’t lived in fear of me.
ANYWAY! Today I had another interaction that did not end in chuckles.
I keep my actual ‘real life’ (except for my skeletons) anonymous for obvious reasons. So, I won’t be mentioning details about my job. But, had a customer today at my desk, spewing very ugly and aggressive words in my direction while leaned over my desk towards me.
Let me just say – this is someone who just seems to be perpetually angry. Chronic discontent. After I was told I could ‘shove’ something in an area that could prove to be uncomfortable, and after a few F bombs exploded in my face – I’d had enough.
I may not know all my worth, but what I DO know is I do my best and go above and beyond at work. I CARE about the customers. I CARE about the people I work with. I just care. I also think it’s important that whatever job you do, no matter big or small, it should be done well.
I come in early every single day – I eat my packed lunch at my desk. I’ll take maybe 15-20 minutes to clear my head and come right back and dive in.
The verbal assault was unwarranted. I had to tell her that she needed to back up and that her tirade was neither fair, nor right. I remained professional and kept my calm and my wits about me, but inside I was a little girl again and cringing and stinging from the assault.
I was alone in the office and I’ve dealt with this particular person on several occasions. She is always angry.
After almost half an hour of this, she said the sentence that was the final straw for me.
“YOU don’t understand!”.
“OK, you’re right, I can’t know how you are feeling right now, but I DO understand! I’ve been doing this for almost 14 years. I have worked with hundreds and hundreds of people. I have personally lost my house, been almost homeless not so long ago, work two jobs to raise my son alone, have a heart condition and a lung disease and I GET IT!”.
What I wanted to add to that is: “But I CHOOSE every day to be happy! I CHOOSE to count my blessings and focus on what I DO have”.
I’d love to say that she left placated. I did try to soothe, and help – that’s what I do. I pointed out that there seemed to be more to her frustration than our situation, and that I was sorry she was so upset. I tried to suggest she count her blessings. But, there are some people who just do not want to be soothed, and do not want to be helped. Pity sometimes is just too pretty.
When she left, I wasn’t mad. I was sad. I was sad because, this is the same woman who shocked me the first time I met her with her racist comments – the same woman who has been a pill from day one.
I am sad because it just must feel awful to be her. To feel the way she does. I don’t mean that in a condescending way, I mean it literally. I truly hope she finds a peaceful heart.
It’s got to be just an awful feeling to be so angry all the time – to hate – to be capable of such venomous words.
I’m sure there’s a reason behind her behavior, but it’s no excuse. There are people who have been through hell and back and don’t take it out on everyone they come in contact with. They CHOOSE to be happy. And if not happy, at least not angry all the time.
I’ll say a prayer for her tonight. I’ll gather all the positive energy I can muster when I work on her transaction. I’ll send her love and light. Because really, she is in a prison of her own making and it’s holding her tight. Tightly away from serenity, love and peace. The key is deciding to overturn that self-inflicted punishment.
I hope she finds the key – it’s right there … in her hands.
The great dead-beat-dad debate. Advice and Opinions welcomed.
Topic was brought up by my son this afternoon. “You should sue my bio”.
Oh boy – here we go again.
The ‘child support’ clock is ticking – in 5 months, my son will be 18
Don’t think I haven’t thought about it – but the conclusion I come to every time is that we’re better off emotionally without him in our lives and I’d rather have my serenity and a peaceful heart than his money.
I don’t want to be vengeful.
Bothers me a little that my son wants compensation when he’s never actually gone without. There’s even been a few Christmas lists that he really had to think about because he already had everything that could have been on that list.
I don’t feel like we’ve missed out on anything?
Would it have been nice to be able to go on vacations? Of course. Would it be nice to have that little extra for when unexpected emergencies arose? Of course. But we made it.
We managed to make the best of what we had and did not go without.
No, there’s not been the latest, greatest, shiniest – and things did get really financially hard for a while. But we made it.
Why would I want someone in my son’s life that doesn’t want to be there?
I want peace, not court ordered, begrudgingly doled out money.
Of course, times like right now in my life, it sure would come in handy. But at what cost??
In the bigger picture, I’d like Nic to learn from everything we’ve gone through together. To step up and be a father when that time comes. To appreciate what he has versus what he doesn’t. To let resentments go.
I don’t resent his ‘bio’. If not for him there would be no Nic.
I do have a beef with his self-centered absence from conception to now. As much as I try to explain to Nic that he shouldn’t take that personally – it’s bound to have an effect on him. But how can it truly be personal? He didn’t choose not to be Nic’s father, he chose not to BE a father. Period. He didn’t know Nic. If he had, and had walked out, I could definitely see the logic in taking that personally.
I need some insight here.
I need opinions and thoughts because my son believes we ‘deserve’ for ‘bio’ to make a financial amends – and I do not. I think we are happy – why mess with that?
I am open to the possibility that this could also be my pride and I could be wrong.
But seriously, why go through agencies, paternity tests, lawyers – for a monthly recompense? The stress of just initiating the whole process – is it worth it?
Honestly, I wouldn’t even know how to begin such a process. And I definitely don’t have the money for an attorney.
He should have been contributing to raising his son for 17 years, and did not. This is true. But I just think it’s too late now.
Would love some thoughts on this.