Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Field

It's been a while since I've blogged. About a year actually. I got (or tried to get) back into writing daily last April with the A to Z blogging challenge, but I only made it through letter I. It wasn't like me to not see that through. Here it is, almost a full year later, and I ask myself: why did you stop? "Things" got tough. You know, life. Life got hard. About as hard as it has been since the day I packed a Penski truck rental full of everything I could fit into it and moved back to Ohio from Illinois. Life: Money. Men. Career. You name it.

I think I stopped writing because I know how my mind works, I know how I think, and I suppose I was afraid that the more I wrote, the more truth would slap me silly. I suppose I thought the more I wrote, the more I would share. The more some might judge. The more some might question who the hell I really am (meaning that I assume the few folks I actually know on this good earth might read my crazy thoughts and find out way more about me than they care to).

So, it's been a year, and life is still... tough. In fact, I don't currently know one person who isn't struggling with something right now. And I by no means compare my situations to anyone else's. That wouldn't be fair. My crap is mine and their crap is their's, yet it all ties us together, doesn't it? Instead of me writing about it all though, because who wants to read about other people's hardships, I just backed off, as I have in almost all aspects of my life. I do what I do best, and because of past pain and past bad relationships, and past deaths of those who I loved dearly, when things get tough, I just shut down. Money not flowing in like I want it to or think it should? Shut down. Career not taking off or solidifying like I hope it will? Shut down. Men not banging down my door telling me I'm the most beautiful creature on the planet? Shut down. Push away the friends you do have. Lock your doors tight and pull the drapes closed. Don't let anyone near or in. And deal with your hardships on your own because you don't want to burden anyone else. Congrats. You do that and you tend to eventually forget who you are, what you are working towards, and you forget that those who matter most keep peeking through those drapes for a reason.

Have we all been there? THAT PLACE? I think we have. It's, again, what ties us all together. When isn't life hard? For anyone? I'm not the poster child for bad decisions made or a bad hand dealt, so why do I shut down? Because it's just easier to deal with it all on my own? For a while that works, and those who know you well, they will accept it for a while, but eventually they will stop calling and... you'll know you bottomed out and you have two choices.

One: you can stay on the bottom and slither your way to the next heated rock that might, just might, give you enough warmth to get through the night, where you when then be left to weather the storms of tomorrow on your own.

Or two: you can cowgirl up and with all the strength you have left in the pit of your stomach, you can TRY to see a small glimmer of light at the end of a very long tunnel that appears to be out of your reach, but is in reality, not so far away.

This all has a point, I promise.

I chose option two. I chose it about four hours ago.

I visited my dad this evening. It was a much needed visit, and it didn't hit me how much it was needed until I drove home. I hadn't been inspired to write for, again, about a year, and something hit me as I was walking our dogs in a field back behind where he lives. This field has some significance for me. One: it's a place my dog, a Jack Russell, enjoys immensely. She was a country dog for about ten years, but then I uprooted her and when we moved back to Ohio, we lived with my father for three months or so, until I could get back on my feet. I used to walk the dogs even then, sometimes twice a day. When we (the dog and I) got back on our own, my dog was forced into a life as a tiny apartment dwelling dog, only getting a whiff of the country air when we'd visit my father.  Two: the field was always a place I'd escape to, so to speak. Back in my immediate post divorce days, it was just a nice, quiet place to go. I enjoyed letting the dogs off their leashes and watching them chase rabbits and squirrels. I enjoyed the silence. It was in the field that I'd try to re-plan my life.

So we (the dog and I) visited dad tonight and after a terrific dinner of bbq ribs and homemade potato cakes, along with a few vodka and sevens and Reds preseasons ball, I walked the dogs in the field. We lost an hour in time today, the whole Spring Forward! thing, so at 8 pm, the sun was still out, and it was nice, but deceiving. With the cold air nipping at my ears, the leaves of last fall crunching under my BOC mules, the dogs pulling on their leashes left and right, it dawned on me. This.

When we returned, I made a comment to my father: boy, you can really leave the world behind when you step onto that field, can't you?

Yes, you can, he replied.

They say there's power in prayer. The famous "They." "They" piss me off sometimes because "they" don't know everything, but okay. "They" also say there's power in words. Perhaps the fuel I seek can be found in my own words, the very same words I'm so afraid of.

My father and I, while going through somewhat different situations right now, are really feeling the same emotions. We are both searching, hoping, looking for something, anything, that might give us a sign that things will be better, because remember, I am not the only one having hard times right now. Aren't we all looking for that something? Just when we might want to give up because we have nothing left to give, just when we have nothing left to fight with or for, just when we don't know what way to go, which way to turn, which road to take... the field with the sunlight shines open.

Then it becomes clearer. I am thankful for what I have, not so much what I think it is I am working towards because I don't have it yet, but for what I do have at this very moment.

And after the field, there's pineapple upside down cake.



Thursday, April 11, 2013

A-Z Challenge: I

Okay, I needed a quick post for I, and this is an older poem I found. It's not magnificent, mind ya, but it will work. Plus, it's a grey, rainy day today... Oh, and I think this is my take on a love poem!


Insecticide

The rain,
no matter how powerful and torrential,
never washes away the insecticide,
the mist you spray when you cry or walk by.
It drapes on leaves, the ground, the sky, my skin.
Its rancid odor causes me grief,
disbelief,
that a sigh is no more a sigh
than a man is but the man he builds.
The insecticide envelopes,
develops me;
folds me in threes times the number
you multiply to make my skin black.
I make you whole
and yet, you kill me.
You disease me and not even the rain
can wash away our beautiful mistakes.

A-Z Challenge: H

Horoscope.

Granted, there's that word again, I'm a few days behind on my letters, and I have NO idea what day H was, let alone what my horoscope was for that day, but here it is for today:

"Boldness comes in many forms. You don't usually think of a bold person as someone with tears in their eyes, but the one who is unafraid to show his feelings in action is the very definition of bold."

Interesting. I wear my emotions on my sleeves, shoulders, face, and cuffs. I have heard people say that because of that, I am not under control of my actions. Well, I debate that because I call myself a passionate person. I care. Sometimes too much, sometimes about nothing, sometimes about everything, sometimes about the wrong things. But I care. And I'm animated. I have no problem speaking my mind. You don't have to agree or react to me, just hear me. And I'll hear you.

Anyhow, I cried the other day at work. In front of men. Bosses. And I had no problem doing so. I was upset, shocked, and angry by a matter that was brought to my attention. I can't go into details, but suffice to say, I was in a position that was rather new to me, and let me just add here, that sometimes, I just have no patience for people's bullshit, games, ignorance, and stupidity.

From time to time, we will, whether we like it or not, find ourselves at the mercy of others; we find ourselves at the end of a finger being pointed at us. We find ourselves questioning our actions, behavior, and motives, asking if we are in fact being honest and true. We find ourselves questioning the actions, behavior, and motives of others, and while perception is different for everyone, in the end, darn it, there is a universal right and wrong, right?

So I cried. It won't be the last time, I'm sure. Maybe this should vary based on the situation, and while all facts aren't present, did that moment make me weak, or was I bold? I have yet to answer this question myself. I'll have to get back to ya.

Your thoughts: weak or bold?

A-Z Challenge: G

Granted.

I take a lot for granted. I try not to, I swear, but I do. I don't mean to, but I do. I take for granted my dog will eat her food every day. She's fussy. I take for granted that people can and should read my mind. They don't! This makes me mad. I take for granted that service people should always be friendly to their customers. They aren't. This makes me not want to spend money. I take for granted that I wake up every morning breathing, that I'm somewhat healthy. Many people don't, can't, and aren't.

I get so mad at myself for what I take for granted. I'm willing to take, but I question what it is I give back. Maybe I'm too hard on myself? Maybe I'm reaching.

What I need to work on: not taking everything for granted, and focusing on what I can give more of, and giving because I want to, not to get something in return. I guess I try more than I think in regards to all of this, but this is the word that came to me for the letter G, and it got me to thinking... I guess that is the point, though, to being human? Always striving to be a better person?

Is there anything you feel you take for granted that you want to share?

A-Z Challenge: F

Far Behind!

Ha! I am 5 letters behind!  Trying to catch up, but April is turning out to not be such a good month to do a blogging challenge, edit and rewrite a manuscript, and work 45-50 hours a week! Yikes.

Next few clips might seem like random garble, and I apologize, but the week has just gotten away from me.

Here's another F word, and no, it's not that one you are thinking of, naughty reader! Finances. I have been trying to get my finances in order this week too. As if prepping a manuscript is not stressful enough, money worries can kill ya!

I don't think many of us really, are as financially sound as we want to be. This economy and job market thing is not helping. Long story short, but I've been divorced now for two years. I work a night job that pays okay, and I was freelancing, which I hope to return to once this manuscript is complete by the end of the month. Whether you are on your own though, or share financial responsibilities with someone, or if you have kids even, to add to the pot, it's tough.

I worked really hard for the last two years to just keep my head above water, but I had to face a reality: I just don't make enough money. Sigh. However, as it turns out, even with what I have been making, I've been doing okay. Not as okay as I want to be, but I've been lucky to keep my head above that water mark for as long as I have. Divorce usually financially ruins if not one person, both. Now, my ex, well, he will probably tell you I took him for everything he had... I don't dispute him feeling that way. However, I will tell you that I took what I needed. I knew it would be difficult starting over, but I honestly didn't take him for half of what I could have. I was just smart enough to realize that the emotional burden of taking more than I needed just to be a bitch far outweighed how hard I knew it was going to be back out on my own.

Does that make sense? It does to me. Anyhow, I've left him far behind now, but financially, I'm still trying to catch up. All in time, I suppose. Let's face it, things can always be worse, right? Things for me aren't as grim as they could be, and for that I am thankful. Eventually, that water mark will lower, and I will wade instead of float; I just need to keep my eye on that proverbial prize!

Friday, April 5, 2013

A-Z Challenge: Excerpt



This is an excerpt from my manuscript, Why Sunday Mornings Always Come Down (and Other Hard Lessons My Father Taught Me). It's from part one, titled Footprints and Footsteps My Roots Have Sacrificed. 
 
I have always been intrigued by a person’s roots, where they come from; who they come from. I don’t always believe that blood is thicker than water, but you can’t change the DNA you come from, who your relatives are. The first lesson my father taught me is that while you can’t change who you come from, you have to take the good and bad essence that makes up your roots and use it all to define who you want to be. This doesn’t mean you let the people who are your past define you, but rather, you separate the riches from the spoils to persevere and become the person YOU want to be. You can embrace your blood ties or you can disregard them, the choice is always yours. Past events that have happened in my family along my timeline have left scars and pain that will never be erased, and these events have left now an emptiness in my life because there are relatives I never even knew let alone speak to, to this day. Yet, I’m drawn to my family’s history, my heritage, and can’t help but think that it all, the good and the bad, has definitely shaped me into who I am today.  
            I’m one fourth Cherokee, Lithuanian, German, and Irish. What a mixed bag that is, hmmm?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A-Z Challenge, D

Dreams.

I took a few psychology courses back in college because I was, am, interested in how the human mind works. What makes us tick? Why do we do the things we do? How much does our subconscious effect our choices and decisions? Does any of this influence why we dream what we dream? Truth be told, I don't have the answers to any of those questions. This, in turn, leaves me highly frustrated with human behavior. Sometimes, I can barely rationalize why I do what I do, why I think the way I think, let alone try to define why others do or say what they do or say.

Back to dreams. I know I dream of certain things and people because I have conflicting or unresolved issues with these things and people and I don't know if it's my inner self trying to console me or what, but sometimes it just freaks me out. I think it's these dreams that block my muse, prohibit me from writing sometimes.

For example, when I dream about my mother,  she is alive. Granted, she passed away quite some time ago, but in my dreams, she'll suddenly reappear, pretending she was just gone for a while, and she's like, "Hi! I'm back!" In other dreams I have about her, I'm always searching for her, looking for her. It's as though I know she's still alive, and I'm looking behind trees and under rocks for her. When I have such dreams, I wake feeling unsettled.

I'm not sure I'll ever come to terms with my mother's death, and the dreams don't always help. Just when I think I've finally found peace with it, I'll have one of these dreams and I will think I've made no progress at all!

Do you have experiences like this with your dreams?