Loving Myself Enough to Share …

It’s been a long time since I’ve actually written and rambled here on my blog and especially write about my dating woes.  One reason was because I have not been dating and all the J months passed me by as did the summer.  Now here it is November and I promised my friends I will start dating … and truly dating – not a first date here or there with no real effort or desire for a 2nd date with the same person.  I have learned a lot about myself – I have made half-hearted attempts at dating in the past, used my parents and my cancer as excuses.  It’s just been hard … letting go of what I thought defined me – grief, obligation, brokenness…

My wish is not to be fixed or even fix another broken soul.  My desire is to meet a person that was once broken and survived just like me so that they can fully understand my brokenness, my weariness, because they too have experienced such pain; they have had to battle demons and conquer despair.

So many people will never understand how much it hurts when you experience great loss.  So many fortunate people will never understand what it is to wake up with the scent of a person on your pillowcase knowing that it’s all a memory now.  We can paint the walls, we can rearrange the furniture, we can even move but that pain stays inside of us; that pain will forever have it’s place.  Some of us learn to live with it; some of us learn to hide it well.  Then there are some of us – lucky ones – who after many dark and lonely years learn that pain, beauty and love collide, coexist and we start to accept and transform that pain and allow it to bring out the beauty within us.  It’s taken me a very long time … but I know I have been lucky …

I have had great men in my life as well as great love and they have taught me how to love soneone as well as how to truly love myself in preparation for what I truly deserve.  I love myself enough and need to share myself in order for that to grow.

Many say you shouldn’t rely on another person to fill the empty spaces in your heart. They tell you, you are just as strong on your own. But the way I see it – some of those empty spaces are only shaped for another person to fill it.
Doesn’t matter how much I love myself, how confident I am. I can’t hold myself while I’m crying. I can’t roll over and hug myself to fall back to sleep. I can’t wash my own back. Life is about love and love is meant to be shared.

So I am ready … truly ready to rise in love, learn in love and accept love. FINALLY going to put myself first and start dating, going on 2nd and 3rd dates with someone worthy and not just go through the motions … with grace in my step, hope in my heart and a twinkle in my eye.

Advertisements

No more fear of rejection…

I’ve learned a long time ago that life is too short.  I’ve buried lovers, best friends, family members, my father and my brother.  I would rather honestly express myself and tell someone I love them and risk rejection; if I love you I’m going to tell you while we both have breath even if it makes you uncomfortable.  I don’t expect to hear it back I just want you to know because when I’m gone I don’t want any doubt to be there.  I would rather give it my all and fail than wallow in regret and uncertainty.  I want to be passionate about life again.  So, who cares if others think I’m a little crazy – I rather be a tad impulsive, free spirited.

Have you ever just met someone and wanted to grab and kiss them as deeply as you’d like but didn’t because of fear of rejection? Well I hope you went for it.  I let an opportunity pass me by this week – and I swore afterwards, I wouldn’t miss it again.  I’d rather be rejected.  I have to live – we all need to live – before we die …  so while there’s still air in our lungs – go for it … with grace in our step, hope in our heart and a twinkle in our eye.


Stuck in a Toxic Pattern

I put up a good front and I selfishly thought having my Mom back home from Florida would be good for me so I could leave my Step Dad with her and actually go out and live my life … but less than 24 hours of her being home – she has managed to depress my Step Dad and I.  She is overbearingly selfish and she thinks that she is the physically sick one and we all need to cater to her at her whim.  But both my Step father and I are physically sicker than her – she is just mentally and emotionally sick, unstable.  She drains us of the little energy we have.  The entire mood has shifted in this house in the past 24 hours.  I can’t wait to leave and start working again.  My mother dearest is pure toxicity.

I feel bad for my Step father but I need a life.  I need to start doing things for myself.  I have neglected myself for so long sometimes I don’t know where to start.

I wish I could be like my older sisters who have estranged themselves from our Mother.  They only come around for a couple of hours on holidays.  They don’t care.  They don’t worry about her or me; and definitely don’t care about our Step Father.

I have been aware that I need to somehow end this toxic relationship and put myself first.  I need time to find what will make me happy and pursue that – but I feel so unworthy, full of self doubt and guilty – just not sure how to move forward.

I keep praying …


Misty Blue …

It’s been a long Monday … feeling blue  … Misty blue …
Oh, it’s been such a long, long time
Looks like I’d get you off my mind
But I can’t
Just the thought of you (just the thought of you)
Turns my whole world misty blue (misty blue)
Oh honey, just the mention of your name (just your name)
Turns the flicker to a flame
Listen to me good, baby
I think of the things we used to do
And my whole world turns misty blue (misty blue)
Ooh baby, I should forget you
Heaven knows I tried (heaven knows I tried)
Baby, when I say that I’m glad we’re through
Deep in my heart I know I’ve lied
I’ve lied, I’ve lied (just the thought of you, misty blue)
Ooh honey, it’s been such a long, long time
Looks like I’d get you off my mind
But I can’t
Just the thought of you, my love (just the thought of you)
My whole world turns misty blue (misty blue)
Ooh, oh, I can’t, oh, I can’t
Oh, I can’t forget you
My whole world turns misty blue (misty blue)
Ooh, oh, my love
My whole world turns misty blue (misty blue)
Baby, baby, baby, baby
Baby, I can’t forget you
My whole world turns misty blue (misty blue)

Misty Blue


My Scars Tell A Story …

20170804_204354I was on the line this past week at the NYC Passport Agency … more than 2 hours in 90 degree August weather … Not fun!  Realized that sometimes life becomes less about living and more about waiting … So tired of waiting!

A complete stranger noticed my scar on my back, near my right shoulder blade.  They asked me what happened.  I was surprised because it’s been a part of me for 40+ years – I forget it’s there.  I had my first cancerous tumors at six months old.  Forty years ago, no one was thinking beyond me getting healthier and growing old – not worrying about scars and plastic surgery.  This stranger mentioned I should look into scar revision surgery.   I politely listened to them.  But in my head I am thinking please leave me alone.   My scars are mine and they tell my story.  Some days they bring me comfort and remind me how much I have gone through and of my strength.

The quote by Steve Maraboli – resonates:  My scars tell a story. They are a reminder of times when life tried to break me, but failed.

My life has been hard.  It still is – most days.  I deal with sadness, grief, pain, hurt, anger, loss … I struggle on a daily basis to get out of bed and just put one foot in front of the other, trying to find my purpose and my smile.  I struggle to find the tenuous line between what hurts me and what heals me.  I struggle in letting go of the past and keep moving forward.

So I need to see beauty in my scars.  So many of us have scars – some visible, many not.  Some are inside of us, some are on the outside prominently and permanently on display.

So I will show my scars … because I continue to fight and survive.  I won’t hide my scars.  They are my reminders that I am still alive.  They serve as proof that God is forever healing me.  And I will keep finding beauty in my life and sharing my story … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.


Who suffers most is I …

I cause displeasure to the one

I most desire to gratify,

And from displeasure that I give,

The one who suffers most is I … 

Such beautifully stirring words written many years ago by Juana Inés de la Cruz –   acclaimed in her time as the “Phoenix of Mexico”, America’s tenth muse; a generation later she was forgotten.

Sor Juana Inés de la  Cruz was a 17th century nun, self-taught scholar and acclaimed writer of the Latin American colonial period and the Hispanic Baroque. She was also a staunch advocate for women’s rights.

 


Reality: Possibility of Growing Old Alone

I am finally able to sit and think about my life the past couple of weeks.  I have had two funerals to attend.  That started a conversation with one of my friends about being an elder orphan – we are both single, no children – we are aging alone with no family available to address our future care-giving needs.

I never actually sat down and thought of this.  Now I have to start thinking and working on a plan for aging without a family for support.  I am most likely going to grow old alone.  So I need to prepare to age alone.  I am okay with this.   I am and have been a caregiver to many in my immediate family – my grandmother, my Dad, my Mom and even my Step Dad –  so I know what it entails.  I guess I have to start answering the question, “Who is going to do that for me?”  Not overwhelmingly daunting yet … just hitting home that I have to start making more conscious decisions going forward … with hope in my heart and grace in my step.


Healing from abusive parents

Emotionally, today has been a very hard day.  I am the primary caregiver of my sick, aging mother and step father – today they were down right toxic and I could barely tolerate them.  They are so oblivious to my well being and so verbally and emotionally abusive.  I am drained.  Depressed.  Suffering from PTSD.  My anxiety is at an all-time high and now that I am upstairs away from them, I can’t stop crying.

I am working on maintaining peace and keeping my self esteem from hitting rock bottom.  For so many years, I have tried to have a relationship with them especially my mother, but it has been hard and disappointing.  So many times it was painful and upsetting – like today.

I get up early, I run errands for them.  I clean their apartment.  I pay the bills.  I try to be pleasant.  But they were both so critical and demeaning today.  I was too slow, too stupid, too lazy, too fat according to them.  We had torrential rains yesterday and had a leak from the second floor to the first and had to replace some of the drop ceiling tiles.  My step dad was insistent on going with me, caused a scene at the hardware store.  I found myself apologizing to all.  He continued to berate me in front of all these strangers calling me stupid, blind – I was trying so hard to remain calm, not cry.  It made me so sad and tired.  We finally made it back home.  Now I had to write to calm myself down.  Words flow out of me, help me focus on good not the bad.

I decided early in my teens to study psychology.  I really needed to understand how to survive in a highly dysfunctional family, with emotionally neglectful parents.  I know all too well what they weren’t able to give me, how they failed me.  I had tried to talk to them years ago but to no avail,  They were not willing to acknowledge nor understand.  So I kept some distance but the past seven years has me back home helping them full time.  It was a decision I made  with many doubts but I felt I had no choice.  They needed help.  I struggle daily on how to handle the pain that I feel every day when my  parents treat me as if I am invisible and I don’t matter.   

I am a compassionate, sensitive person  Always have been – even to my detriment.  I understand that my parents did not have the easiest nor best childhoods themselves.  I understand how they are selfish and self serving.  I am just trying to put some energy into my own healing.  I continue to forgive.  I know I can’t undo history.  I know that I matter and I am not pathetic, stupid nor weak.  Just breathing, trying to be patient, love my parents the best I can … with hope in heart and grace in my step.

 

 

 


Plan for my 50th BirthYear!

I’ve thought about this a lot. There wasn’t one big thing I could do today. Instead of a big birthday celebration or, I  have decided to have a birthyear! And I’m going to do 50 things that will make me happy, starting on my 50th Birthday, and go straight through until my 51st. It’s not a bucket list, but it’s things—that I know will bring me joy and will let me celebrate this wonderful birthday, for which I am grateful, for longer than one day.

It’s just my way of embracing the start of this important decade in a very meaningful and fulfilling way. I will share some of the things that are on my 50 Things I’m Going to Do to Celebrate my 50th Birthday list. None of them are a huge stretch, and most are simple, every-day pleasures. And, each and every one is on the list because they will make ME happy, not someone else.

Here is a peek at how I am planning to celebrate my 50th from March 20 2017 to March 20 2018:

  1. Actually, exercise … yeah maybe join a gym. Yikes!
  2. Visit Oregon wine country
  3. Visit my Texan friend
  4. Go to a dance class
  5. Rescue a puppy from a shelter
  6. Register at the police station as a line-up person.
  7. Keep writing
  8. Be more selfish
  9. Stop being afraid of failure
  10. Keep forgiving people
  11. For every three pieces of chocolate, eat a vegetable …Double yikes!
  12. Wear more colors than just black
  13. Go to the park – and swing
  14. Ride a bike
  15. Try yoga / meditation
  16. Write a love letter
  17. Cook for someone special
  18. Stop saying, “sorry”
  19. Schedule a massage
  20. Do / watch something scary
  21. Sleep more than 5 hours
  22. Start baking again
  23. Flirt more
  24. Go for a tarot card reading
  25. Give and get more hugs

Clearly my celebration list is a work in progress.  Celebrating me and my life is not something I do naturally.  This will surely be an interesting year as I dabble in and practice this thing called CELEBRATION.  Since today is the first day of my 50th year – I better go get this party started!


So Much Life After HS …

I have learned some very valuable lessons in my life – as I hope all have by the time they reach the age of 50.  I didn’t have a good time in high school; I attended two very different schools in those short four years.  The last few years, I find myself back home, close to where I went to high school and so many fellow classmates all still hang out together.  Still.  I have no problem with this until they made an issue with me not attending the school functions, the class reunions, etc.  Some remember those years full of angst or full of joy.  My four years of high school was more full of angst and I have chosen to try to put behind me -especially when many of the same people who made my life unbearable in HS tried to make my life difficult 30 years later.  So shame on them.   And to think many of these people now have children of their own.  I pray for them.  I was shy, sheltered by my immediate family, basically an introvert back then and now I like to think I have graduated to an ambivert.  I tend to only surround myself with calm people these days.  I don’t need to loud, crowd filled moments.  I prefer to look at the photos after an event or party then be the life of the party.  I wish more people would respect that some connections and so-called friendships from a tenuous connection from high schools days do indeed have an expiration date.  I attended my 25th and 30th HS reunions.  It was okay.  I learned I still have very little in common with most people there who showed up.  I tried.  I went.  Now I just want to be left alone by that ‘crowd’.

To me, it seems like some people never leave high school.  They are still jealous, bullies, immature, and many busy trying to relive glory sports days or prom queen days.

After attending the 25th reunion, so many of the same people who tried spreading gossip about me in HS invited me out; I went, I am a forgiving person, chalking all those HS moments to immaturity.  But sitting with these strangers around me, and all talking about things I had no true connection to nor memory of, I realized I still had very little in common with this group of tight knit high school friends.  I tried.  I wanted to know what it would be like to hang out with the HS ‘in-crowd’.  As an adult, being invited to parties I never got invited to while in HS, I thought would vindicate me and erase some of those sad HS moments.  But it didn’t.  If anything some get together’s just exacerbated it.

My curiosities were at an all time high, and I tried to just approach by observing, more like an anthropologist than an active participant.  I was learning a little of what it most of been to be popular in HS.  But curiosity wanes.  People show their true colors, and I was sad – but not for myself, but for them.  So many of these people, left high school, married someone from their local area, and settled in the same area or a place just like our hometown.  I couldn’t truly relate back then nor now.  Most of my friends are people I have met outside of high school.  I have a huge family and am close to my cousins, who will always be my friends, my source of home.  And have been lucky to have traveled and work in many different places, so many of my friends are from shared experiences as adults.

I have been busy trying to put those tough awkward years behind me – only to learn that I am still more awkward than not.  Daily, I battle depression, PTSD, body image issues due to cancer and scars, and have never been the social, bubbly, pretty cheerleader type.  I prefer to get lost in the background, in books, in words, in engaging all my five senses by enjoying wine and food.  I detest dieting and never go to the gym.  I don’t feel the need to look perfect nor do I believe in plastic surgery nor in spending tons of money on wrinkle cream or cellulite cream.   I am happy with myself, by myself.  I don’t need validation from many people, especially those from high school who never had my back then or now, and have never walked in my shoes, Jimmy Choo or not.

I have learned that I didn’t allow those four years of high school to fully define me. I haven’t lived there for a very long time.  I never allowed that HS shadow to linger.  Some feelings did arise whenever I get an invitation and then I write posts like this.  But for the most part, I realize that my HS years were hard but it doesn’t hold much glory days.  I was on the honor society, I had my cousins as my friends, and didn’t need much.  I graduated, moved on.  I don’t have that sense of melancholy from those HS days. I see that those HS years occupy a privileged place for many people.  They reminisce and want to relive their glory days.  Perhaps explains Ralph Keyes’s observation in his 1976 classic, Is There Life After High School?: “Somehow those three or four years can in retrospect feel like 30.”

About the only thing I still deal with since I was a teenager is still learning how to be myself, to not lose control and to continually keep learning.

 

So I wish when I chose to RSVP NO that people from high school could respect that and move forward.  And not feel the need to talk about me behind my back … but sadly, we all know that is not the case.  So I try to remember the saying, “What people say about me behind my back is none of my business.” (RuPaul).  They don’t know me, they can dislike me, well dislike what they think they know of me.  And I will continue being me, living my life, with its ups and downs, but me loving myself each day.

Most importantly, it’s my life, and if something doesn’t serve me, I am learning to let it go.  We have no obligation to someone else. When something upsets you, let it go.  And that includes what other people think of you. If other peoples’ judgement is bringing you down, ignore it.  Try to only hold onto things that make you feel good. Other people can make their choices. They can bitch about you and say nasty things. But don’t forget that you have choices too.  So let’s all try to make better choices.  Shaking off the negativity, moving forward with purpose, and looking forward to all the beautiful, positive things that make me happy … with hope in my heart and grace in my step.

 


%d bloggers like this: