The hamster wheel

Hung out with a co-worker last night. We both needed the mental break from our personal and professional stresses.

It reminded me that I am capable of sitting and having a conversation with an adult. It felt nice.

I’m mentally and emotionally drained. Everyday is the same stress…same lack…same things making me sad. I try to put on my happy face and try to get beyond it all, so that I’m authentically optimistic. And believe it or not, I am generally of the belief that things will get better.

But life feels like a neverending spin on the hamster wheel.

I want to jump off that wheel and breathe.

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Need my feet in the sand and a cold drink in my hand…or something like that

 

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I’ve promised myself to be optimistic about things.

This is the Jersey shore (the real one).  I took this photo eight years ago, a few months before my life changed in ways I thought would be forever.  And just when I let myself believe it, the past year has shown that forever is not the case.

With everything that is going on, I keep thinking I’d like to just go sit on a beach in California (closer and much warmer than NJ), put my feet in the sand, grab a cold drink or ten, and just breathe . . .contemplate. . .try not to have answers for everything. . .lots of deep breaths.

 

 

Arizona

I moved to Arizona, after I moved to Oregon…Arizona is pretty. I went up South Mountain over the summer. The view is spectacular.

I hope to go see the wild horses soon. They are beautiful. I remember seeing some running through a part of Colorado that I was visiting. So much beauty, power, and grace wrapped up together. What I love the most is that no one is controlling them. They are free.

Some pics from my drives:

(God + Cinderella + Steel Panther) – Negativity = Epiphany

*If I didn’t do the order of operations right, suck it. I was an English major.

I’ve decided to start writing, again. Over the past few years that I’ve tried to re-start the blog, I’ve found that I’m a hot, depressed mess. Who wants to read that? I didn’t want to write it – for sure.

As briefly as I can state it, I lost my parents, threw my career away (not entirely, but dang…it sure did go backwards a bit in prestige and pay), everything I gave up “me” for is literally gone. So…that makes one a bit glued to the bed, I think. Not in a good way, either. But, I realized something over the last few weeks: if I’m all I’ve got, then I need to wake the heck up (Jersey girl trying really hard not use really bad language, here).

I realized, that despite my present circumstances, it is still ok to have dreams.

I realized that I have worth. (Yeah, I know…it’s 2019.)

I realized that it’s ok to be a kid-at-heart, to have fun, and to find humor in things that others might not. It is my farooking life.

I realized that I took life too seriously for way too long. Responsibility became my middle name. And while I believe that adulting needs to be handled in a mature way to ensure a little less stress, I’m realizing that my pendulum was swinging hard to the right; when, in fact, it should have been at a standstill…smack in the middle…not given to extremes. And guess what? Only focusing on all of that responsibility made me a stressed-out, out-of-balance mess and caused me to forget I was allowed to have a life.

Lessons learned.

You would probably be surprised to find out what the final step was in coming out of my years-long funk: music. Well, if you know me, you know that’s not a surprise. BUT…I went back to the past, when I was a teenager…had my rocker-girl dreams…went to L.A., to live with a band, took cosmetology classes because I thought I’d do hair and make-up for bands (good thing I quit that, given grunge was lurking two or three years down the road), continued to have dreams…(get the pattern?).

Somehow, though, I ended up supporting my mom and caring for her. Caring for my dad. Caring for some folks in my life that I love very much, but seemingly are slipping away from me…face it…have slipped away from me. Becoming a teacher, wasn’t a dream, but I love it…however, it is something else that has taken me from me. If you’re a teacher, you understand…especially if you are an English teacher. This was all done with love, but somehow I forgot to take of me, too.

All that said…back to the music and my epiphany: a few nights ago, I found myself on YouTube. I searched the all-ages clubs and not-so-all-ages clubs I frequented – legally and illegally for the bands and “scene” that kept me going through my tumultuous life. I happened upon Cinderella performing on a cramped stage, that at the time, seemed like a window to adventure for me. I remember going to see them at the Spectrum and leaving after they opened for David Lee Roth. It was amazing to see them on that stage and to hear Tom Keifer say that he was home. (Yes, I’m that person that watches everything at a concert: the crew, the band, the fans, the band, the crew…gets teary-eyed seeing others succeed – overwhelmed happy tears, because I saw the seed of the dream in the eyes of my musician friends. To see local guys do it, well…so much pride.)

As I continued watching the results of my YouTube searches, I saw bands that were folks that I had great conversations with, at the clubs and at the concerts at The Spectrum. And while I’m clearly not a teenager anymore, I realized that I can still enjoy what made me happy. I can be free to be me. I have not felt that way my entire adult life. It freaks me out and makes me so stinking excited and happy at the same time – can’t even articulate it precisely.

What brought on this epiphany? All of the above + my deeply held faith + prayer + and you’ll never believe this, watching a highly inappropriate, but crazy-talented and funny band called Steel Panther. Watching these gentlemen has reminded me of my past, the musicians I hung around with and lived with – in all their brash, bawdy, loud, obnoxious, crude boldness – has reminded me that growing up/older doesn’t have to mean you give up your dreams or your belief in yourself when others have given you up for dead. You find your way…your niche…and you have fun doing it while kicking lots of butt. Their crazy talented antics reminded me to smile and giggle with a smirk. (They aren’t faith healers, but their personas and the fact that they have taken on these personas are giving me the life lesson.)

I’m the result of a super-Scottish grandmother (a superstitious lot), so I’m trying really hard not to jinx myself, here, but for the first time in a very long time, I’m excited about life. My life sucks rocks right now, and I have spent the past few months, especially, wondering WTF…but, I have life to live. I’m not going to be a bitter hag grumping at everyone about everything that has gone wrong or has trashed my dreams. It’s not the fault of those who might be on my journey’s path.

Only I can march on forward, walking into any situation, saying, “I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum.”

Now, this adult needs to unwind. Guess it is time for Sponge Bob. Wish I was in a legal state. Just sayin’.

The muck

Some days I wonder where God is. I know He is there, but I’m hurting in the worst way I ever have. There are days I try to make it through the day without making any footprints in the lives of other, because I can’t deal right now. My spirit is crushed,  and with each day that I try to be a better person or worthwhile to others, I seem to fail completely. I’m struggling with catching up with life. I feel like a rope is tied around my waist and that more weight is being added to it, daily, so I don’t move.

I’m tired. A lot of change at once. Even though it all has the potential to be very good change, I’ve never felt so lost and alone. Ever.

GOODBYE 2015

This has been a year of loss, blessings, huge changes and more loss…and some loss I’ve been told to prepare for, as two more family members are gravely ill.

My philosophical side says this is the process of life, but the side that refuses to detach from my heart says it is too much life too fast.

My nerves are raw, my ability to process more than what I meant to do an hour ago is all I can handle. Sometimes I feel like I’m lost in some other universe.

What I really want to do is scream, but nothing will come out – like in those movies where a character is so frightened that he or she can’t yell for help. When asked questions or when someone engages me in conversation, if I have to answer for myself and what I think, I shut down. I can’t even form the words. It might be a good thing, though. I don’t think people would want my candor right now.

So, 2015, please just go away. I’ve learned too much about grief and loss. I’m humbled to submission. In, 2016, Lord please bless me spiritually, physically and financially, so I can help others that have walked a similar path to mine. Please bless me with the peace and calm I’ve needed for a very long time. Thank you for the gift and opportunity of a new start in Oregon. I look forward to embracing it.

He sees all

God isn’t some guy behind a curtain telling Dorothy she just needs to click her heels three times. I’m glad He isn’t just some guy. He is much more. He is our keeper, confidant, provider, mender, healer and most importantly, Father.

I’m dealing with a lot of emptiness and heartache. Sandwiched around it all is facing a reality of lack when I tried really hard to be sure that wouldn’t happen. As, what seems to happen, God is showing me who is in control. My life has almost been totally erased in one way or another. At least it feels that way.

So I wait, and I continually ask and continually pray. I’m also asking God  where He is. I know He is “there” watching and keeping. His provision will come at just the right time, so I learn that He is in control. Not me.

Humbling lessons in life are very much like an itchy wool sweater that is too tight around the neck.

I look out my window at so much blessing. But my heart and emotions only notice what is missing.

Your prayers are coveted.