And one day she woke up. She was sick of dreaming. So she started living.
Theres so much Beauty in the pain and uncertainty of life.
We are often too focused on it at the time to see it.
But step back for a moment and you’ll see it, the sliver of Glorious bruises that make you.
Enjoy the painful moments because they are what make you feel alive.
All we are is how we are perceived to be. How can we know we are not just the product of societal perception , and desire?
Is our whole being just a by product of what we are advertised to supposed to be. Are we all just acting out, the decrement and projections of the outer world.
Maybe the only people who know the answer to this are the ones who live on the edge. Who refuse to conform, the ones we call crazy.
My life has been comprised of a million distractions.
Distractions peel away at your soul.
No one Lives forever. Let it go.
I know you can, Let the hurt, the emptiness wash through you. Allow yourself to be content with the memories, and lessons. and let it Go.
You are not your distractions, when you let them go you find your real self. It is only then you see all the ways you compromised your truth.
The only way to find yourself is to remove all the distractions telling you who you are.
Be alone and embrace the let down of letting go.
I Am unable to have children. <sigh> There I said it. I feel better now. Well not really.
It has taken me a long time to come to terms with my fate, destiny…whatever. Perhaps the hardest thing I have ever been asked to accept in my life. I say “accept” because that is exactly what I must do. If I fail to accept it, it will consume me, and I will become bitter and resentful, a person I actively choose not to be.
I can’t begin to put to words to the types of feelings and thoughts a young woman goes through when she finds out. It is a lonely place, and somedays it is impossible. There is no funeral, no outpouring of support, and no one bakes you a lasagna. Though I feel incredibly alone, I know I am not. Doesn’t help. Doesn’t make me want it less.
I have yet to share my feelings about my defective innards with anyone. I don’t like pity, sympathy, and other such ridiculous cliche’ spectacles. I don’t like it when people look at me like I’m broken, or they think because I told them they have to fix me. I realize I have a problem accepting help and sympathy, I have a problem crying in front of people, and sharing my feelings. I am a work in progress. Whatever my emotional maturity level is, I know I need to let go, to keep moving forward.
I wanted to have children since I was a child myself. In fact when asked how many, my answer was 12. I loved the idea of a big family. I had dreams of rocking and singing my baby to sleep. Proudly watching my babies eyes light up when he/she took their first step. Taking pictures of beaming little faces on the first day of school. My husband patiently helping them with their math homework. Kissing scrapped knees and hurt feelings. Boisterous family dinners filled with giggles and silly conversations. Nature hikes, family vacations, and soccer games. I dreamed of teaching them about life and love. I dreamed of recreating my fondest childhood memories with them. Building huge couch forts, Helping them through their first heartbreak, prom, graduation, marriage, and grand kids. Having something I can hold up to the world and say “I MADE THIS! and It is AMAZING!” I dreamed of experiencing that magical thing called un-conditional love. All of these things and more, will never come to fruition for me. When I am ready to leave this world, I will not be surrounded by the family I have built, I will most likely be alone.
As much as I try to, plaster a smile on my face there are constant daily reminders, of my unfulfilled aspirations. Although I realize these statements and suggestions are always given with the best intentions, I still need to vent the frustration that I feel behind them. Perhaps there are others out there who may relate, and in no way is this meant to thwart the good intentions of others, it is only my personal take.
” I have this friend who couldn’t get pregnant for X years then all of a sudden she did, so you never know.” For one, I am not your friend and your words offer very little comfort, in fact It seems like a one-up statement. Sharing your friends happy ending just makes me want to slap the <insert expletive here> out of you.
“Why don’t you see a doctor, or try in vitro, lots of people who couldn’t have babies had success with it.” Right, all those medical treatments and the like are not guaranteed and cost tens of thousands of dollars I don’t have. So thanks, but seriously like I haven’t thought of that?!!
“You could always adopt” Your right I could, Not the same, but thanks, and by the way you have know idea the situation I am in, or how my other half is dealing or not dealing with this. Again I am aware of my options, and honestly I am not at that decision making point yet. I also don’t think I am ready for endless wait, and possible heartbreak when it doesn’t work out.
My real answer to all of these polite suggestions is the same “Yeah Maybe” as I bite my lower lip in order to hold back the frustration, in my voice.
“Do you have any kids? “Your getting old you should pop out some kids soon!” “Do you want kids?” All of these statements, even though they seem harmless are like knives to my empty womb every time I hear them. My general answer is some vague, yet cheery “Not yet”, or “still working on it.” I don’t feel the need to elaborate further, mostly because I don’t want to see your pity face, hear your solutions (see above) or answer your questions. Honestly the more you wish to talk about my barren belly the faster I want to get away from you.
“Bet your glad you don’t have kids”, ” You do not know how lucky you are.” or any statement to that effect. You don’t know how lucky you are to have them. Please continue to tell me about my luck of having my dreams and goals shattered. Please continue to tell me how awesome it is, to be incapable of creating another human. Share with me how lucky I am to never feel that unconditional love. Yeah Buddy, the gods have blessed me for sure. I usually respond with a small laugh, eye roll combination followed with a sarcastic “yeah”.
Just know that every baby shower I go to, I am reminded of what will never manifest in my life. Every time I see your baby photos on Facebook I am imagineing a future that doesn’t exist. Just know that when you proudly talk about child’s accomplishments, I will be unable to contribute to the conversation. Please know that I don’t want to be this way, but I am. I am truly happy for you and your genius child, they are incredibly cute. But sometimes, it is just a reminder. It still hurts. I haven’t healed yet. Honestly, there will always be a place in my heart for the child that never was.
It takes a lot not to think about it every time I see a commercial, a family at the zoo, a new children’s movie, or simply walk past the baby section at Target. At first I just ignored it, then I cried about it, I blamed God. I found distractions, the gym, friends, work….whatever I could just to fill the gap. Now I know none of these distractions will help me face this, with every end to a distraction I desprratly seek to find another, only to repeat the messy process, over and over.
Perhaps like any other grieving processes it just takes time. I no longer blame God. I still cry. I am still searching for a new distraction. Right now, I find myself in a hard place. I really don’t know when I will feel ok. My whole life I assumed I was meant to get married and have babies, end. But now I need to find a new purpose. I don’t think I can be happy if I don’t. Perhaps I can travel the world, climb mountains, and explore the beauty behind my front door, and my past aspirations. I only need to take that step, leave my self pity behind me and keep moving forward.
“The best and worst thing about life is that it always changes”
Winter’s icy landscape fades onto spring. The world becomes a layout of sparse green grass and bare trees. Slowly the sun breathes life into their branches, giving way to delicate leaves. Despite how frigid the world has become, despite the sins of the bitter dry winds that assault mother nature, the spring always comes. The earth is always forgiven. Summer eventually rises, and a full lush world emerges, from the past sorrows and transgressions. A plentiful bounty filled with bright skies, and opulent landscapes. The earth rising above sadness, and welcoming us to a world teeming with life. Only to reach its rise to fall, the dying of all things. The glow of the sun, changes the leaves to vibrant reds, oranges and yellows, reminding us their is beauty in change. Once again winter inflicts the world with a bitter breeze, to remind us all that, nothing can stay the same. Desolation will always give way to abundant joy, only to fall into despair yet again…it is all so fragile.
So I started this blog. When I initially started it, I was fearful of posting anything personal, least someone discover it was me writing, oh the horror! Honestly, I just wanted a place to put my thoughts, heavy, light or random. I needed a place to dump them. I am not an openly emotional person, I tend to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself sans a select few. I viewed this blog as a way to express myself anonymously to anyone who wanted to hear me.
The more I typed, the more ideas I came up with (most of them yet to be posted). The more I realized, rather felt a deep need to put my whole self into this. I need my soul to pour out through my words no matter who is listening. The only way I will feel relief from my thoughts is if I give them life. After spending so many years in my own personal silence feeling as though no one would listen, I have decided it is high time I find my voice.
This is a huge personal hurdle for me to jump over. Everyone struggles with something, perhaps this is my thing. It’s not easy for me to pour myself out, and be left to stand alone in the line of others judgments, to feel naked and vulnerable with your feelings and inner person outside its shell. But theses are the things that make us human, these are the things I fall in love with in other people. At some point I have decided to let my fears control my expressions.
The longer I live and the more I think about it, it may seem easy to build walls at first, but eventually, your walls just become a prison for yourself. Its lonely in here. I think about all the people I have successfully shut out of my life, because I was too afraid to open up. How many opportunities to have a real connection with someone have I missed? How much of myself have I held back, and held in. Always believing you are born alone and you die alone, thus you end up living alone. It is more harmful to keep those walls up then it is to <gasp> be vulnerable.
I have yet to inform my family or friends of my blog adventure. In fact I was hesitant to tell the Bust Buy guy who sold me my lap top what my intended use was. I am still nervous to expose myself, quite possibly a side of me no one knew existed. I am terrified of their reactions, terrified of the things they will think but not say. I am even more afraid of staying in this dark prison, I am afraid that I will let my own insecurities keep me from my aspirations.
I need to strip down my outer walls, and expose myself to the public, not the me I carefully plan to show. I have already spent too much time being someone else for everyone else, Now I need to be myself for myself, judgements be damned! I need to knock my walls down and let the stones fall where they may. Climb out of the rubble and live.
I enter the tanning room……
Whoa! That Tanning bed is Ginormous! Seriously it is like the size of a shipping crate. Please tell me what person is the size of an ocean liner?
Starts to undress….
Dang its cold in here! One would think if people are getting naked up in here, they would turn up the heat.
I Strip down to my birthday suit, and open worlds smallest packet of tanning lotion for $5.
There is no way this is going to cover my whole body!
I rip open tiny package with my teeth, loose a dollop to the floor.
Seriously?! That was like $2.50?!@!#
I consider using fallen lotion….decide it would only lead to some incurable skin condition, and leave the lonely dollop on the floor. Rub remaining lotion on my skin.
Awesome I smell like a stripper….This must be what they use hehe.
Notices footsteps outside door.
Did those footsteps just stop outside my door? what is he doing out there… Oh hell I hope he doesn’t come in. Did I lock the door? not sure it matters these doors are a little flimsy any way, I am sure if Mr. footstep wanted to get in he would have no trouble. Is he just standing out there? Why doesn’t he move?
<coughs> <clears throat> in hopes that stranger will know I am in here, get scared and run away. lay down on the cold bed, afraid to press my goose pimpled flesh onto the icy glass.
Must find distraction until this rocket takes off.
Finding good song on i-pod
Did, I really download all of these?
Note to self: create playlist of songs you actually want to hear. I wonder if anyone else gets sick of their music? Why don’t you just pick what song you want to hear so you can stop flipping?
Fine! No more skipping next song is staying on no matter what it is! Ugh Brittney Spears… <Skip> surly I downloaded that as a joke!?
<Skip…Skip> Tanning bed finally Fires Up
Whoa! this thing is loud. teeeheee its like I’m inside a rocket ship. BLAST OFF!! So that’s what the goggles are for! damn its bright in here? Body looks so cool in neon! I wish I could be in neon all the time. That would be weird though. What if I was the only one with a neon body. People would see me and be all like ” Is she from the future?” And of course I would respond. “YES!”
Wait……. are all of my body parts getting hit with this thing? I hope there isn’t some crazy skin roll in my back, because then I’ll have some weird stripe, and people will call me crazy zebra lady. Maybe I could get a spot on National Geographic channel like that lizard guy? What about my butt crease? Am I down far enough? Stop thinking about it, just relax…shhh shh shhhhhh.
Adjusts back, legs, neck and whole body….
I’m feeling so fly like a cheese stick, like a cheese sick…that cant be what they saying. Cheese sticks are good and all, but I never equated them with feeling fly. Mental note: look up song lyrics when I get home.
What if the glass I am laying on collapses, and my naked body falls on shards of hot light bulbs, would I die instantly? or would I have to pull my bloodied body out? I would then become hysterical and run out of the room. I’d be screaming, naked, and running around the hallways frantically searching for help. They’d have to call 911 because I would be burnt, bloody and super dramatic about it. I would make the incident look like a scene from a gore filled horror flick. Wiping handfuls of blood all over the walls…. On second thought, that would be awkward, and maaybeeee… a little too much. I most likely would pull myself from the wreckage and slide my clothes on over the glass shards, calmly, approach the counter and explain what happened. “Excuse me mam, I believe your tanning bed is broken, as evidenced by my blistering and bloody glass filled body.” She would be all horrified, and I would then demand a refund, at least! Did something just shift beneath me, did I just hear glass crack?
Turns off music inspects tanning bed. lays back down sighing in relief.
That girl I saw, the other day, looks like she spent so much time on her appearance, I’ll bet she farts glitter. If a person really did fart glitter, would they need to wear some kind of filter type underwear, like cheese cloth or something? Seriously where would all the glitter go? It would probably all accumulate in your pants until you took them off, then there would be a huge glitter pile on your bedroom floor. That would be hard to get rid of, you’d have to vacuum the glitter spot for weeks, nay decades and there would still be glitter! Seriously that stuff never goes away! If I farted glitter I would sport ass-less chaps, that way I wouldn’t have to worry about dealing with mass amounts of glitter in my panties. I could also spread the glitter love, a little puff here, a little puff there, MAGICAL! No robbing banks after eating taco bell though, because it would leave a trail of glitter for the cops to follow….BUSTED!
Cuz you make me feeeel like……. I’ve beeen locked in a heaaad lock, for too loooonnng.
hehehe Shark Nado! hehehe. That was a terrible movie! Ill bet they make a sequel. They always make a sequel, wonder if the sequel will be just as bad….or worse? Maybe it won’t be about sharks but centipedes. I’m Pretty sure if a centipede tornado came I would drop dead from fear! those things are freaky fast, and all the legs…soft bodies…running around on my skin…AHHHHH!
I jump up and itch my whole body checking the floor and tanning bed for centipedes.
What is wrong with me?! I must be the weirdest person alive. I’ll probably end up in a nut house at some point in my life. That really wouldn’t be so bad though? I could play bridge with all the other crazies all day long. I’ll bet half of them are not crazy, they are just so brilliant that people think they are crazy. I’ll bet one of them is a time traveler, he’d be interesting to talk to.
Am I burning? feels like I’m burning? its pretty hot in here….. I wonder if tanning beds ever start on fire? That’s silly Shelly you would know if it was on fire, Right? What if my tanning bed IS on fire? and I can’t feel it because its hot in here, and I don’t notice the flame because it’s so bright? If it did start on fire do you think it would spontaneously combust, and any chance for escape, would be futile? Or would I realize I was burning and have time to remove myself from the tanning bed and roll around on the ground. Would I STOP-DROP and ROLL? I have seen a few shows on television where people were on fire and I felt the need to scream at the T.V. They would run around flailing their arms, in a panic, making the fire grow larger. I really feel like the whole STOP DROP and ROLL thing was a big part of passing kindergarten. Maybe when your on fire you lose all your senses and forget?
Gets up to make sure tanning bed is not on fire, just in case.
I feel like I’ve been in this thing forever. how many minutes left… I wish I could just sleep in these things like normal people do.
Tanning bed shuts off.
There are three kinds of people in the world. The ones who immediately answer the door when someone knocks, the person who asks “who is it?” before answering the the door, and then there is me. I am the person who hears a knock at the door and crawls around on the floor looking out every available window, like a ninja, to find out who it is.
I am not sure where this irrational fear comes from. Perhaps it stems from my extreme dislike of small talk. I really hate plastering myself with pretend smiles and fake friendliness in the face complete strangers, while they spill out the contents of their boring mundane life. It may seem harsh but I never found any personal benefit from these small meaningless interactions. Hence my fear of answering the unexpected banging on my chamber door.
At the time I was living in a studio apartment with my boyfriend, whom for all intents and purposes we shall dub Sam. Sam and I were both in college and had little time for anything other than books and bars, you know the important things. It was a normal quite evening, we were so deep in our respective homework that when it happened, I thought the plaster walls would crumble. A knock at the door. My heart jumped, Sam shuttered with discontent. Millions of unspoken anxieties passed though us, as the knocks became increasingly louder and ominous. KNOCK! KNOCK! Praying it wasn’t some solicitor, or the land lord dropping by for some mind numbing small talk. The banging continued as if the stranger on the other side of the door could see us, as if he knew with each intimidating knock our hearts were welling up with annoyance.
“You should answer the door” I whispered. In my head I figured the best course of action would be to let Sam take the brunt of the offending solicitor, while I try to contort myself in the worlds smallest bathroom to hide from the attack.
“You get it.” Sam slowly answered as if not fully committed to his statement. KNOCK KNOCK!! the deafening sounds of offensive knocks filling our tiny sanctuary with a profound foreboding, escalating to an anxiety ridden crescendo.
“Wait, maybe they will just go away, they will think we are not home or something.” I postulated, hoping I could put up with the excessive knocking until they gave up. “No no no that’s stupid! the T.V. is clearly on, they know we are here.” KNOCK KNOCK… and apparently they are not going to go away. Great.
Sam gently eased me off the futon, and by ease I mean prodded with force .”Just get the door Shelly.” Sam flippantly said as he returned to his books. All the muscles in my body were working against me as I scrapped myself off the futon and nervously headed for the door. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Honestly, one would think a person would be like; maybe they are not home and give up at this point? My arm reached out to grasp the cold brass knob and with a quick turn the door was open.
There he was, the person who had intruded my deep thoughts on organic chemistry, with his thunderous knocking. Standing in the hallway, an old black man. He was slightly taller than myself, which is not saying much seeing as how most pre-pubescent boys are taller than me. His frail frame was adorned in a burgundy polyester suit, the jacket hanging long on his slim figure. The flashy suit was probably the picnicale of high fashion back in it’s hay day, but now it just looked like something found at the local thrift shop for a buck fifty. I smiled at the man, the sweet kind of acknowledgement smile that you would give an older lady at church. He lifted his head full of wiry grey hairs and said the most absurd and shocking words I ever expected to hear out of this slight mans mouth “Do you want some Meat?” There was No hello, No introduction. He just blurted out the phrase as if it was a perfectly normal thing to ask a complete stranger.
I wish I could re-capture my exact inner dialogue at this moment, I am pretty sure it went something like the following: “No.” Instead of listening to the voice of reason, instead of closing the door on this apparent lunatic, I shrugged my shoulders and replied ” Sure I guess.” I know what your thinking, why would someone who is nervous to answer an innocent knock at the door accept meat form a complete stranger? I have spent countless sleepless nights pondering my actions of that day, but to no avail my thoughts elude me and no answer was ever forthcoming.
I gave a quick glance at Sam both of us appalled with my apparent inability to assert myself and say No to the freakish mans request. I twisted back toward the man, and gave him a sheepish smile. He rewarded it with an eerie thin lipped grin, the kind a villain in the movies gives when his underhanded plans to trick the unsuspecting victim are realized. He said nothing, turned on his heal and began to walk across the dimly lit hall, beckoning me to follow with a curled finger pointing to what was sure to be my final moments. I shot Sam a look that could have won me an Oscar if I was cast in a horror movie, and continued down the hall after the man in the blood red polyester suit.
We reached his door and slowly it opened at the softest touch. I gingerly placed each foot on the soft white carpet of this strangers dwelling. His living room was adorned with copious amount of trinkets, brass statues, old records, and porcelain nick-knacks. These must be trophies from his previous victims I thought. Smoke from burning incense wafted about carelessly in the air, filling my lungs with the sweet false stench, surely created to cover up more devious smells. I heard the door gently closing the soft sounds of the locks whispering their song of finality. I followed him into the kitchen area, with a polite nervous smile plastered on my face, secretly glancing around for a window or door that would lead to my freedom, but alas none was to be found. His dark black eyes lifted to my face, as he gestured to the open freezer door. My body shifted to face the horrific mess that was this mans kitchen. The dirt stained door was wide open, and packed full of Meat and ice. The ice was half melted and mixed with bloody juices, dripping onto the dingy linoleum at the rate of a human heart beat. Drip..drip….Drip..drip….Drip..drip. The flesh was lean and cut into deep crimson strips, approximately the length of a human thigh, raw butchered steaks were laying listlessly in their icy coffin. Clearly this was not store brought meat. I inhaled sharply, and held my breath, as if a lack of oxygen would help me. Have you ever wondered what you would do in a life threatening situation? I always imagined I would be all heroic and bad ass, but then you find yourself in one of those situations only to discover you are just a wuss covered in a coating of distorted fortitude. The old mans eyes danced with delight as they grazed my frightened face ” Just take some meat!”
To afraid to deny his request at this time I reached my shaking hand into the cold dark and bloody abyss. My fingers caressed the first piece of un packaged meat, I felt the ice flakes crush beneath my sweaty palms. With a quick jerk I aimed to swipe a few pieces and high tale it out of this nightmare, but that was not to be. The “human steaks” were frozen together and then frozen to the bottom of the freezer. I gave the bloody iced over muscle a gentle tug and giggled nervously at my would be killer. With his hunched back turned to me he reached his spindly fingers into a rickety narrow drawer next to the food crusted stove. This is it Shelly, hit him over the head with a frying pan and get the hell outta there! In one swift motion he pulled out a long shiny object and pointed it to the ceiling looking at it with admiration. incense filled my eyes, trying to focus it dawned on me, this murderous man had a butcher knife in his hands! My skin instantly broke into a cold sweat. RUN, RUN!! my mind was yelling at my now lifeless legs. I tightly closed my eyes and waited for the smooth blade to cut my exposed neck. Like I said, I am apparently a giant cuckold. His wrinkled hands grabbed my clutched fingers as he placed the wooden handle in them. ” Here use this to break the meat free from the ice.” He proposed with a voice as smooth as custard. Relief washed over me. This man is not going to kill me, He honestly just wants to give me meat. I shifted my focus back to the bloody steak freezer and proceeded to chip away blocks of ice and meat.
“That’s good enough for now, you can come back and get the rest once it has thawed out more.” Holding chunks of frozen meat in both hands, I shrugged my shoulders hopping he would pick up on the obvious dilemma of running down the hallway with raw meat in my hands. He passed me some tin foil to wrap the grizzled meat in. (side note: why wouldn’t you wrap it in foil before freezing it?) I took my dubious packages and proceeded to walk to the door thanking the man for the meat. I must of had the strangest look on my face, because honestly that was probably one of the most peculiar encounters of my life.
Sam, breathed a sigh of relief when I walked in the door. “So he just gave you Meat?” He asked expectantly. I regaled the terrifying story, to Sam who was staring with a look of amusement and disbelief on his face. (It still bothers me to this day that he didn’t come with me on this meaty adventure.) After all was said and done one fact still remained: There is no way I am going to eat this meat! I shoved the raw frozen meat at Sam and told him to get rid of it NOW! Awkwardly the meat passed between us and there ensued the dilemma of disposing the meat.
“Where should I put it?”
” I don’t know just get rid of it! “
” Cant we just put it in our garbage?”
” No F-ing way, do I want that in here! “
“We’ll then You find a place to put it!”
” Hell No! I was the one who had to pick axe it out of some weird guys freezer, who could have killed me by the way! “
Sam shuffled walked out the door, with the miscellaneous meat, and disposed of it. Apparently he threw it in the dumpster outside the apartment. I was told that he thoroughly covered it with boxes and other garbage so that it would not be discovered, by the meat man, in hopes to avoid some awkward conversation in the future.
“Why don’t you want my meat, it’s good meat..?” The meat man would say. I would probably stand there starring into space, allowing the blood in my body to boil over with potential explanations, none of which would suffice, before I would just run away, spending the rest of my lease avoiding the man.
Over the course of the next few months this crazy dance played out. The meat man would knock on our door. ” Would you like some more meat?” I would grudgingly follow him to his apartment and proceed to chip away the bloody ice, freeing the meat. I would then return to my abode and Sam would sneakily hide the meat In the dumpster, in order not to offend the man and his meat gift.
Needless to say the whole experience was torturous for me. Strange man, innocuous small talk, bloody meat, and so on. I am sure you can imagine my relief when his freezer was finally empty and all that was left were meat blood ice chips. Except, instead of relief I felt empty, like I would miss the charade. I found myself missing the small talk, the meaningless recounts of our day to day activities.
It was Christmas Eve and it had been a few months since I last saw the meat man. Sam and I were preparing to leave the apartment I order to attend our families Christmas celebrations. When a familiar knock yet again graced our door. Instead my usual crawl around on the floor trying to hide from the visitor I excitedly swung the door open. On the other side stood my new acquaintance, the meat man. In a small voice he asked Sam and I if we would join him for a Christmas cocktail. I smiled brightly and replied “Of course!” We followed down the hallway after the man, and I entered his crowded apartment one more time.
In the middle of his living room a small gold table was delicately placed surrounded by three plush chairs. Upon the opulent table was a bottle of cognac, some melted brie cheese and crackers, and a few Cuban cigars. We sat as he poured us a generous glass of the aged brandy, and lit a cigar.
Throughout the night he regaled us with the most marvelous stories from his past. He told us tales from a time when he used to play jazz with the Thelonious Monk. He shared the story of the love of his life and her passing. He painted verbal pictures of his adventures in New Orleans. My meat man, whom I have shared numerous amounts of small talk with suddenly became the most interesting man in the world. The aged Brandy went down smoothly as we conversed all night, playing old jazz records, losing myself in another persons story. That would be the last I saw of him. I can’t say for certain where he went. I would like to think he is living peacefully, sharing his stories with anyone brave enough to accept them, and his meat.
It is easy to always think about ourselves and the happenings in our life. It is easy to judge someone based on our preconceived ideals of societal norms. It takes time and patience to listen to someone’s stories especially when they don’t pertain to you. It takes compassion and understanding to set aside your judgements and accept someone for who they are. But, If you are lucky enough, to step outside of yourself, if for only a few moments, and give your time and full attention to someone else, you might be surprised how truly freeing and rewarding it can be. I have been blessed to “meat” this amazing man even if it was in an unconventional way, and never again will I be fearful of opening the door, to someone strange.
I used to keep a journal as a young girl. I filled its blank pages with hopes and dreams for the future, I was destined to have. I would eventually live in a lavish 8 bedroom mansion with a butler named Turtle. I would be a famous painter matching the likes of Picasso and Salvador Dahlia. During the week I would be called on a dangerous James Bond-type mission, where I would save the world from evil drug dealers and the like, in one 12 hour work day, with barley a scratch on me. Ahhhh…. The dreams and possibilities of being young. The world was wide open, I could be and do anything, and all I had to do was choose, and apply myself.
As the years grew on me like some fungus you cant get rid of, life just slowed down. All the drama and passion of my younger years faded, and the slow boring crawl of adulthood took over. I have become so inundated with responsibilities, bills, and dentist appointments, that I would argue with myself, that there was no time for silly little girl dreams. Life became less fun, more stressful, it became less about what I believed to be possible and more about what I was told was impossible. Its like we become adults and the world all of a sudden becomes this grey mono-toned color where we all slowly go about our daily activities to some gloomy music, duuun..work….duuuun..traffic… duuuun….bills… duuuuuun…dentist. All the things I wanted to do became wrapped up in a dream carved box and pushed onto a dusty shelf, only to be opened later as a big box of regrets, and failed attempts.
I always imagined I was going to accomplish so much, that I was going to single handedly change the world. Only to grow up and discover the only change I ever made was to get bigger sized pants and paint my living room a brazen color like red! Which, by the way I highly suggest not doing, mostly because if you want to change it sometime in the future, you will be truly angry with yourself despite how easy the home depot sales people say it will be. Also do not even consider it if your not a good painter, like me (recently discovered fault of mine) because mistakes are really easy to spot.
Suddenly on some random, usually sunny, day clarity slaps you in the face. For me I think it was the blessing of seeing people in their death beds and listening to their stories. Some of them full of regrets, things not said, and opportunities missed. And a few were full of joy, chances taken dreams fulfilled. It was an eye opener for me, truth is I wasn’t finished yet. I realized that I still had an opportunity to dream, and if I continued to let the mundane pace of adulthood slip in, it would strangle me.
All these heavy thoughts got me thinking, and I mean really thinking. What dreams, and goals from my past is it time to give up on? Should I bother replacing old dreams with new ones, only to be let down in another 10…20 years, then have to write another blog about it? Or is it finally time to listen to my parents and make some real goals, such as getting a raise at the job I don’t like? What dreams are any of us willing to let go of 1/2 way through the game? And what dreams should we give up on?
I decided that it is time to become realistic about my future. I have decided to officially give up……… Some dreams anyway. Here’s the thing, I know it sounds like a defeatist attitude, but honestly there are some things I am just not cut out for. The movie Rudy for example. It’s a wonderful story, about dreams, determination, and a lot of heart. But there is a problem with the story, although Rudy was put in for one play, and he did an amazing job. One can’t deny that he probably would have been a terrible overall player, long term. It’s not to say that it wasn’t worth all his effort, for him it most certainly was. For me, I have a lot of dreams, and a lot of ground to cover, so I can’t waste my time, practicing to become the greatest hip- hop dance fighter the world has ever seen. I am a hopeless klutz and no matter the amount of practice, I will always look like a mentally challenged chimpanzee on meth, while dancing. I’m not trying to tear myself down it is just a fact and I am ok with it.
I guess it is time to get down to it, I will most likely never own a Mercedes Benz, I will never have enough disposable income to justify purchasing one, plus if Janis Joplin couldn’t attain one, what are my odds? I will never go deep sea diving, it always seemed great and adventurous, but quite frankly I have reached a point in my life where It just scares the shit out of me, anyway. I will never be an Olympic contender, I am past the point in my life, where it is just not feasible. I won’t become an astronaut, I’m just not that smart, again it’s a fact not a put down. There are a lot of things that I can’t do, which maybe contradictory to all the adults who told me I can do anything I wanted, but I think the only way to reach your goals is to at least make them obtainable, and realistic.
So what now? I could berate myself, why wasn’t I more focused, why, did I squander my younger years away on friends and folly, always believing that I had ample time to sneak in some accomplishments and trophies. Although I strongly believe that spending to much time thinking about the past is a sure fire way to stay there. I could blame my parents, that’s always a good fall back plan. Why didn’t you support me? Why didn’t you push me harder? Seems a little unfair though doesn’t it. I could of course do the most productive thing and look inside myself and decide to keep moving forward. I could decide that everyday, nay every hour is an opportunity to move closer to my dreams. I could unwrap the binding chains of adulthood and face my fears. I still have time to become the woman I dreamed of but this time will be different this time I will not let myself get in the way. Indeed the road to success is paved with many desirable parking spaces.
I may not be as young as I once was, I may have some limitations (lots of limitations) especially when it comes to dancing. Maybe I didn’t start a revolutionary company like Bill Gates, in his 20s.Or write and publish a famous novel like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein also in her 20s. I still have plenty of time to put my stamp on the world. For example Jean Eugene Atget, now considered one of the greatest photographers, took up photography, at the ripe age of 40. And at the age of 50 Samuel Adams directed the Boston Tea Party, (he also makes a great beer…wait, it might not be the same guy?) Still even more impressive at the age of 80 Christine Brown of Laguna Hills, California flew to China and climbed the Great Wall! Here I come mt Everest! The fact is its never to late to claim your dreams.
Its too late to change my past, unless…(insert evil grin) I invent a time machine, and get my past self all fired up for dreams and accomplishments, and become famous, which will essentially negate the need for time machine building in the future. Thus the time machine never gets built, and if it never gets made, then I miss out on the Nobel prize and never go back in time to begin with, soooo…mmmk lets just say time machines are never good ideas, but I digress. I can’t change my past, the only thing I can do now is move forward…
So YES I have given up, I have given up on all the unobtainable dreams of my youth, and right now, I am pleased with that (I hear gigantic 8 bedroom mansions have really high electric bills), because I have made some practical, real life goals that can be accomplished, with a little focus, determination and a lot of heart. And hopefully I can die with peace in my heart knowing that I didn’t give in or give up.